Friday, November 30, 2012

The Best Weapon by David Pilling and Martin Bolton (REVIEW)

While The Best Weapon is by no means light-hearted or humorous, I had a lot of fun with the tale that David Pilling and Martin Bolton spin. They managed to hook me right from the start, with a darkly surreal glimpse of two Lords of Hell, desperate to play out one last scheme in order to save their immortal skins. Their high-stakes game provides a unique frame for the story, adding a mythological element to the mortal struggles above.

Similarly, Pilling & Bolton deftly immerse us in two wildly different mortal cultures, introducing us to the demon-spawn half-brothers who must fight to attain a destiny of which they are unaware. The structure of each society - one very medieval, and one very savage - the ways in which they view their gods, and the role in which coming-of-age plays, all contribute to a level of world-building that is far above anything I would have expected.

The story moves along a good pace, with a narrative style that flows very nicely - not always an easy accomplishment when co-authors are involved. Naiyar and Fulk are both solid characters, well-developed, and unique from one another, despite their shared parentage. As we follow their individual journeys, we're treated to a pair of stories that could have worked well on their own, but which come together to form a story that's greater than merely the sum of its parts.

I am reluctant to say much about the plot, because I honestly think this is one of those books where the story needs to be discovered and revealed as you go. Not knowing where things are headed, or what form the climax will take, is an adventure all on its own. All I will say about the three storylines - for we cannot forget the Lords of Hell who started it all - is that they pay homage to the conventions of the fantasy genre, but are certainly not afraid to bend or even break those same rules.

If you're looking for something new, something fresh in the genre, then I heartily recommend giving this a read.

2 comments:

  1. Agreed, agreed, agreed. Wonderful book.

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  2. Bolton & Pilling ROCK! Two hot new talents in Fantasy!

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