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Wisdom Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #2)

Wisdom Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #2)

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Wisdom Lost by Michael Sliter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Wisdom Lost strengthened the idea that Pandemonium Rising is one of the most underrated character-driven grimdark series in the market right now.

I’m very close to loving this series as much as I loved Richard Nell’s underrated Ash and Sand series. It is that good. Wisdom Lost is the second book in the Pandemonium Rising quartet by Michael Sliter. Told in the same multi-perspective character-driven narration as its predecessor, the story picks up immediately from where the previous book left off. Although I did give a content warning for the first installment, I don’t think Wisdom Lost merits a specific content warning. This doesn’t mean that this book doesn’t fall into the grimdark genre; it still does undeniably. However, I personally found it to be not as depressing or mentally brutal; I believe everyone’s acquainted to the genre will find this one easier—if I can call it that—to read for the heart. In Solace Lost, Sliter prepared the foundation for every main character’s background and personality; at the same time breaking one or two of the POV characters in both physical and mental aspect brutally. Wisdom Lost focuses on how the characters coped and developed from them.

“Part of understanding emotions in others was seeing what emotions they elicited within the self. One cannot truly understand rage or depression simply as an observer, bereft of empathy.”

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Cover Reveal: Wisdom Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #2) by Michael Sliter

Cover Reveal: Wisdom Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #2) by Michael Sliter

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here. You’re here for the cover art, I’ll keep this introduction very brief.

Today, we’re here to bring you a beautiful cover reveal for Wisdom Lost, the second book in the Pandemonium Rising series by Michael Sliter. I’ve read the first book in the series, Solace Lost, a few months ago and I’ve been repeatedly saying that this is seriously an underrated grimdark book. Joe Abercrombie is one of the main inspirations behind the author’s work, if you love grimdark reminiscent of First Law trilogy, I strongly suggest checking this series out! Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to Wisdom Lost.

Cover art: Rene Aigner

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Interview with Michael Sliter

Interview with Michael Sliter

Hi everyone, Petrik from Novel Notions here. Today, I’m bringing you an interview with Michael Sliter, the author behind the incredibly underrated grimdark debut: Solace Lost. You can check out my review of Solace Lost on the blog or Goodreads. If you’re a grimdark enthusiast, try to buy and read it as soon as possible. Plus, the Kindle price is currently set at a massive discount of $0.99 for a week! Now, without further ado, here is my interview with Michael Sliter!


  1. Hi, Mike! Thank you for doing this interview with me! Firstly, please tell us about yourself and your debut, Solace Lost.

Thanks for having me! So… me. I’m a workplace psychologist by day—I do things like leadership assessment and development, training, and data crunching. I love my job; it’s always something different and new. Nuclear power? I met the person who finds the uranium. Environmental science? I’ve seen endless labs where they quantify how much pollution is too much. Astronauts? I’ve worked with the guys who build the rockets. It’s pretty cool stuff.

Aside from work, which keeps me pretty busy, I have a fantastic, horse-riding psychologist wife, an amazingly hilarious little two-year-old daughter, and a couple of tiny, broken dogs (one missing an eye and one with extreme anxiety). I play racquetball whenever I can, and I own a couple of swords. When not I’m doing any of the above, I’m reading and writing!

Solace Lost is a character-driven grimdark fantasy novel. A civil war is brewing, and the novel explores the lives of four common folk—a former guardsman-turned-criminal, a handmaiden to a great lady, a Wasmer attempting to assimilate into human society, and a young innkeeper’s daughter with a gift—as they are caught up in the plotting and politicking of the powerful. Their stories end up intertwined as they struggle for survival in their own ways. I’m stealing the below from the back of the book because I’ll never be able to say it this well again:

“A story of love lost and family destroyed, of bigotry and belonging, of suffering and strength, and of religion and magic, Solace Lost grows from a character-driven tale to something grand in scale…”

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Solace Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #1)

Solace Lost (Pandemonium Rising, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Solace Lost by Michael Sliter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A brutally gripping story tinged with despair; Solace Lost is a character-driven grimdark fantasy debut that earned its title mercilessly.

Solace Lost is Michael Sliter’s debut; the first book out of five in the Pandemonium Rising series. Before I begin my review, I strongly urge that you read this novel only IF you’re a grimdark fantasy enthusiast. I don’t usually include content warnings in my review but I feel like this book truly warranted one; as it involved a minor spoiler, I’ll mention it at the end of my review.

The main story in Solace Lost follows four main characters: Fenrir, Merigold, Hafgan, and Emma. Ardia is on the brink of a civil war and these four distinctive characters will have their fates intertwined, for better or worse. As I mentioned before, this is utterly a character-driven story and its main strength lies mostly within the characterizations. Each main character has different personality traits, and the inner voices given by the author to these characters made them feel real. Living up to the grimdark genre, none of the main characters can simply be defined as good or bad. The only character that started out as good and kind-hearted was Merigold. That too, for only a while before atrocious things happened to her and she found her life completely turned upside down. I won’t go as far as saying that I loved these characters but I did find myself totally invested in knowing about their journeys. This was especially true for Fenrir and Merigold’s POVs; they dominated the plot of this book and I found their storyline to be the most engaging out of all the characters.

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