Monday, 2 November 2015

Book Review - Evil Never Dies by Rick Haynes

I'm not a great reader of fantasy these days, in my youth I was an avid fantasy reader but not so much now. In part that's because the books can be bloated and in need of a good trimming and I'm pleased to report that this isn't the case here. I'm familiar with the author's short fiction and he exhibits some quality writing, so I thought I'd give  his debut novel a try.

For a first novel this is very good. The overall tale might seem familiar to any fan of heroic fantasy, but it's told here in well paced and punchy fashion that keeps you glued to the page. What I liked here was the author keeping on track and not falling into the trap of digressing simply to expand on the world. I liked the feel of interaction from the gods in the story - it's mostly low key but very classical Greek in their personal involvement and meddling.

The world building is good, but secondary to the characters and their tribulations. It's full of action which is told in a believable fashion. There's also a lot of consideration for the impact the conflict has on the character's lives. In style it's very reminiscent of David Gemmel with an easy to slip into world and plenty of excitement, balanced with some reflection.

The one off-note for me was the principal villain. He is suitably evil, but on occasion he felt a little flat compared to the more rounded heroes (who aren't all squeaky clean). It's a major problem as he does provide an effective opponent.

There are a few rough edges to the book, buy compared to the talent on display they are all minor and for a debut novel this is good stuff. Well worth a read if you enjoy a fantasy tale with mixed heroes and dark evil.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

The Maxilla are a peaceful clan but when rumours of dark magic arrive in their land for the second time in a decade, can they survive the latest threat from Myracadonis, the shaman?

Tarn is ordered to lead the Maxilla into battle for the first time, but a man with the mark of greatness will always have enemies. Grona hates everyone, including his son, Tarn. Both are destined to be heroes yet only one can stand before the gates of hell and win.

Click here to buy Evil Never Dies from Amazon (and it's a decent fantasy novel)

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