*I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I’m leaving a voluntary review*
Probably going to spoil this for you – but I don’t care, ’cause this was awesome!
Plot: Mythical horrors are coming to the village of Sunmer, and the mutated villagers there have to defend themselves.
Longer plot: Hidden (yes, this is a name of one of the villagers), comes across a papilier, or at least what he thinks is a papilier, and bring it back to his village, Sunmer. His fears are confirmed, it is a papilier, a horrifying, shapeshifting creature, that can’t die. Well they can, and they kill it, but it takes four of the strongest villagers, cutting it to pieces, burning it and burying it, to get rid of it. But it’s too late. If the papilier has come, this means the Dark of Winter is coming, again. What happend to the village of Baern years ago, is happening again, and the myths are true, history is repeating itself. Bearn was levelled to the ground, disappearing in a large storm, nothing but a crater left. It was said demons came, killing the men, eating the young, and now, with the existence of the papilier, the demons are real.
At the same time, Vaconius is leading part of King Fialsun’s army North, to destroy Sunmer, and kill the mythical hero Threecuts, at the King’s command.
Let me just get this out there, and I don’t usually do this, but this gets five stars from me. This was absolutely fantastic! This is the kind of dark, epic, gritty fantasy, where the winds have names, and you really get a sense of cold, horrible, dread. This book has one of the most emotional deaths I’ve read in ages, and I was literally sitting there whispering ‘no no no!’
I loved the originality of it, there are lots of weird creatures and people, yet there are no elves, dwarves, trolls, ogres, orcs, centaurs, or anything I’ve ever read about before. The universe, the world, the people, the thing they do, say, and think, was so beautifully written. And it’s so clever! There’s a variety of little subplots, some of which I’d really forgotten about, and didn’t really care about, but it all came together in the end, ALL of it. The ending was great, I really loved it, because it’s not the stereotypical, ‘good-guy-wins’ type of deal. (Don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled it for you).
I caught myself thinking, that this reads like a mix of The Hobbit and Orcs by Stan Nichols. Definitely one of my favourite recent reads, and I seriously highly recommend it to anyone fan of dark, epic, fantasy! Really, if you’re ever going to take my advice, do it now.