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Breaking Chaos by Ben Galley

Breaking Chaos by Ben Galley
Book Name: Breaking Chaos
Author: Ben Galley
Publisher(s): Self-Published
Formatt: Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy
Release Date: March 18, 2019

Spoiler Warning:

This review has minor spoilers. Please read with caution if you have yet to finish the book.

As I turned, I gave the city one last glower, and saw a faint glow on the edge of the Outsprawls. I was jealous of that ghost, whoever she or he may have been. For they were not me, and they had not the weight of the world on their shoulders, like the old myths. With a snort, I left them to it.

Ben Galley’s final installment in Breaking Chaos is a very satisfying finale to The Chasing Graves Trilogy. Every character gets their moment in the spotlight and Galley doesn’t leave any thread unfinished. BC retains the comical tone that preceded it in Chasing Graves and Grim Solace, as well as delivering an ending that is epic. I’m sorry it took me so long to getting around to reading Breaking Chaos, for it was an exciting, dark and fun conclusion to Caltro’s story.

Since Caltro, the locksmith, discovered his uncanny ability to take possession of the living, he has been trying to use it to his advantage. As well, the Nyxwell has dried-up, causing the trade of turning men and women into enslaved ghouls to halt in its tracks. Meanwhile, gods are actively meddling in the affairs of Araxes by coercing Caltro into saving humanity. Alas, all Caltro wants is to retrieve his half-coin, the key to his freedom:

“I want my half-coin back. That’s all that matters to me. Not your flood, not Temsa’s greed, not the Cult’s games, not Horix’s writ of freedom, nor any other empty promise I’ve heard since being dead. My freedom is what matters, and I trust nobody but myself to claim it. Doubt and desperation made me forget that, but I know my worth now. My power. And with it, I will win Araxes’ game.”

The god sighed. “How selfish.”

“It’s what I’m owed!”

Sisine, the self-declared empress of Araxes, is determined to retain power against the Cult of Sesh, even if it means killing the formal rulers: her own parents. As well, Nilith has been dragging her husband, Farazar’s, corpse across the desert to the well, but was captured by Chaser Jobey, jeopardizing her plans of enslaving him. The Cult of Sesh is forwarding their plan of freeing all the bound shades, and at their forefront is the Enlightened Sisters Liria and Yaridin, but not all is as it seems as civil unrest stirs. Temsa is trying to retrieve his lost shade through any means necessary, going as far as challenging one of the deadliest Tal’s in Araxes, the Widow Horix. The Widow herself has her own reasons for using the locksmith shade. Thus, we have the basic set-up of Breaking Chaos, and boy, is it truly chaotic.

There’s plenty of action to be had in this final installment, with a messy family feud in a palace, an assassination of royalty, to a massive battle within Araxes itself. With shade and humans pitted against each other, the situation is bound to dissolve into chaos, with our favorite locksmith-turned-shade stuck in the middle of it all.

The plot is brisk, each page is used to its fullest capacity, whether it’s lore, action or dialogued-based. Again, Galley is proving to be a grand force in the fantasy genre without having to resort to “purple prose” or bloated descriptions. He always writes what needs to be said, leaving the reader the freedom to imagine the incredible world he has created. Mr. Galley, I happily applaud your mastery of writing and will be sure to keep my eyes peeled for future releases from you.

The novel does take a dark turn towards the later half and things begin to unravel for Caltro. However, like I stated before, everything dissolves neatly and we do get a satisfying ending, even if certain characters don’t make it to the other side. Some of the cast get what’s been coming to them, including one that had me cheering happily, to others that made me sad to see them go.

And once more, Caltro grows into his own and is one of the best characters I’ve read recently in a fantasy novel. He’s very real, real in that he’s trying to do his best as a shade, in a cruel and chaotic world that wishes to use him for his talents, whether it’s gods or humans alike. We, the reader, get to see him become the hero the story needed, and he provides that comical relief while the whole social and political structure of Araxes is toppling into pandemonium.

Breaking Chaos explodes at the end and boy, what an ending it was. If you haven’t read any books by Ben Galley yet, be sure to do so, because he is one of the best voices in the dark fantasy genre.


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