When “Wow” is a reaction multiple times per page, on more pages than not, you have an incredible read in your hands. Ingenious insight into the human mind of those who feel the pull of failure and the hopelessness of redemption. Michael R. Fletcher‘s worldbuilding and magic system is vigorously inventive, just as is his intricate unraveling of characters that are society’s most vile or most hoped for. While reading their stories was at times difficult, my most engaged moments were when their shells cracked and we were shown hints of goodness within. There is far more death and depravity than light and hope in this story, but the little hope we’re shown, combined with the masterful and unpredictable plot, kept me enraptured though to the last line. Book Two must be made. This writer is brilliant.
Check out Beyond Redemption now and add to your year’s short list for best read.
A darkly imaginative writer in the tradition of Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett, and Neil Gaiman conjures a gritty mind-bending fantasy, set in a world where delusion becomes reality . . . and the fulfillment of humanity’s desires may well prove to be its undoing.
Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn’t an axiom, it’s a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.
Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken–men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.
But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates–The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left–have their own nefarious plans for the young god.
As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one’s delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is:
Who will rule there?