Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Crown For Cold Silver by Alex Marshall

4.5 / 5

Those who know me, know that I have a love for epic fantasy, especially gritty epic fantasy.  I have been reading "grimdark'" since before I even knew there was a name for the genre.  Fantasy is better for me when it has more Glen Cook and less fairy tale to it.

A Crown for Cold Silver delivers everything I love.  Machiavellian plots, brutal combat, and dark magic blend into a heady brew that I drank deep and eagerly of.  The world building is top notch here, and has a constant feel to it.  The characters are complex and fascinating.  While they may seem as fantasy stereotypes at first, we are quickly disabused of this notion, and for the better.  There development and motivations are well crafted. 

I mentioned Glen Cook earlier, and there is a reason for it.  Those of you who read the books of The Black Company will find a lot to enjoy here.  The world is familiar, but different, presented in a voice that is the authors alone.

The plot of the story is top notch, dealing with politics and warfare on a vast scale.  Our protagonist, thinking she left this world behind her 20 years ago, is dragged back into it with one brutal act.  As we are given more information, we are told of the dark forces that may have led to this event.  The wheels are in motion now though, and the inevitability of a disaster of cataclysmic proportions confronts us.  This book, book one in a series, ends with the unleashing of this horrifying event, and I now find myself eager for book two.

In summary, this is a great book.  It has bloodshed, darkness, betrayal, sorcery, sacrifice, demons, and sunken empires.  It also has a fair presentation of love and romance, and I would say love is a central theme of this book, but fitting with the nature of this story, it is love that comes with a cost, sometimes leading to the destruction of everything we hold dear.  I would highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy.  You will not be disappointed.

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