Saturday, February 25, 2012

Corvis Rebaine makes Batman look like a nun.

Last week I picked up The Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell and I really enjoyed the book. There were times where it seemed to drag a bit, especially with all the flashback scenes, but they did a great job of filling the reader in on the significance of a lot of the details.

I loved the way Marmell wrote his hero in this book. He was truly a dark anti-hero. The story begins near the end of a war that Rebaine had waged against the land and suddenly decided to abandon.

Rebaine, a man known mostly as The Terror of the East, was indeed a ruthless, frighteningly, downright dark as hell warlord. While his name alone, well actually the title he was given, was enough to send many a brave man running to the darkest hole they could find to hide in, those left to face him found themselves trembling at the sight of him. Standing tall in his black steel armor, plated with bone, with a helm that look so much like an evil skull atop his shoulders and a magically enchanted battle axe at his side, I believe many a foe surely died from fright alone.

After he abandons the reign of terror he had inflicted on the land, we next find him 17 years later, a simple man, with a wife, 2 children and a small garden that he farms to feed his family. A man of peace and quiet, he has long forgotten his dubious past. Well, he had pushed the memories aside..until his family is attacked and threatened. There's a new warlord, with his own style of terrorizing armor and magically imbued weapons and skills that is picking up where the Terror left off. He follows Rebaine's example so well that some even wonder if it is him. Even after 17 years of silence, the thought of the Terror of the East marching the battlefield still drives men mad with fear. Corvis wants no part of this new war, but the new warlord needs him to fight. So, to protect his family, and also the nation he tried to conquer, Corvis, now a simple farmer nearly 2 decades past his prime, must dust off his armor, don his terrifying helm and once again wield his magic axe.

As he sets out to build an army, he must first reacquaint himself with old allies. He hunts down a vicious ogre, a maneating witch(by maneating, I don't mean seductress), and he must also pair up with a demon he had used in the past to augment his powers.

While Rebaine is most definitely the "hero" of this tale, he is far from a good guy. I really enjoyed the way he was written. He was the guy that you want to succeed. You understand his reasons for what he does and you can appreciate the lengths he will go. If killing someone, just because they might recognize him from his past is needed, he does it. If he needs to slaughter a small village just to feed his demon, so that he can get the power he needs to defeat the new evil afoot, he will not hesitate. He is the good guy, that just isn't good. Definitely a darn good story in my book

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