An epic fantasy like no other, Adrian Selby's debut takes an unblinking look at the price we pay for our pasts, the art of war and the people who make it their business. Enter a violent world of revenge and bloody combat with characters you'll never forget.
They called them Kailen's Twenty, a legendary band of ruthless mercenaries who gave no quarter. Living only by the code of steel, blood and coin, and aided by fightbrews that gave them the edge in battle, whoever met their price won.
Now, broken up and seemingly forgotten, they are being hunted down, one by one.
Drawn from multiple accounts compiled by a scholar investigating the legendary group's demise, who is also the son of one of the Twenty, SNAKEWOOD is fantasy at its most inventive and rewarding.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Born and raised in Barry, South Wales, Adrian studied creative writing and philosophy at university before embarking on a career in videogames. He has worked for several big-name studios as a producer. He lives with his family on the south coast of England.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Interesting premises, slow and a heavy reliance on a fabricated language
I would like to thank Orbit Books & NetGalley for an e-ARC of this book to review. Though I received this e-book for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review. Goodreads Teaser: "Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning, alchemical brews, and cold steel. Whoever met their price won. Now, their glory days behind them, scattered to the wind, and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated one by one. A lifetime of enemies has its own price. Adrian Selby brings us into an unforgettable new world filled with magic, mystery, intrigue, bloodshed and betrayal." I'm easily of mixed opinions about this book, as there were easily as many things that frustrated me, as there were things that entertained and engaged me. Possibly more in the frustration column. The first, and maybe largest issue, was that for the first quarter of the book the story not only didn't grab me, but was a struggle to slog through. That's a long way to go when nothing is making much sense and none of the characters are reaching you. Once I passed that quarter mark I did find a few characters that intrigued me; characters whose stories made me curious and finally got me interested in the story overall. That's not to say that I necessarily liked all of these characters, but that's okay. Antagonists are just as important as protagonists, particularly in a story like this. By the final third of the story I better understood Mr. Selby's use of chapters that moved between past and present as easily as they moved between different characters' points of view. The created language was also something of a problem for me, for though I was able to work out the intended meaning behind many of the words, I can't say that was true for all of them. And it's tough reading a book with words you don't necessarily understand the meaning of, especially when those words are used with fair regularity. But I get why Selby elected to create a new language for this world of his. It certainly highlights the differences between our world and his, making his that much more foreign and exotic at the same time. I did like that the characters we got to know weren't always what they'd been made out to be. They had reasons behind some choices that aren't explained until the very end of their story, and sometimes until the end of the book, though their story may have ended some time prior. So not everyone is as they seem, though I'll not say more for fear of spoilers. But I do feel safe saying that I think this book will appeal more to those who enjoy drawn out fight scenes, and battle tactics over magic. Though there is a certain kind of magic in these pages, it's not magic as the average reader likely sees it. So I'd stick with the first part of the book's blurb, but this line "Adrian Selby brings us into an unforgettable new world filled with magic, mystery, intrigue, bloodshed and betrayal," this line I'd change. It's a small change, but an important one; I'd get rid of the word "magic," for its badly misleading in my opinion. Especially as the leading adjective, for that made me think that magic was a heavy part of this book - my reading of the book made me think otherwise. This book was close to getting a 4 star rating from me, but there were simply a few too many issues that threw it off the tracks for me to feel that would have been an honest rating. I think that with some serious revisions it cou