Spoiler-Free Review: Old Ways | Underrated Dark Fantasy


Old Ways (Blood of Blood #2) by Paul Kleynhans 
Published: 14.08.2015
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★


I won’t provide a synopsis as this is the second book in the trilogy. If you want to read my review on the first book Dark Legion, you can do so here.

This will be a spoiler-free review, even for those who haven’t read the first book.


I had received the first book in this trilogy for review, and read it in the beginning of the year. It managed to take me by surprise, and I quite enjoyed it. If you want to see my review on it, I’ve linked it above. I wanted to know how the story continued, so decided the buy the second one on my Kindle app. As you can see from the picture above, I read it on my tablet.

When I say underrated, I’m not exaggerating. The first book has 51 ratings and 21 reviews on Goodreads, and this one has 12 ratings and 3 reviews. Excuse me? I’m not okay with that.

This trilogy is all about Saul, who used to be a Prince of Ubrain. When the Empire conquered Ubrain, they enslaved him and sought to use him for their own purposes. And as the synopsis of the first book states: “They should have killed him when they had the chance, for he will not be so lenient”.

It follows Saul as he tries to break the Empire and set his people free -that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the description of the first book. I categorized this as dark fantasy, because Saul is definitely a dark/morally grey character. He’s an assassin, who is not shy about killing. I know that a lot of people have issues with books with an assassin as a main character who doesn’t really do a lot of assassinating. If you are one of those people, this is the book for you. Saul’s murder count is honestly through the roof, using a variety of methods. Someone creating a problem on the journey? Just kill them. I genuinely like to read about a character who’s not purely good or bad. He kills, yes. But he does it to free his people. Does the end justify the means? I guess that’s up to you to decide. 

At the beginning, I thought I’d be confused because it had been a few months since I read Dark Legion. I didn’t have to be afraid though. Paul Kleynhans managed to subtly remind you of the events of the previous book during the first chapter. By that, I mean that the reminders of the past happenings were woven into the story so it wouldn’t be too much of an info dump. 

This book is very action-packed. Saul is constantly on the move, killing and plotting. I do love a fast-paced story because it makes for a fast read, but I think this may have been a bit too full of action. Because one action-scene is followed immediately by another (usually), it felt a bit unbelievable to me. I think it would have been nice to have more calm scenes in between to get to know the characters even better.

The last thing I didn’t like as much about this book, is the convenience-level. Sometimes, the events just seemed a bit too convenient? That bothered me a tad, especially towards the ending. 

I’d definitely recommend this series. I think it’s a good fantasy trilogy so far, and I’m eagerly awaiting news on the next book. That’s the downside of these books with smaller amounts of ratings and authors with other day jobs: there is a lot less news on the next book.

Spoiler-Free Review: Old Ways | Underrated Dark Fantasy

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