Welcome to the world of Deepgate, a city suspended by chains over a vast and mysterious chasm. Only after you have lived your life and died will you find what lies underneath Deepgate at the bottom of the abyss. The religion of Deepgate tells its people that they will find peace when your body is thrown or `sent' to the bottom of the pit where the God Ulcis waits with the noble souls of the dead to greet you. But is this true...? Are the priests or `Presbyters' hiding something? In death do the people of Deepgate find peace when they are cast into the pit? Or for thousands of years has the religion of this chained city been based simply on a myth...? That is what, Rachael, an assassin - known to Deepgate citizens as a Spine - is going to find out whether she likes it or not. Rachael has sworn to protect Dill, a teenage angel descended from a holy bloodline and together driven by a quest to save the city, of Deepgate they must travel deep into the abyss and face Ulcis if they want to succeed in their task. Will the creatures that they have been told are their enemies truly be their adversaries, or will the men they have been taught to respect and admire be their greatest threat...?
Scar Night, is a first novel written by Alan Campbell and also the first volume in the Deepgate Codex and it is a terrific start to what promises to become a thrilling saga. However, you can tell that the author has been heavily influenced by other fantasy classics, such as Gormenghast. Like Gormenghast, if you don't stick with it, Scar Night can be a little bit hard to get into. At the beginning of the book, so many characters are introduced and their role in the city is described in such detail that some readers may get a bit confused or frustrated. However, just stick with it because this is the only criticism I would have of this novel. After you get past this minor hurdle and into the story, the book and characters come alive, and you will empathise with Deepgate's heroes and shudder at the malevolence of Deepgate's villains.
In sum, Scar Night is an excellent first book and will leave you, after a slightly slow start waiting with great anticipation for the next instalment of the saga. The book also has some brilliant one-liners as well, all of which will bring a smile to your face along your trek through a great adventure.