But the assassination may be the beginning of a more sinister plot that involves not just the Fae and Humankind, but all the races of the world. And what if the real assassin is a boogeyman even the Fae don't believe is real?
*May Contain Spoilers*
Chaos Unbound, by Brian S. Leon, is a militaristic novel of mythology and fantasy. Though I've read many fantasy novels, I've never read one quite like this. Leon gives the faery world a combative twist that takes the story to a level of epic proportions.
Diomedes, a human avatar for Athena, is the main character of this novel and the entire book is told from his point of view. Thousands of years old, Diomedes, or Steve, has witnessed countless wars and battles, and has participated in many of them. His main job is to protect humanity not from each other, but from supernatural forces that choose to interfere in human conflict. He's trained in multiple military forces and even has SEAL experience. This resume gives the story a military feel as fighting techniques, military combat knowledge, and weaponry are all described in intricate detail while Diomedes tries to find out who framed him for the death of an important member of the Unseelie court.
Diomedes is intelligent, brave to the point of nearing recklessness, determined, and dedicated. Readers will respect him for his commitment to humanity while fearing for his life as he goes up against a boogeyman with substantial power. It's interesting to witness a godlike being so down to earth, focused, trusting, and even forgiving. The level of understanding that Diomedes has for others knows no bounds. His job often puts him in a position to kill in order to protect, and he doesn't take that lightly, even after thousands of years doing his job.
The story begins right at the start of all the action, or rather all the chaos. Diomedes has been framed for a murder he did not commit and he's forced to go on the run to clear his name and save his own life. He's soon caught by the Unseelie court and is put in a position that evokes sympathy and fear from readers. When he escapes, with the help of someone who believes his innocence, the race is on to find the real murderer and uncover the reason behind a string of high profile deaths. The mystery behind this boogeyman is intriguing while the story is packed full of action and adventure. The setting constantly changes as Diomedes and his friend, Duma, travel through pathways that connect the entire world while trying to track down the boogeyman, which in this case turns out to be a Hanner Brid, or a half-breed.
Readers who enjoy fantasy novels will definitely enjoy this book. However, I think that readers will also need an interest in military combat (or the like) to really get into it. There is a lot of discussion about weapons, political unrest, and very detailed passages about fighting techniques and mission planning. While this really pulls readers into the action, it could also alienate those readers who felt it would be more focused on the fae. I did not expect the book to be so heavily laced with combat, as I thought it would be more focused on uncovering who framed Diomedes and why, like a crime thriller or a mystery. Though, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to understand the military information with Leon's writing style. Lastly, I hadn't read the first book in this series before diving into this one and found that it didn't make a big difference. I think it's easy for readers to connect with Diomedes as he is instantly and unjustly cast as the underdog and villain. As he fights for his honor and the truth, that connection is strengthened and solidified creating an interesting adventure/fantasy novel filled with action and mythology that will surely please readers of the genre.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups