Yep, Titan did it again. Just when I think they can not possibly keep up the pace, I get a new book and I am just completely blown away. Duskfall
by Christopher Husberg
is just amazing. This is a good example of the books I will think about when people that do not read fantasy go gah-gah over the Game of Thrones. I always want to say, have you ever tried to read a good Fantasy novel? I do not mean to dish on the Game of thrones, but no, it would not make it into my top 100 Fantasy novels, but I think this novel would.
Husberg sets up a complicated world rather quickly. The religion is based on a Goddess with matriarchal priestesses. The world also holds groups of assassins, competing countries, an elfish race that was enslaved for centuries, and through all these groups is a growing ability to use mind based powers, such as telekinesis, and thought control.
The story follows several characters, some from competing groups and boasts multiple narratives/POVs. The story begins when some tiellan (Elf) fisherman find a man floating in the sea who retains no memory of who he is. He takes the name Knot and on his wedding night to the fisherman's daughter, Winter, the wedding is attacked by strange men that hail from the distant country to the north. After the brutal attack, Knot discovers that he has an savage skill when it comes to battle and when Winter is knocked unconscious, he sets off to discover who he really is before she awakes. Despite all the reasons against making such a move, Winter and her friend set off to find him when she regains consciousness.
Another thread includes a priestess of the Goddess Canta who discovers that her beloved sister is about to be charged as a heretic. She heads off to get to the truth only to discover that her sister is far more involved with challenging the world's main religion that she had feared. These three groups are being tailed by assassins, mysterious monks, and the fanatical clergy. Before they can met up, Winter discovers she possesses telekinetic abilities, but she can only manifest them with the use of a power and very addicting drug.
I have probably already said too much, but the groups find each other as more and more players become involved. Things grow more complicated as the origins of the Cantic religion are questioned and even the priestess can not be sure of her faith or what sort of being is prompting their various quests. And oh yeah, one of the best characters is a vampire that is a few hundred years old and extremely powerful, but trapped within a nine year old girl's body. She seems to be on their side, or at least they hope she is.
This book is beyond what I could have hoped for. It was long, but it could have been twice the length. Downsides are few. The only I can see is the issue that Knot is shown to have powers of his own, but the lay dormant when with a little reminding by certain characters they could have been discovered and used earlier. That is the only thing I can think of other than I have to wait a whole year before I get the next one in the series.
This book is a must for any fantasy lover and is the one you have been waiting for. It is a great vacation book or hell an anywhere book. I read this book every time I stopped anywhere all over my town. I was so into it that I stayed up late on a night before I had a long day of work, because I had to read the last 150 pages. I almost never do that, if that says anything. Thanks Husberg for the fun and thanks Titan for always impressing me and outdoing yourselves. The Chronicles of Jack Primus