Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes

Enjoyable hack and slash fantasy from an author I haven't read before. This tale of a band of unsavoury adventurers who somehow take on the job of saving the world from demons is heavy on blood thirsty combat but not so big on world building.  It is the first book of the Aeon's Gate trilogy so perhaps the world will be described more completely in the sequels. One noteworthy point is how closely the characters stick to D&D conventions. There is a mage who needs uninterrupted concentration to cast his devastating spells and who must rest after casting a few of them. There is a cleric who heals. There is a rogue who hides in the shadows and stabs his foes in the back. Despite these and more obvious stereotypes Sykes fleshes out his characters well with their own individual traits and quirks. Most of these quirks are genuinely nasty by the way. Don't come looking for unfettered heroic goodness in this story.

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