The Penitent: Part III
A. Keith Carreiro
Stillwater River Publications (2019)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (07/2022)
“The Penitent: Part III,” is the third book in A. Keith Carreiro’s, The Immortality Wars fantasy series. While set in the 26th century, it is not a futuristic novel, it appears to take place in the middle ages.
In this third book, warrior Pall Warren goes in search of master bowman John Savage, finding him in the middle of a battle. There is a war going on in a port city where priest Kosem Mungadai, a high-level master of the occult arts, is leading an attack against this realm. Mungadai uses dark magic to fight this battle. He incorporates evil creatures such as imps, demons, jinn and succubi-like creatures called Slakes. Pall joins Savage in this brutal fight between good and evil. He must not only rely on his gifts with hand-to-hand combat to defeat the enemy, he also has to rely on his spiritual gifts to defeat the evil power that is permeating through the battlefield.
While this is the third book in the series, it was the first one for me to read. Even though the author does well with catching the reader up with the story, I wish I had read the first two books because I felt like I would have been more enmeshed in what was happening. I was intrigued by returning characters who obviously already played critical roles in this series. I did use the handy Cast of Characters section at the end of this story to help me stay caught up with who they were.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading “The Penitent.” Carreiro did a masterful job in creating compelling characters that continue to evolve as the story progresses. He takes us inside their minds so that we can gain insight into who they are and what motivates them. He also creates scenes he brings to life through his words. I often felt like I was watching the drama rather than reading about it. I loved this, because despite being a fantasy, it felt very real to me. The espionage also added a great deal of suspense.
As noted earlier, while the novel is set in the future, it appears to take place during medieval times, where people have to really on their skills, spiritual beliefs, or dark magic, instead of technology, in order to survive. I loved this component because it made things more complex. I also enjoyed the spiritual aspects that were involved because it made this fantasy unique. Readers who enjoy fantastical science fiction will enjoy this series.