A Thunder of War by Steve McHugh #BookReview #BlogTour

There’s thunder on the horizon, and the lightning of war is about to strike.

After years of struggle, Layla Cassidy has finally mastered the dark powers that threatened to control her and turned them to good. She’s ready to fight, but the next battle will be her greatest test yet.
The forces of Avalon are growing ever stronger, reinforcing their dominance with almighty displays of brutality. When Abaddon comes close to crushing Layla and her friends, it’s clear that the thunder of war is about to give way to lightning—and that they have no chance of surviving it alone.
The final battle against Abaddon is drawing closer. Now Layla and her friends must fight for themselves—and the future of the world. To win, they will need every power and ally they can muster. But even with all their strength, will it be enough to stand against the impending doom?

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for A Thunder of War today, huge thanks to Steve McHugh, 47North and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance (signed!) copy of the novel.

A Thunder of War is the third and final book in Steve McHugh's Avalon Chronicles trilogy, his second dark urban fantasy series following the Hellequin Chronicles which features many of the same characters. I loved the previous books, A Glimmer of Hope and A Flicker of Steel and would recommend you read those books first if possible because although A Thunder of War could be enjoyed as a standalone, it is part of a series and best experienced that way. Also, the first two books are brilliant reads and I thoroughly recommend them!
A few years have now passed since Layla inadvertently activated an ancient scroll which turned her into a powerful umbra. The normal young woman introduced at the start of the first book has become a fierce and experienced warrior although she is still learning how to truly harness her extraordinary skills. Since Layla became aware that the figures and creatures she once believed to be myths are real, she and her friends have been battling Avalon, led by the evil Abaddon. A Thunder of War opens with Layla on a mission which doesn't go to plan which isn't entirely unexpected given their propensity for carrying out risky or foolhardy plans but as the book progresses things only get worse. There's a very definite sense of foreboding throughout the novel as it becomes worryingly probable that Abaddon's potential for destruction will ultimately be impossible to oppose.
Lyla's unusual friends include necromancers, dwarves werewolves, gods and goddesses and my all-time favourite character (and I suspect I'm not alone here!), Remy, the fox-human hybrid. They are joined by here by a shadow elf, fire giant and a sabre-toothed panther all of whom are welcome additions to the story. I have become so invested in the lives of these characters which meant I spent much of novel desperately fearing for them but there are lighter moments amidst the violence and death too. One of the many things I love about this series is the wisecracking humour which with the pop culture references give a really contemporary feel to the books.
I suspect actually that I've become a little indoctrinated by this strangely loveable bunch of geeks because even before Mordred says, "It's all feeling very much like I'm about to go fight the last boss." I'd been thinking that the story was reminiscent of an RPG with the characters moving between different realms completing challenges and collecting items (or in this case, often additions to their group) before facing the final, terrible battle.
This may be the last of the Avalon Chronicles but I hope it's not the last we see of Layla, she's such a brilliant character and I've really enjoyed reading a series with such a strong female lead.  A Thunder of War though is a bloody, violent, emotional and thoroughly entertaining finale to this part of her story. There is obviously still more trouble ahead but I can't wait to read the Rebellion Chronicles, the next instalment of this fabulous world created by Steve McHugh - particularly after the tantalizing epilogue which brings back a familiar character. A Thunder of War has definitely left me desperate for more. Another absolute cracker of a read!

A Thunder of War is published by 47North and can be purchased here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
Steve's been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up 'One boy and his frog' was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn't for another decade that he would start work on a full-length novel, the result of which is Crimes Against Magic.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

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  1. Thanks so much for supporting the Blog Tour Karen x


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