The other day I bumped into a friend of mine while Christmas shopping. (Actually, our wives were shopping; we were relegated to bag duty.) So to pass some time – and get out of the way of crazed shoppers – we found a coffee shop and had a short conversation about life, including what books we’d recommended the other give a try. And during those few minutes of relative safety, The Heresy Within was discussed. A Question and Answer session that went something like this.
So another self published fantasy. Aren’t you tired of getting burned by those things yet.
Yeah, lots of them are pretty bad, but usually I can find something to like about them. But The Heresy Within was actually pretty good. Definitely, something right up any fantasy fans alley. Plus, the series has been picked up by a publisher, re-edited and revised, and has a sequel coming out next year. You should pick it up. It has witch hunters, man!
Witch hunters? I didn’t know this was a Warhammer novel.
It’s not. And, yeah, the author did say in some interviews that he was a HUGE witch hunter fan and definitely tried to emulate the “cool” factor of what Warhammer did with those guys, but this is his own interpretation of them, in a world he created from scratch. Plus, they are called Arbiters, not witch hunters.
So why should I read Mr. Hayes version of witch hunt . . . I mean, Arbiters when I already love the Warhammer witch hunters.
First, these witch hunters are more than a little different. Sure, they wear a long, leather jacket and hunt down witches with their magic, but they don’t have the hats. Nope, no cool pilgrim hats. Yeah, that does actually suck immensely. All joking aside though, they have a great back story about their origin, who they work for, how they are trained, and how they practice their magic.
OMFG, please don’t tell me you’ve become a fan of those books with the cool, quirky magic system. I love Sanderson, but I can’t take another one of those things.
Naw. You know I generally stay away from those. Here the magic system is not the star, by any means. The story is the focus, but the magic system, with its curses and blessings and enchantment of objects, really livens things up, making the Arbiters pretty awesome in a fight without being overpowered or feeling quirky.
So what is the story about anyway?
Actually, there are three interlocking stories about three very unique people who accidently bump into one another, get entangled, do something pretty exciting, then move apart again later on. And, no, “It was destined” to happen stuff or anything like that. They really just accidentally get involved.
Okay, I’ll bite. Who are the three people?
First, we have Jezzet Vel’urn, a swordswoman, whose mantra in life is that a woman has to either fight or f**k her way out of most hostile situations, and she generally finds the later option more enjoyable – though it can be distasteful at times. Then there is the Arbiter Thanquil Darkheart, who spends his time hunting down and burning heretics for the Inquisition but now has been given the even less savory task of uncovering a conspiracy within his own order. A job that he desperately doesn’t want to do but can’t get out of, because the orders came from the God Emperor of Sarth himself. Finally, there is the outlaw, murderer, and thief called the Black Thorn; a criminal who is renown for killing Arbiters. And somehow, these three come together in the Free City of Chade and find themselves working toward the same goal of uncovering The Heresy Within.
Lol. That was funny how you put the name of the book in your answer. I see being a reviewer hasn’t really improved your comedy routine any.
* Please note that the next few minutes of the conversation have been omitted due to extensive use of foul language, threats of blackmail due to things each party knows about the other, and somewhat pathetic attempts at smack talking by middle aged white men *
Well, it all sounds good, but I know you, there are things you didn’t like about the book. Go ahead and tell me now. I want to know everything about it before I actually buy it.
Well, if I had to criticize . . .
God, you always criticize everything. Spit it out already. What didn’t you like?
After the three characters get together, they have to journey somewhere, and the book absolutely crawled at that point. That might be okay if the events or character revelations or world building focused on were important later on, but here nothing that happened added much to the ongoing story, so it read like filler material. It was really more like “Oh, there has to be a journey because it is a fantasy” thing so many books include, and I can’t stand that. Filler material really annoys me.
So I’m assuming the writer stuck the ending? (For those who are wondering, “stuck the ending” is my friends way of asking if the ending was good.)
Yeah, it was a great ending. Some epic fights, betrayal, sex, and even a few surprise decisions by our three stars. Good stuff. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
At this point, the conversation turned to sports, how our wives were spending all our money, and the weather. Middle age dudes always mention the weather, you know. 8)