Top positive review
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A universe of might and magic!
on 14 February 2017
In general, I try to bounce between fantasy and science fiction. Having read Seveneves, a high scifi book if there ever was one, I was keen to get my teeth into some hard core fantasy once again. More, though, I wanted something that I have hungered for over the many years of journeying through fantastical realms: deep plot a la Game of Thrones; great battles in the manner of Wheel of Time; and high magic.
Not just the fannying around of Harry Potter or the limited effort of the Belgariad ... or even the not bad but no cigar incantations of the Riftwar sagas. I am talking the full-on physics of magic full of gods, prophecies, demons, spells, magical items, less than enchanting monsters, and mad religions. A search through my fellow Fantasyophile scribblings on the Internet and I had a scent of something in that vein - the Malazan Book of the Fallen.
A multi-book series is a serious investment in time, money, and emotion ... and always in danger (however remote) of being cast aside in favour of the next Game of Thrones installment (ahem!) but nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say, so I purchased this first book and began to read.
Immediately pulled in by the wonderful history of the novels and the project itself. Being an author myself (I'm sure I may have mentioned this before!), I found Steven's comments and insights both fascinating and insightful, giving me a renewed vigour in pursuit of my own fame and fortune.
So onto the book.
Wonderful! It is everything I wanted; everything that my Internet searching had promised. Thrown straight into a massive battle in the middle of a planet spanning war with battle mages, demons, and even a floating fortress. Game on!
Then it just got better and better. A clever magic system nodding towards some serious hours spent in AD&D adolesence provides the essential foundation on which a universe where gods, magic, and mortals can exist in isolation and in intersection. Characters that are deep and well drawn, separate in their own histories and motivations come together within a maelstrom of politics, loyalty, greed, desperation, and love. The patter between the characters actually reminded me of the chat between the soldiers of Sven Hassel's writing: natural, cutting, and disarmingly funny.
I purchased the second book a hundred pages from the end of the first, just in case I was somewhere off-grid when I finished it. If that isn't a recommendation, I don't know what is.
I don't often give five star recommendations but this is what I'm going to give this book. If you love fantasy, you must read this book!
Author of the Folio 55 series: the first 2 books available on Amazon.