The Armored Saint

Myke Cole. Tor.com, $17.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9595-5
SF/F thriller author Cole (Siege Line) makes an uninspiring first venture into epic fantasy with this flat trilogy opener, which is unoriginal in its cod–medieval Europe setting, idealized peasant characters, and generally portentous tone. Sixteen-year-old peasant girl Heloise aspires to something other than marriage and babies, but she lives in a dangerous world: at any time, hidden wizards could suddenly turn into interdimensional portals, allowing terrible demons to come through and devour everyone and everything she loves. Only the clichéd Order of religious knights can keep the demons back by hunting and destroying the wizards. But the order is itself, of course, a cruelly despotic organization, and knights nearly kill Heloise upon their first encounter with her for no reason except that they don’t think peasant lives are worth very much. When her village is forced to take part in brutally and protractedly massacring another village, an operation conducted on suspicions of wizardry that Heloise knows to be false, she finds herself and her family and friends set against the Order—and the demons are still a problem. The entire book is focused on getting Heloise to the climactic fight scene, which then proceeds completely predictably, and the book ends just when it seems like something might start to happen. Agent: Joshua A. Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018
Release date: 02/20/2018
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-7653-9594-8
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-250-19967-6
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