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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Dirge of the Dead is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy subgenre and is the latest installment in the Baku trilogy. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by author Reed Logan Westgate. The book continues the story of Xlina Dar’Karrow as she comes to terms with her grief. The demon Valeria, to which she is bound, leads her on a perilous journey that shows her a possible future should her resolve fail. As forces of good and evil conspire to take ownership of Amber’s soul following her death, the fate of Amber depends on how far Xlina is willing to go to save her.
This was a gorgeously dense and intense experience to read as the dark themes of the story constantly swirled around Xlina, always ready to consume her should the grief win and her resolve fail. Author Reed Logan Westgate has done some incredible world-building with this trilogy and the lore continues to be developed and grow throughout this installment. Perhaps more impressive than the world that has been created here is the skillful prose used to bring it all to life, with each passage of descriptive writing bringing the dark fantasy world to vivid life in front of my very eyes. Where Dirge of the Dead succeeds most, however, is in the characterization of Xlina and the individuals vying to control her fate. Everyone in this story feels fully developed and wonderfully realized, each character contributing a great deal to the broader tapestry that is the complete story.