Talus and the Frozen King

Graham Edwards. Rebellion/Solaris (www.solarisbooks.com), $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-78108-199-0
Wandering Talus and his doughty companion, Bran, find themselves at the center of a regicidal mystery in a prehistoric settlement whose pleasant facade conceals undercurrents of oppression and misery. King Hashath believes Creyak to be the perfect place: peaceful and aloof from the world. Hashath’s heavy-handed rule over the isolated village, and particularly over his six sons, provokes his murder, which Talus offers to solve. The bard’s methodical observation and leisurely ratiocination are powerful tools, but they require time, which is in short supply as more murders are committed. Although flavored with fantasy elements, this work resembles nothing so much as a certain consulting detective and his physician amanuensis transported back to the Neolithic. Similarly, Creyak recalls the isolated country estates of a thousand cozy mysteries. A close cousin to the writings of Conan Doyle, Christie, and Marsh, the story plays fairly with its readers, revealing clues and insights as Talus and Bran become aware of them. Mystery fans who find the conceits amusing will look forward to Talus’s future investigations. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013
Release date: 03/25/2014
Genre: Fiction
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