In case you happen to be new around these parts, I do occasionally commit the fiction.
Arts of Dark and Light Book 1, A THRONE OF BONES:
I’ll never forget reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy one childhood summer. I was hooked on fantasy novels and read many series over the years. Eventually it started to get repetitive and I stopped reading the genre. After a long break, I read AsoIaF and found them interesting in that they were something different in the realm of fantasy stories. Although AsoIaF is a bit meandering and exhausting at times.
I have to say, A Throne of Bones really took it up a notch. The writing style has a nice precision to it, which I found refreshing. The battle scenes are the best I’ve ever read. I felt immersed in the battles from a strategic and tactical point of view. I wouldn’t have thought it until I read it, but Romans, Vikings, and a French monarchy set in a world with magic, elves, orcs, and such works flawlessly. The story has an excellent pace and never meanders.
This is a gem, and now I can’t wait to read A Sea of Skulls.
Thanks for a great book. So when is the mini-series?
Arts of Dark and Light Book 2, A SEA OF SKULLS:
Why did it take me so long to find Vox Day? What a great storyteller this man is, a grand master of multiverse chess.
After Summa Elvetica, I was hooked on this universe that Vox Day graciously shared with us all, the fantasy world of Tolkien creatures, the nobility and callousness of the Roman Republic and the grace and liveliness of the church as it might have been. It is a powerful mix, skillfully woven with terrific battle sequences and complex characters. In another review of his work, I mentioned the breadcrumb trails he leaves us in the past, in the characters and their relationships, in the objects that go from hand to hand and place to place. Day is the Master, with a deep understanding of the details of back stories and future lives of all the inhabitants and the reader is at his mercy, racing through the adventure at break neck speed.
There are no one-dimensional characters here. The prologue features a disturbing attack from the victims point of view and many chapters later, the same attack is remembered from the attackers point of view. We hear and see real human pain, but much later, we watch the orc trying to nurse his burned body back to use through his pain and fear. We see the humanity of a once enslaved dwarf and the inhumanity of ambitious men.
I’ve read some comments about this book that complain that it is nothing but filler material. I completely disagree. There is no great resolution offered in Book 2, but these characters matter more to me now, they have had their story lines filled out and are moving on to their great moment. Civilizations must fall in Book 3, but those Civilizations are fully fleshed now. The pieces are all on the board.
And the Grand Master of this universe will soon show us his great game.