I’m a big fan of Larry Correia’s books in general, so when I had the opportunity to snag his upcoming epic fantasy book, the first of a new series, I bought it with little hesitation.
I’ll note here that I read an electronic Advanced Reader Copy (eARC) through Baen’s website. So I’m not going to comment on grammar or editing issues, I’m just going to talk the story.
This is a solid book. Larry Correia has created a deep world with complex issues. I’ll say right here that it is not a world I would want to live in. It is a world filled with petty tyrants, a caste system restrictive enough to get violators killed, and an overreaching bureaucracy that tries to control everything and only seems to succeed in making peoples lives miserable.
Into this world are cast a number of characters. Some good, some bad, some heroic with tragic flaws and others self-interested yet still willing to help others out. The main character is very remenicent of Agent Franks from Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series and even more so of his Clan Crab character from his Legend of the Five Rings RPG write-up. Ashok Vadal is as much of a weapon as the sword he carries. Yet underneath that, something troubles him, dreams and visions of things that make no sense to him. He fights evil unquestioningly, until something forces him to reexamine what evil really means.
The entire book is a great read. Lots of action and adventure and just enough world-building spread in so that you get the grasp of a full, living world, without getting bogged down in the details. I highly recommend it.
Publisher’s Blurb: After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Yet as centuries passed, Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The Age of Law began.
Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war—and destruction.