Release Date: 14/06/15
Publisher: Tor/Pan Macmillan
The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god - and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind - in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures. But there is dissent. One king won't answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse. Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war. And his choices may reshape a world.
OK, after a recent set of books that left me feeling a bit disappointed when I opened this title I really found myself not only immersed into a world of adventure but one where I just loved the careful world-building that had gone into it. The use of magic was wonderfully creative, the manipulation of circumstances delightful and when you throw in not only action sequences but a character who is trying to halt war by using brains over brawn all round goes on to make this a read that was hard to put down.
Back this up with a subtle grey scale tone over all (rather than it being plain black and white) left me feeling that this delightful book was a bright light in the fantasy stakes and is a novel that readers should sit down and take notice of. Finally back this up with great prose, solid storytelling as well as cracking dialogue as well as characters that I wanted to spend more time with all round left me feeling more than happy as the final page turned. I can’t wait to return in the future. Cracking.