We rode through fields burning like the plains of Hell – Fisk on the black, Banty on the roan bay, and me on Bess, the mule, leading a string of ponies.
The disappointing news: it’s part of a series. The good news: a darker fantasy without becoming overly gruesome, some tense world building without it being on the level of George R.R. Martin.
Two men need to lead a bunch of scouts, soldiers and other along a river boat full of important people. The boat is fueled by a jailed demon, the mountains are full of ancient, sardonic creatures and the family’s guest turns out to be the one reason for or against war with neighboring countries.
This is a gray, grimy fantasy, and – except for the reminiscing, oh-so-different story teller – pretty trope and cliché free. It’s up there in creations from Joe Abercrombie. There’s story and there’s world, neither of them are just very pretty.
The Incorruptibles, John Hornor Jacobs, Gollancz 2014