*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I have to deeply thank NetGalley and The Mage’s Lantern (the publisher) for granting me early access to this book in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is an adult dark fantasy novel about Tristan de Merlon and a group of his former war comrades, who discovered a cave just before going back home that contained some strange trinkets that would later show strange powers on their bearers.
Even though this book is character driven, I thought the plot was nicely threaded and clearly showed the logic order of events even though we don’t only have current events, but also remembrances from some characters that would allow us to understand certain reasons or the logic for specific behaviours they portrayed. There was an initial confusion every time a memory started, but it was the same feeling as when a dream starts or you’ve just woken up and it takes you a couple of moments to adjust to the new reality and comprehend which one you’re in.
Characters, although some of them were somehow supernatural, were quite relatable. Most of them had their personalities ups and downs, which is generally true for people. We’re full of contradictions, at least in most cases, which makes us human. There’s good and bad, evil and purity in all of us; we decide where to focus each minute of our lives. Just one character stands out for pure goodness, which confirms the rule by showing there’s an exception.
The amount of characters could seem overwhelming, but I never felt lost or needed to go back to clarify some differences. They all expressed themselves in a particular way and you always knew who was talking, also having distinct personalities.
It would seem to much talk about our characters, but trust me, there’s a lot to say.
Some of them made me feel like reading A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, or watching the series. The curious aspect of this is that I was on a live interview with the author right when this book was released (yeap, I read it ages ago and hadn’t written the review because I was not ready yet to publish it on my channel) and he stated he has not even watched an episode of those series or read the books! I couldn’t believe that as I read. The similarities among some of his characters and some of those in GOT are shocking, so who knows where the inspiration came from.
Now, I just had an issue with this book, that I’m not yet sure it be such. The sense of humour was sexist and aggressive. I’m still not sure if this was linked to those who were negatively influenced by the trinkets -these made them turn evil and not care for others whatsoever- or if the author found it funny, which would worry me.
The writing style, in general, made things conversational -so, quick- or allowed the reader to vividly imagine the scenes. I actually had a constant sense of needing the film ASAP.
If you like cinematic dark fantasy that’s character driven but has a solid plot, this book is for you. I highly recommend it!
Please, take good care of yourself.