Mud

E.J. Wenstrom. City Owl, $14.99 (380p) ISBN 978-0-9862516-6-5
Wenstrom’s debut is the catalyst for a planned series of fantasy war tales, kicked off with this thoroughly expanded retelling of the Orpheus myth. Long after the Second Realm War drove the three Gods away from the land of Terath, a golem named Adem lurks in a disused church in the city of Epoh, guarding a mysterious box that compels him to kill anyone who discovers it. But a visit from the angel Kythiel changes everything when he offers to break Adem’s curse in exchange for Kythiel’s heart’s desire: the soul of Kythiel’s dead lover. With help from two human allies on the run, Adem ventures into the Underworld to retrieve the soul and unwittingly sets events in motion that may begin another Realm War. Wenstrom falls into the habit of using modern colloquialisms such as tons of and that’s on you alongside more formal, classical speech, creating a tonal imbalance. However, the clever use of weathered fantasy tropes and occasionally lovely turns of phrase will propel readers into book two. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 296 pages - 978-1-944728-01-4
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