Jeff Salyards is doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit tonight at 5 PCT. I started reading his debut novel, Scourge of the Betrayer, a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t get into it for one reason or another. Maybe I was just coming off of an urban fantasy binge, and the relatively heavier setting of SOTB was just too much for me to get into at the time (the couple dozens of pages I read evoked Glenn Cook’s Dark Company novels, especially since the main character is a chronicler). Or maybe I was put off by the heavy-handed way in which a SECRET MISSION with EPIC IMPLICATIONS was being hinted at in the little I read (I mean, almost everyone reading this genre knows what to expect, ok?). Either way, I plan on finishing it eventually, if only to see why the Jeff chose a flail as the weapon of import. But I do expect that it gets better, eventually.
I mention Jeff’s AMA mostly because it got me thinking about his book, which in turn got me thinking about the Dark Company novels (which I love love love), which in turn got me thinking about Ian Graham’s excellent debut novel, Monument. I swear this book flew under the radar, and Ian Graham seems not to have written anything since. But when I come across a fantasy novel revolving around an anti-hero, at some point or another I end up comparing it with Monument. So far none of the anti-heroes I’ve come across have been as despicable and yet somehow comfortably human as Ballas. I’m not even going to try to sell the book to you: just go and read it.