Pantheon: The Phantom

Pantheon: The Phantom is Joshua Landeros’s second book in the Pantheon series. It is a sweeping fantasy epic that manages to carry on the first book’s story while expanding its world and bringing in enjoyable new characters.

The book is set in Landeros’s world of Avah and follows its people as they come to terms with the events of the first book and struggle to recover from the Hollow Wars. Just as people were hoping things were calming down, a new threat, the Pact of Ram has, arisen. As this new threat rises every allied nation is called to combat it. But who is really behind this new threat, and who can be trusted?

While this may be a conflict that spans nations, Landeros makes the wise choice of focusing his narrative on the everyday people dragged into it. The Phantom primarily focuses on Palkan Sowell, his daughter Athaliah and the rest of their people as they are pulled into a conflict they want nothing to do with.

The book features a diverse range of characters, and Landeros excels at fleshing them out. As in his earlier works, Landeros focuses on characters from all sides of the conflict, emphasizing their motivations, whether political, religious or purely self-preserving. While at first, the lines between good and evil seem clear cut, over time, it becomes increasingly clear that not everyone can be trusted, and even the heroes might have to get their hands dirty.

This is still a sweeping epic, however. When Landeros isn’t focusing on his individual characters, he is writing massive battles that often follow several different perspectives at once. While his writing is excellent across the board, Landeros’s writing is at its best when he is in the thick of battle. His battles are bloody, violent, and well-paced.

The pacing, in general, is excellent. Landeros deftly manages the balancing act of fleshing out the world he has created, forming deep characters, and keeping the pacing brisk. While his characters are enjoyable enough that I would have liked to spend more time with them, Landeros makes the wise choice to keep the plot moving ever onward.

The world-building is excellent here. Landeros has created his own world and filled it with different nations, races, and peoples, all with their own in-depth histories. Thankfully Landeros avoids too much exposition, and the reader gets to learn about his world in an organic way rather than being bogged down in lengthy explanations and exposition. If you’re a fan of fantasy epics, exciting battle scenes, or political intrigue, The Phantom is the book for you. While it might be a good idea to start with the first book if you want to follow everything, as a newbie Landeros made me feel welcome and I was never too lost. Highly recommended.

Pages: 313 | ASIN : B096L6QJT9

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Posted on January 3, 2023, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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