Tuesday, 30 March 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: Farlander - Col Buchanan


The Heart of the World is a land in strife. For fifty years the Holy Empire of Mann, an empire and religion born from a nihilistic urban cult, has been conquering nation after nation. Their leader, Holy Matriarch Sasheen, ruthlessly maintains control through her Diplomats, priests trained as subtle predators.

The Mercian Free Ports are the only confederacy yet to fall. Their only land link to the southern continent, a long and narrow isthmus, is protected by the city of Bar-Khos. For ten years now, the great southern walls of Bar-Khos have been besieged by the Imperial Fourth Army.

Ash is a member of an elite group of assassins, the Rōshun - who offer protection through the threat of vendetta. Forced by his ailing health to take on an apprentice, he chooses Nico, a young man living in the besieged city of Bar-Khos. At the time, Nico is hungry, desperate, and alone in a city that finds itself teetering on the brink.

When the Holy Matriarch’s son deliberately murders a woman under the protection of the Rōshun; he forces the sect to seek his life in retribution. As Ash and his young apprentice set out to fulfil the Rōshun orders – their journey takes them into the heart of the conflict between the Empire and the Free Ports . . . into bloodshed and death.


Murder, vengeance and honour are the hallmarks for this offering from debut author Col Buchanan as his adventure carefully entwines the reader into his web in an almost Gemmellesque opening sequence.
Cunningly constructed, this title takes the reader from the frozen lands into a world where honour is everything regardless of the cost in either collateral damage or politically. Enchanting as well as spellbinding the author allows the reader to draw a lot of the landscape themselves with spartan descriptive pieces keeping to the meat of the tale with a protagonist that you just have to get behind in a world of greys. Top that up with some cracking dialogue and it’s a tale for all. I really can’t wait to see what happens in Col’s next offering.

No comments: