Pitting legend against myth and gods against men, David G Welsh's Key of Souls, book one of Legend Unborn, creates a well-imagined world peopled by an innocent, slightly drunken populace, where woodcarvers accidentally create a god. And that's the least of their problems.
University is for magicians, who seem to have accidentally forgotten their long-lost enemy might revive. Forests are for wandering, and a lonely eagle, scared of heights, lurks in the undergrowth. Quests are for redemption.
Chapters switch scenes rapidly but the reader always knows, it's coming together, trouble's brewing, and somehow everyone's bound to escape because the characters are much too much fun for the author to throw them away.
Some misplaced and mischosen words marred the copy I read, but I'm sure they'll be fixed. The story itself is fun enough and intriguing enough to carry the reader through slips and, while English swear-words will probably keep it out of the hands of the youngest, in the style of "not-middle-earth" the book's well-written and well-planned for our modern, slightly cynical age.
The scorned and rejected of the world, failed wizards, flightless birds, and aimless knife-throwers, all band together under the power of some unseen hand. While gods debate mis-filed forms and mis-filled applications the world's falling apart; only these mis-fits can put it back together. Magical battles with monsters and demons ensue. Talking staffs, talking birds, and workers of all stations speak with delightfully rendered English accents and humor... "that's just bloody lovely that, isn't it?"
The novel builds, in its various paths, to several exciting conclusions, then leaves the reader eager for Volume2. Change is coming, and change is not always good. But the reading's fun.
Disclosure: I met the author on facebook and bought a copy of his book. Meanwhile he bought a copy of mine--the kindness of strangers!