The Dusk Watchman (The Twilight Reign #5) by Tom Lloyd - Book Review

Write on: Tue, 29 Mar 2022 by  in Al's Reviews Read 810

You know how sometimes on social media people ask us to name our favourite underrated book or series? The Twilight Reign is mine. While not every book in a series is created equally, this was a blast throughout, following a master plan to a satisfying end. This review is somewhat about the final book, but mostly about the series. 

Disclaimer - I read this in September 2020, so forgive me if I’m a little hazy on some of the details. Also, I’ve been reading the series for the last 15 years or so.

So, what’s it all about?

The problem with a five-book series is narrowing it down, so try these, although they don’t even come close:

  • A boy and his dog go on an adventure
  • A group of friends go on an adventure
  • A band of soldiers have their bond hardened through the horrors of war
  • Nations must come together to defeat the greatest enemy they have ever faced
  • Mortals must challenge the gods to preserve their way of life.

Pick one. They all fit, even the wishy-washy ones, but none are perfect, so we’ll move on.

Is it any good?

It is great. Not all the books are equal, but they are all worth a read as each plays a role in the big finale. I think book three is my favourite, but with longer series, it’s akin to having a favourite chapter. Isak, the main character, is a white eye, a genetic “deformity” that gives him great size and strength but also inspires hatred and fear in others, especially his father. The first book leads him to become heir to a kingdom, but his real purpose is far greater. Along the way, Isak is constantly pulled through the wringer but somehow maintains his path. The loyalties of his friends and foes switch often, many you (well, I didn’t) won’t see coming. Lloyd draws on a large repertoire of British mythology to fill out his world, so while the names may sound familiar, they are changed enough to appear new. The world itself is brutal, with warring factions on all sides, sometimes within the same boundaries, and the level of destruction is on a continental, if not a global, scale. 

But wait! This all sounds very bleak and horrific, and it is. But war is bleak and horrific, yet the stories of the people and their efforts to come through in times like these shine through. Isak is the beleaguered hero of beleaguered heroes, yet some of his actions will anger even his biggest fans. His friend, King Emin, is a noble royal, yet he knows that sometimes dirty deeds must be done to save the day and has his own secret army for such missions. Every faction has its motivations - there are no real boo-hiss bad guys here - at least in my opinion. If you want a light and fluffy series, this is probably not for you. If you want a dark but ultimately rewarding series, then I heartily recommend The Twilight Reign. Also, any book with an awesome dog deserves praise.


An epic end to an epic series.

  • Format: Paperback  (details for The Dusk Watchman)
  • Obtained from: Purchased
  • Print length: 615 pages (pb)
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • ISBN: 9780575084995 



Last modified on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 22:14
Al Burke

Al has written, among other things, a fantasy novel, theses on morality and freedom, a hell of a lot of book reviews and covered football (as in gridiron) for many years. He's a fan of philosophy, mythology, and generally anything considered nerdy. He also writes book reviews on