cover image Tome of the Undergates

Tome of the Undergates

Sam Sykes, Pyr, $17 paper (490p) ISBN 978-1-61614-242-1

Mercenary Lenk and his assortment of damaged misfits have been hired to guard an overconfident priest and the Tome of the Undergates on their way across the sea. Fanatical Cragsmen attack, and no sooner have the pirates been dealt with than a far more deadly threat manifests: the adventurers discover that their greed has drawn them into a conflict over the fate of the world itself. This somewhat self-conscious debut is clearly intended as the first installment of a series, beginning in media res and ending with the promise of more adventures. The action features suitably violent escalation, and Lenk's unhappy companions all have their own gradually revealed tragic backgrounds. The overall effect is contrived, but there are enough hints of real talent to warrant interest in future books. (Sept.)