Thursday, 5 November 2009

FANTASY REVIEW: The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart - Jesse Bullington

In the plague-wracked and devil-haunted darkness of Medieval Europe, an elite few enjoy opulent lives while the majority eke out a miserable existence in abject poverty. Hungry creatures stalk the deep woods and desolate mountains, and both sea and sky teem with unspeakable horrors. For those ill-fated masses not born into wealth, life is but a vicious trial to be endured before the end of days. Hegel and Manfried Grossbart could give a toss. Being of low birth means little, after all, when the riches of the mighty wait just inside the next crypt. The grave-robbing twins know enough about crusading to realise that if one is to make a living from the dead, what better destination than the fabled tomb-cities of Egypt? But the Brothers Grossbart are about to discover that all legends have their truths, and worse fates than death await those who would take the red road of villainy ...

As a huge reader of up and coming authors alongside authors seeking to make a mark, they have to do something special to get their names not only known but promoted. So, when this offering landed I was attracted instantly to the image on the cover that had that old world woodcut feeling. What unfurled within blended the best of medieval folklore with magic alongside characters that are so evil that you really look forward to seeing them get their comeuppance. Whilst I avoided the news about the battle of the publishers you can see why it got such acclaim as it not only kept me reading but also allowed me to have a stormy night of reading pleasure tucked up in my duvet as the heavens torrentially rained down. If you want spartan description, cracking prose and a tale with the stuff of legends then this is going to be a must own. Great stuff.

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