Blog Tour Review: City of Scars by Steven Montano

City of Scars

Source: Consuming Worlds – I received this book in exchange for na honest review.
Publisher: Darker Sunset Press
Series: The Skullborn Trilogy #1
Edition: ebook, 330 Pages
Genre: High Fantasy
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

It’s been three decades since the Blood Queen led her legions on a brutal campaign of conquest and destruction, and the Empires are still struggling to rebuild. Now, in the distant aftermath of the war, the real battle is about to begin.

Haunted by the crimes of his past, fallen knight Azander Dane ekes out a mercenary existence as he drifts from one city to the next. His latest job is to hunt down Ijanna Taivorkan, a powerful outlaw witch desperate to escape her destiny.

Dane and Ijanna find themselves in Ebonmark, the City of Scars, where deadly crime guilds and shadowy agents of the White Dragon Empire prepare for a brutal confrontation. Pursued by apocalypse cults, mad alchemists, exiled giants and werewolf gangs, Dane and Ijanna soon learn a deadly lesson – in Ebonmark, only the cruelest and most cunning can survive.

City of Scars is the first volume of The Skullborn Trilogy, an all new epic fantasy adventure from the author of Blood Skies .

City of Scars is the first book in what promises to be a highly detailed and addictive trilogy. We are transported to a world where the realm is struggling to recover from a incredibly bloody and lengthy war. Crime is easy to find and magic is outlawed. I found myself completely absorbed in the characters’ stories and dying to know more when I reached the last page.

When I read an imaginative and detailed high fantasy novel it immediately makes me want more, it’s one of the reasons I adore the genre more than others. If the story is done right then I can easily slip into the world and know the characters, the history, and the emotions. This is what City of Scars offered me and I’m incredibly excited to start more of Steven’s books in the future. Montano has created a world with a bleak history and took the time to explain as much as he could without including exhausting info dumps. There are several different races, which are incredibly diverse ranging from normal humans to the giant dark skinned Voss. Each race is given a unique depth and I really enjoyed learning about each of them. The mysterious Voss and their incredibly dangerous machines and the incredibly interactive tattoo designs of the Den’nar were among some of my favorite little tid-bits. The magic system is incredibly interesting and I enjoyed learning the differences between Bloodspeakers and Veilwardens. The story itself goes between several characters, which threatened to bother me at first but then I came to appreciate knowing everything that was happening…and I even liked the moments where I knew something the current focus didn’t. It really made for a great experience. The only problem I had was that some information given came late in the book and I really wish I had had it towards the beginning or middle, however it wasn’t enough to truly put a damper on things

As I said before there are several characters at focus here and they are varying in almost drastic ways. Our overall main focus is Dane Azander, a former solder known as a Dawn Knight, he’s a magic user with an incredibly dark and haunting past. In fact his past is the main driving motivation for him, he wants to be able to move passed it and redeem himself but at the same time he knows he can’t. I loved that he was is dangerous but has his limits and at times things fall down to luck and not skill. Ijanna is an incredibly powerful Bloodspeaker who is on a mission to prevent something bad from happening, all the while she is being hunted by criminal groups called the Phage and the Black Guild. I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about Ijanna, who I thought would be difficult and dangerous, but instead is a woman who is very easy to like.

I personally can’t wait to read Path of Bones, book two, in this trilogy. So much happens in City of Scars and yet it’s really only the beginning. Ijanna has some difficult choices to make and Dane has a lot of to atone for, and then there are some incredibly shady characters that I just know I haven’t seen the last of. If you’re looking for a great high fantasy novel that is full of action and world building then I really recommend this one.

4 stars


Author Steven Montano will be giving away one Signed Paperback copy of Path of Bones (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stop by the other blogs in the tour!

Final Path of Bones Blog Tour Schedule

Feb. 7th

My Book Addiction ~ Author Interview

Literary, etc. ~ Spotlight/ Excerpt

Feb. 8th

Library at the End of the Universe~ Review, City of Scars (book 1) & Soundtrack

Feb. 9th

Little Read Riding Hood ~ Guest Post & Spotlight/ Excerpt

Feb. 10th

In Libris Veritas ~ Review, City of Scars (book 1)

Feb. 11th

Relaxed Reads ~ Review, City of Scars (book 1)

Feb. 12th

Liberty’s Yarn ~ Top Ten

Feb. 13th

Book Groupies ~ Spotlight/ Excerpt

Feb. 14th

Consuming Worlds ~ Review, Path of Bones (book 2)

Bruce Blake ~ Spotlight/ Excerpt

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2014) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Blog Tour Review: City of Scars by Steven Montano

  1. Great review! So glad you loved this book. I am a huge fan of Steven’s ability to weave a complex story while not losing the reader and giving us incredible characters! You definitely need to read Path of Bones, it is an excellent follow up.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. Christy says:

    Ah, see, I’m such a chicken when it comes to reading high fantasy. Even though I KNOW I always end up liking them once I’m into it. This sounds really good, though!

  3. Sounds like a great set up for some more exciting books

  4. daezarkian says:

    Thanks for the review, and thanks a ton for being part of the Tour! =D

  5. Christa says:

    I love books with magic in them! And this sounds so dark and dangerous. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  6. I enjoy high fantasy but prefer those in the middle. I love the elements in this and will add to my list since you praised it so highly.

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