Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Monarchies of God

I picked up Hawkood's Voyage by Paul Kearney on a whim and I must say I wish I had more whims like this. I didn't know what to expect from this novel and thought that the blurb had sounded interesting with the usual things, war, political intrigue and adventuring to be had.
Well, once I started I found it difficult to stop. Kearney's style would be familiar to fans of David Gemmell but there is still enough to make his writing unique to him. Like Gemmell, Kearney's characters are living and breathing in the world he has created for them. Also like Gemmell there is a gritty feel to the world Kearney describes. Decisions have consequences, and they aren't always pleasant. Also fights are presented in a real style, where people can be seriously injured or killed, rather than feeling that the main characters will escape without a scratch.

Enough about that though, lets have a look at the story itself. Kearney's world is one beset by enemies within, and without. From the east the Marduks (think Saracens) are slowly invading the Western Kingdoms (think Christian Europe), while the Inceptine's (think Inquisition) are rooting out heretics within the Kingdoms. Into this mess one King decides to support a voyage to cross the Great Western Ocean and see what is on the other side.

Kearney drops you into the middle of the action, and it doesn't let up, whether it's political scheming or adventuring. There is so much to like about this book, and I hope the rest of the series (called The Monarchies of God) manages to continue in the same vein. I'm looking forward to finishing it, and then reading more by Kearney.

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