Another Review at MyShelf.Com

A Fire In The North
Annals of Lindormyn - Book II

by David Bilsborough

      Anybody who has read The Wanderer’s Tale (also reviewed on this site) will remember that Nibulus’ band of brothers had lost a few members and gained a few more.  Young squire Gapp is lost and in the company of the mysterious Methuselech, and the pair are now going to visit a very unpleasant place... prior to meeting up with the others in an even worse one.  But if they are going to vanquish the evil demon Drauglir, they are going to have to visit Melhus Island, and enter Vaagenfjord Maw.  Is it going to be worth it?

I’ve read quite a number of reviews of the first book in this series, and was surprised how many people seem to think that this tale of a quest to kill a demon is bog standard fantasy.  On the surface it certainly sounds highly unoriginal, but only in the plot itself, not in any of the finer details and certainly not the characters.  This is no idealized tale of heroes a la Tolkein, but rather the account of how such an undertaking really would be, complete with all the types of adventurer you would get joining in.  There is the warlord’s spoiled son, his downtrodden servant, outcast mercenary, thieves, vagrants and worse.  It all gets extremely bloodthirsty and if you don’t like that type of thing you won’t care for this at all, as there is gore in spades.  But what makes it even more original is the playful way it is written, with humor popping up in the most unlikely places and raising a much-needed chuckle.  The only alloys in this are the almost total lack of female characters, and the ones that are there seem to show that although the author is good at portraying men, the opposite sex appears an unknown species.  He is excellent at descriptions, conjuring up the places in the story to an alarmingly tactile life, but the whole could stand some editing.  Quite a lot of editing.  That being said, the novel stayed in my mind long afterwards in the way that most books frankly do not, and that is praise indeed.  The next time I see David Bilsborough’s name in a bookstore I will be at the front of the queue.

The Book

Tor (Macmillan UK)
5 September 2008
0230014526 / 9780230014527
More at US || UK
NOTE: Warning: Gory

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008