Publication Date: 11th August 2016 from Del Ray
Source: Review Copy
Stratus wakes in an unfamiliar place, with nothing but the knowledge that he is not human, with no memories of his past but possessing great strength, a powerful sorcery and the burning instinct to survive at any cost.
Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he sets out across a landscape torn apart by the ten year war between the Kingdoms of Krandin and Penullin, now reaching new levels of savagery as a dark magic drives the world to the brink of destruction.
As his personality grows with each step he slowly uncovers the truth of what he has become and the unquenchable thirst for vengeance that has led him there.
Infernal is a BOOM book. Yes. In that you finish it and go BOOM thats what real fantasy looks like.
So I’m reviewing it a month ahead of its publication – there is method in my madness (ok we’ll pretend there is) because fans of really banging fantasy books might like to clear the reading decks a little (I’m not silly enough to imagine you could all read your entire pile in waiting but just a bit) because when Infernal hits the shelves you definitely want to be diving right in there…
Sometimes these things can fall a little flat. You either have a highly imaginative world and characters that don’t quite hit the mark or vice versa. Not so with Infernal where the world building is imaginative, immersive and has a sharp authentic edge – then you get Stratus. Who really just keeps you reading even if its 3am and you have matchsticks keeping your eyes open. With his dry tone, ironic humour and truly engaging journey of discovery not only is Infernal utterly brilliant fantasy but also an honest to god page turner. And its a very shouty book. Mark de Jager has a habit of dropping in moments that make you go DAMN. Or similar. My mother might read this review…
Now of course thats not necessarily enough to make it go BOOM. The underneath of it all has to be gripping and Infernal is utterly gripping. You also need all the supporting cast to have a voice not just be the back up and Infernal is chock full of brilliantly drawn characters full of heart. I adored Lucien just as a thing – but its not just the group dynamic of the main portions of the narrative that works so well but even those you meet in passing are vibrant and engaging.
As for the story well, SO originally vivid, the author managing to give you all the standards you need and expect from great fantasy but throwing in a few extras just for good measure – at turns surprising and delightful and OOH magic. Did I say there was magic? Lots of wicked magic, sorcery and evil shenanigans. And things. Just beautiful.
When I got to the end I swore out loud on the bus. Which would be ok except it was a local bus full of people who know me. (Sorry Mum) – because well, I can’t tell you why obviously. Just don’t read the last few chapters on a bus. Or a train. This is one of those times I just wanted to read more dammit. Thats how it gets you.
Big big YAY and stuff. When August arrive put down your spell books and pick this one up. Highly Recommended
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If you are quick you might be able to get one of THESE from the gorgeous Goldsboro.
Or you could purchase Infernal by clickety clicking right HERE