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The Corpse-Rat King Paperback – 6 Sep 2012

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (6 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857662864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857662866
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A stunning debut novel, well-crafted and grotesquely inventive. With its madcap story, unforgettable characters and fine balance between humour and pathos, The Corpse-Rat King ticks all the boxes. Fans of Joe Abercrombie will love this. Juliet Marillier, award-winning author of the Sevenwaters series and Bridei's Chronicles --Juliet Marillier, award-winning author of the Sevenwaters series and Bridei's Chronicles

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
Fantasy has always been a genre that I return to time and again, I get what I want whether it's a hero vanquishing evil or an adventure with a group bent upon a specific task and sometimes, very rarely, I find something that's very different to other titles out there.

Such is the case with Lee Battersby's new title. It's quirky, has a cracking lead Anti-Hero and to be honest is a book that whilst generating what readers love, also has time to poke fun at itself with the principle character giving the readers the same chain of thoughts that they'd perhaps come up with themselves in the characters situation.

Add to this some very tight prose, a wonderful sense of pace and an author who let the tale develop organically all the while whilst our hero seeks to deal with the enormous task that he's been given. Finally add to the mix a title that was nigh impossible to put down and as a reader I was immensely satisfied and hope that Lee has more in mind for Marius. Just don't expect to get up too early the next day if you started this very late.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hannah @ My Book Journey on 17 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Marius de Hellespont is a liar, cheat, thief and witty charmer. A little like Jack Sparrow, he seems to always land on his feet no matter what ridiculous situation he ends up in. And trust me, he ends up in a number of bizarre and unexpected circumstances, and usually on the wrong end of the law or moral compass. Particularly because he is now dead. Marius' initial response to his situation and duty to find a new king was to run away, and it makes him seem as cowardly and pathetic as you would expect a looter of the dead to be. Whilst his character developed and grew throughout the book, making Marius a just-about likable character, his daring, cunning and unreprehensible behaviour really made the story.

At first the writing tended towards the over descriptive, which sometimes slowed the plot down with its tangential diversions. But further into the book, the plot, dialogue and wit improved by bounds and had me chuckling away. In fact the story reminded me a little of the madcap adventures that befall Voltaire's character Candide in his book of the same name. Both plots have a philosophical bent to them and involve a series of rather absurd adventures and mishaps.

Although some of the secondary characters could have benefitted from a little more fleshing out to avoid them feeling one dimensional, my favourite character was King Nandus, who had a slightly strange (and possibly inappropriate) affection for horses. Found in the underwater wreck of his groundbreaking ship, the skeletal form of Nandus unfortunately takes on a few too many horse-like qualities, which made the story both humorous and endearing. The fact that the poor man didn't even realise the truth of his situation made it all the more pitiful and comical.
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Format: Paperback
One of the books signed out of last year's inaugural Angry Robot Open Door Month - and a book picked by Amanda Rutter, whose taste rarely leads me wrong - Lee Battersby's The Corpse-Rat King was always going to be of interest to me. Add to that the rather awesome cover and an interesting synopsis and you could be sure I would be along for the ride. Unfortunately, my ride wasn't as smooth as I could have wished. Partly this is completely due to my own head space: when I started this book I wasn't in the best place to focus on reading due to personal circumstances. But partly it was due to the book itself: I had a hard time connecting to the main character and the middle of the book left me a bit muddled.

To start with that first complaint, Marius was a hard character to come to grips with. I usually have no problem connecting to less than morally virtuous, I got along great with Mark Lawrence's Jorg, so the fact that Marius is a bit of an unpleasant character to start with - sacrificing your less-than-talented apprentice so you can escape with your life is usually frowned upon in civilised circles - shouldn't have been a problem, but I found it hard to connect with him. It was hard to get a sense of him and it was only after about a third of the book that I suddenly noticed I did actually care what happened to Marius; he'd slowly gotten under my skin. And in fact, by the end of the book I was sad to say goodbye to Marius and was glad to learn there's more of his story to come in next year's The Marching Dead.

Some of Battersby's other characters, such as Marius' apprentice Gerd and Kings Nandus and Scorbus are far easier to like and especially in the latter half of the story the dialogues between the different characters and Marius had me snorting out loud.
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By DeanoDury on 20 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An entertaining book, with an unusual plot, rich descriptions and a good blend of pace, humour and action.
If you like a Joe Abercrombie feel but with no politics and and dash of silly humour as well as the dark humour you'll like this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Didn't grab me 16 Sept. 2013
By BellaChica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

The first few pages of this book introduces you to the protagonist Marius dos Hellespont and you realize, hey this guy is a real jerk. So with this is mind, you read how Marius is on a quest to find a new King for the dead.

Marius turns out to be nothing but a pampered spoiled brat with too much money and time on his hands. Ungrateful of what he has, he resorts to being a con artist. You know the purpose of the novel is Marius's redemption but, I'm not sure as a reader I really cared.

Aside from being ambivalent regarding the main character, I found the writing of the novel to be laborious with scenes that seemed to drag on.

I didn't totally hate the book and it did have a few (and I mean a few) humorous moments but it just didn't grab me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A one man show 20 Nov. 2013
By Shane Tiernan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really had high hopes for this book. I read the summary and thought it sounded really original and like a fun romp through a fantasy landscape. I bought it new which I don't do often AND instead of putting it on my TBR shelf with over 100 other books I left it laying on my desk so I was sure I would read it "next".

Unfortunately, I read it next and didn't really enjoy it all that much. The writing was good,it's definitely funny, very gritty and fairly original in it's ideas, but for 80% of it there's only one character. That, to me, made it feel like a young adult novel and it also made it kind of boring.

The main character is a scumbag who gets a little nicer through the book but he never became someone I was really routing for.

Also there was an intense ending hinted at about half way through the book that ended up being kinda non-intense and just no big deal.

I wouldn't write off Mr. Battersby completely but this one didn't really do it for me.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Kept waiting for something that never came. 19 Jan. 2013
By Marine 1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book has a really interesting premise but I believe the author thoroughly failed in capitalizing on it. The protagonist is flat. He's not really good or bad which is fine but throughout the novel he never faces any problems that challenge him to have any personal growth or internal conflict. He is flat static and ultimately boring and predictable. I had a really hard time caring about him and what happened to him. The interesting premise and sometimes hilarious situations that the protagonist sometimes finds himself in are not enough redeeming qualities to change the fact that this book is just slow, boring and never feels like it's going anywhere.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good idea, weak execution. 17 Jan. 2013
By Emily Lind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Based on the synopsis, I really wanted to love this book. Sadly, for me, it fell a little short. It's not a terrible book, by any means. There's some interesting stuff in here and some genuinely fun and funny moments. But overall, it just really seemed to drag on. For all the action that was happening, in the end, I was left feeling that there wasn't much to the book at all.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Certainly not your normal quest 2 Sept. 2012
By Timothy C Allison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Marius don Hellespont is a liar, thief, pickpocket, corpse robber. He's not a nice man. He's given the task of finding a king by the angry dead. This is his story as he tries to escape this quest and the curse that the dead have laid upon him.

The Corpse-Rat King is exciting, horrific, and at times hilarious. Battersby does an excellent job embracing both the horror elements inherent in the story as well as the turning this quest into a series of comic misadventures.

There's a sense of fairytale logic to Marius' story. We aren't sure exactly what the dead do to Marius, or how it works. He can eat, but doesn't seem to need to breathe. He doesn't seem to decay, yet is recognized as one of the living dead by those to see him. He can communicate with the dead, but there's no explanation of how or why this works.

Your reaction to Marius' story may depend on what you look for in a protagonist. For me, it's difficult when I don't see any redeemable features to a character. Grey hats are fine, and often preferable, but they need to have a spark of "good" for me to be really interested. Marius just wasn't compelling for me. I kept waiting for him to show some signs of personal growth through his troubles, but that moment never came. I realized that I didn't care if he was tortured by the angry dead.
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