The last time I posted one of those was in 2017!
But the series is still alive! I actually decided to read a couple of samples today, because I feel a bit picky. So here we go:
If you pick a fight with Shroud, Lord of the Dead, you had better ensure your victory, else death will mark only the beginning of your suffering.
A book giving its wielder power over the dead has been stolen from a fellowship of mages that has kept the powerful relic dormant for centuries. The thief, a crafty, power-hungry necromancer, intends to use the Book of Lost Souls to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artifact at all cost.
However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed. Among them is a reluctant Guardian who is commissioned by the Emperor to find the stolen Book, a troubled prince who battles enemies both personal and political, and a young girl of great power, whose past uniquely prepares her for an encounter with Shroud. The greatest threat to each of their quests lies not in the horror of an undead army but in the risk of betrayal from those closest to them. Each of their decisions comes at a personal cost and will not only affect them, but also determine the fate of their entire empire.
The first of an epic swords & sorcery fantasy series, Marc Turner’s When the Heavens Fall features gritty characters, deadly magic, and meddlesome gods
Okay, so this starts with a ‘Dramatis Personae’. It’s not as long, but I was still reminded of ‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’ by Steven Erikson. It also features gods among humans & magicians, so I got Malazan-vibes for sure!
We seem to get a couple of pov characters – I’ve met only 3 in the sample, but they definitely seem interesting. One is an ex-member of an order called the Guardians, one a high priestess and one I only met briefly is a prince who hears voices in his head. So this is how the prince looks like to me from now on:
I like it & want to hear more! The story seems to be straight-forward and even though there’s a bunch of characters and lots of political turmoil, wars & fights for power, everyone is following a common threat. A powerful book, the book of lost souls, has been stolen and now everyone wants it. And everyone has their own agenda. So far the swordfighter/ex-Guardian is on a mission to get it – together with two others he hasn’t met yet. One is a mage though and I like mages. Also, the high priestess is getting involved although her godess, the Spider, wants the book to stay in the hands of the thief. I don’t know what the prince is up to, apart from hearing voices, but I will soon find out because I will definitely read on.
It’s a YES for me!
The war is over, and army priest Tomas Piety heads home with Sergeant Bloody Anne at his side. But things have changed while he was away: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg–his people–have run out of food and hope and places to hide. Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his with help from Anne, his brother, Jochan, and his new gang: the Pious Men. But when he finds himself dragged into a web of political intrigue once again, everything gets more complicated.
As the Pious Men fight shadowy foreign infiltrators in the back-street taverns, brothels, and gambling dens of Tomas’s old life, it becomes clear:
The war is only just beginning.
Also starts with ‘Dramatis Personae’.
This is different though. It’s grimdark & if you don’t like swearing, f*cks & c-bombs, stay away! Also, we hear about attempted rape twice already. It’s a bleak world. I’m not sure whether I need this right now. It IS a mercenary group though and I always enjoy the banter. Maybe one day, but for now I will not consider it.
It’s a PROBABLY ANOTHER TIME^^
Have you read any of the books?