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Before I started Edge of the Breach, I heard about how dark and brutal it is. That piqued my interest. I don't put much stock into reviews but when a book has been described as grimdark and has a high rating average it's pretty unusual. Usually a book that's really dark will have some lower ratings because people can't stomach it. Then I found author Halo Scot on Twitter and it's the funniest account I follow. So, what gives? This is a post apocalyptic world where the season of your birth determines your power. There are spring healers, summer mages, fall shapeshifters and winter shields. There's also a hole in the sky called a Rift, a portal to the gods. This is how the gods rule what's left of civilization. In Edge of the Breach I found myself conflicted and started to question how much I'm going to let a character get away with. We follow two main characters through their childhood, learning about what they've been through and witness their transformation as they get older. When one character in particular did really awful things, I would give them a pass because of their experiences sometimes. Did their victims deserve what they did to them? When is it going too far? I became attached to the characters and saw them evolve. The way they deal with their pain and traumas was especially well done, it's never neat and easy. We all deal with these types of experiences differently and have our own processes. How much do those experiences change us? That's explored very well without banging you over the head with it. It's subtle. And Halo isn't afraid to kill characters. The banter between the characters and crude humor offer relief from the violence and occasional hopelessness. There is definitely some effective dark humor. There is some world building but I think it's safe to say the first book in this series is more setup and character focused. The magic system and powers are so much fun. There's enough in the first book to get your footing in the world but not be overwhelming. I'm more of a character driven reader so I enjoy it when it's not too heavy on the magic systems or world right off the bat. The setting almost reminded me of Dune if it was grimdark. Pacing is pretty damn good, there were a couple of points here and there that had me wondering where we're going but for the most part it is pedal to the metal let's go. In regards to the violence and brutality, this may be one of the violent books I've read. There are a couple of scenes that caught me by surprise, but I'm into that sort of thing. It is very bleak and unforgiving. When I finished I went back and read my notes and gave myself some time to reflect and decompress, I couldn't think of anything that I really didn't enjoy. Other than a few very short moments that the pacing felt a little bit off I can't think of anything that bothered me. The world, characters and magic system were all top notch and I love dark, brutal and unforgiving stories with characters that make you question your own judgement. Favorite quote: