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The Corpse-Rat King Paperback – 6 Sep 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,485,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

About the Author

Lee Battersby was born in Nottingham, UK, in 1970 and moved to Australia at the age of 5, bringing his parents with him for protection. A multiple award-winning author of over 70 short stories in Australia, the US and Europe, He writes across a wide range of forms, including poetry, reviews, stand-up comedy and film, and has taught writing for both Clarion South and the Australian Writers Marketplace. He lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby, and a brood of increasingly weird children. His long-running weblog, the Battersblog, is archived by Australia's National Library as an electronic source of log-term research value, which amuses him greatly. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
A weird fantasy starring a cynical conman who somehow gets confused with the kind of the dead. Marius's talks his way back to the world of the living by promising to bring the dead a new king, then tries to avoid fulfilling his vow. We get a lot of Marius's backstory, showing both his life and the history of his country. The twists and diversions are strange, unexpected and often comical, meaning that this doesn't feel like a typical fantasy.
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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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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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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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