Jonathan Maberry has really hit the nail on the head with the character of Kagen Vale. He has all the internal turmoil and self loathing that I am looking for from my protagonist; on top of that he gets treated with the ideal amount of humor so that I don’t great dragged down into the depths of despair. Kagen is as close to my perfect protagonist as you can get.

But a great story needs more than just protagonist perfection. It needs the most vile villain; with the Witch-king, Maberry has given us that. If you’ve read Kagen the Damned then you know who this is, if you haven’t, then please read book one in the series. The Witch-king is everything that Kagen is not and exemplifies all that Kagen is.

What would a character like Kagen be without a wondrous world surrounding him? Again, Maberry delivers a rich world filled with a detailed history, topography, and cultures. There is nothing lacking in the world of the Silver Empire. It is easy to picture Kagen’s travels across mountains, through jungles, and with dark forests.

Soundly rounding out Son of the Poison Rose is the supreme supporting cast. With Tuke and Filia featured prominently, the supporting cast brings this book to the next level. They add exactly what needs to be added, precisely when it needed to be added. Even the cannon fodder is allotted the time to make them complete characters. Maberry has gone above and beyond with this book. And with thanks to Tuke, this book has more balls than a stud farm.

Did I like Son of the Poison Rose, you ask. You know I did! Will I read the next book? Yes, please! My only request is that it gets tied up nicely with a trilogy. This is too good to get bogged down in a never-ending series.

*5 Stars

Son of the Poison Rose:

A Kagen the Damned Novel #2

By Jonathan Maberry

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