An unlikely hero tries to save the children—and the world—in this complex but satisfying fantasy.
Mor’reius Krelsin is a mercenary with a heart. He lives by the code of xyres, a sort of religious code that involves a quest, completed for gain or for good, but always pursued with honor. Recently, the code tells him one thing: Someone is killing and kidnapping the children of Bra’dune, and he must stop the carnage. Bra’dune is quite literally a fallen land; floating shards of granite scratch the cracked sky, fractured by a past apocalypse that can never be forgotten. But it’s not so fallen that it produces no heroes, and Mor’reius ventures out to save the children who cannot save themselves. (As a child raised in an orphanage, he can sympathize.) However, a few early battles reveal the fact that his foe is no simple man, but a powerful spirit set on destroying not only children, but Bra’dune itself. In creating a fantasy world like Bra’dune from scratch, an author must walk a fine line between familiarity and innovation. If that world is too much like our own, it bores; if it’s too dissimilar, it confuses. Centeno risks committing the latter error, filling Bra’dune with unheard-of gods, mystifying cosmogonies, rhyming scriptures and a collection of undiscovered fauna that would make any zoologist scratch his head. Thus, we twist our way through a land infested with wycalths, quilapedes, swyvins and renjaws. (My kingdom for a horse!) But though we may yearn for a guide to help us on our journey, these novelties are symptomatic only of the author’s enthusiasm and ingenuity. Centeno yearns to create something completely new, and if we immerse ourselves in his cosmos, we will be richly rewarded.
A dark but epic tale of heroism in a very brave, very new world.