5/5 Stars – A Half-breed, a curse, a prophecy and much skullduggery
I saw this book a while back and even read the Look Inside since the premise intrigued me. It made me smile but I had read plenty of first-person narratives with wise-cracking anti-heroes in them and frankly, I had been there and got the t-shirt. I passed it over. However, for some reason, that early look stayed with me and when the ebook came up on a free promotion I couldn’t say no. A bit of light, fun reading is never a bad thing and boy am I pleased I did.
The story is action-packed and unrelentingly and whilst those early chapters and indeed the story itself trod a well-worn path it was so well imagined and so well composed that it stood out from the rest.
It is told from the POV of Breed, a half-human half-thoasan, the latter being a lizard-like creature called warspawn, a creation of wizards in the ancient fight against demons. The tale starts with a dragon moves on to a demon and quickly goes downhill from there.
As you might expect from a grimdark tale with an anti-hero at its heart, Breed is a villainous character. Unwanted, unloved and fluent in snark and foul-mouthery. He has a distorted and cruel take on the world and..well…pretty much everyone in it.
I will say nothing of the plot which is both simple and clever but I will say that the world is a well-crafted one and full of colour and character. It is also pretty darn grim seen through the eyes of Breed. He has an exceptional turn of phrase, has the best swear words and as you might expect gets himself into all sorts of trouble through (he would claim) no fault of his own.
The cast of characters are archetypal, well rounded and add depth and context to the story. The history of the world and the many religions is well-wrought and imagined and I was fully immersed in the story, the telling of which is artfully done. You can see the subtle shift and change in Breed as the narrative unfolds, both in reaction to who he meets and the widening plot and his part in it.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will pick up the next because why not. It was so much fun the first time it would be a crime not to.