|Bevan McGuiness is a writer new to me, although he has had
published six novels, in two trilogies, featuring the very long-lived necromancer
Sondelle. Revenant is the sixth novel and completes the second
trilogy set in the eleven kingdoms. I had to read that title twice because I
misread it the first time and for a few pages laboured under the illusion I was reading a
series set in the elven [sic] kingdoms.
really the story of Sondelles Slave, a person so much a creature of Sondelle he has
no name of his own and is simply referred to by all and sundry as Slave, and a friendly
acquaintance Keshik two highly skilled and almost equally matched warriors. These
two, plus a cast of supporting characters and bit players, attempt to rid the world of two
mutually opposed but almost co-vivant revenants; beings stuck in an aeons long
dysfunctional relationship that has gone way past the murder-while-sleeping phase.
Being the third book in the current cycle, I fully expected to find Revenant
difficult to get into, confusing even; but it is a tribute to Mr McGuinesss writing
that after the briefest of scene setting chapters I was able to pick up the threads of the
story with the least of difficulty.
The front cover of Revenant has a quote likening Bevan
McGuinesss style to that of David Gemmell and Joe Abercrombie (two big names in the
swords-and-mayhem style of fantasy) but sadly I am unfamiliar with the works of either of
these authors so cannot attest to the veracity or otherwise of the quote. What I can say
is that Revenant was an action rich, proper page-turner of a book,
which made it a really fun read.
While this book would not claim to be a cordon bleu of a dish, I can comfortably say
that by extension of the metaphor Revenant is a well prepared chow
mein or fried rice. I found it an excellent place to start with the writings of Bevan
McGuiness. I invite you to sample his works too.