Blood Skies

Blood Skies - Steven Montano Blood Skies is a post-apocalyptic military fantasy where a lightly touched on event called The Black has decimated the world beyond recognition. The reason for The Black is not revealed, maybe saved for further books in the series, even the characters in the book do not know what occurred, just that it did and changed everything. The world, wonderfully described by the author has been cleaved, and then fused back together by a blind hand resulting in a melding of dimensions or realities. Nightmares became real as creatures were released free to roam the earth, the landscape is a broken and diseased wasteland, humanity all but destroyed.

Montano’s descriptive writing paints a vivid and real picture of a bleak, desolate world, I've read a lot of fantasy/ sci-fi novels and this is the best world building out there, simply stunning. There is no skimming pages during any of the book as the pacing is done expertly and the information is drip fed perfectly.

Now, amidst the black waters and blood skies the humans fight for there existence, the remaining human cities have bonded together to form the Southern Claw Alliance and together they battle the Ebon Cities, home of the vampires intent on wiping out mankind. Only the humans ability to harness sorcery, a power available after The Black and the efforts of the Southern Claw military, aided by the human warlock's and witches have allowed them to survive in this conflict for as long as they have.

Eric Cross is the stories chief protagonist and an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military. Cross is a member of Viper Squad, an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a powerful witch known as Red, the former leader of Thornn, one of the largest Southern Claw cities and Cross's home. Red has stolen the human's sacred codex, their Tome of Scars, it stored the assembled knowledge of all the humans had accomplished in the new and dark world, a handbook for survival in an insane world.
She plans to give the Tome and its information to a vampire seer and herald the surrender of mankind.

Cross is an unlikely and unwilling hero, he battles unbelievable odds as those around him fall but he has two reasons to continue the quest, the Tome and Red has taken the most important thing in his life, he will prevail or die trying.

Tension builds quite dramatically during the last few chapters and the ending is exceptionally well done, all told a highly enjoyable read, highly recommended. This is one of the most unique fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time and I have already purchased the remaining books in the series.