Ahoy there me mateys! It was the cover of this standalone novel featured on Drew’s blog, that originally drew me to this book. Feast yer eyes on it:
This book involves an un-aging and self-healing magic stone golem named Task who has been a slave for four hundred years with only one purpose. Death. With a new war comes a new master. Task has been purchased by the losing side in a civil war. But this war feels different. Ye see Task was inadvertently given something resembling feelings when he was created. But waging continuous war on behalf of the “skinbags” has made him apathetic and numb. But an unusual master and the subsequent events of the war begin to draw Task’s begrudging attention . . .
The characterization in this book was wondrous. There be three characters in particular that I adored:
- Task – I loved this golem. He is cynical, perceptive, and tortured. I loved seeing the world through his non-human eyes. I love watching him bend and change. Plus his magic is cool.
- Lesky – She is a plucky, resourceful stable girl who has landed very hard on the bad side of life. I loved her wit, tenacity, and her worldly wisdom passed down from her mom. I was rooting for her the whole time.
- Alabast Flint – He came to fame by slaying a dragon and has been tasked with hunting down and killing the golem. He is a drunken, self-serving reprobate who ye love to hate. But redemption may be his.
The juxtaposition of these three characters was a delight. While war may be the overarching theme, the relationships were the heart of the story. Though the plot is slow-moving, it was following these evolving relationships that avidly kept me attention.
That said, I enjoyed the politics of the story. There were many times where the plot took a turn I wasn’t expecting. I especially liked how it was usually hard to pick a side in the conflict. I thought the bad guys were both interesting and nuanced. And I actually loved the ending. All in all, I am glad I picked this one up and be interested in exploring the author’s other works. The chasing graves trilogy about ghosts sounds cool. Arrr!
Side note: Check out Matey Drew @ thetattooedbookgeek’s author interview! Gotta love his zany interviewing style.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Mercenary. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.
Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.
Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.
Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.
Every fighter faces his final fight. Even one made of stone.
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