Tome of the Undergates
Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes is his debut novel and the first book in the Aeons’ Gate series.
I won the sequel to this book (Black Halo) from a drawing on Floor to Ceiling Books a while back, and then ordered this one but saved it for the summer. This proved to be a good choice as it was an excellent choice for reading in the pool as the first 150 pages or so involve a running series of sea based fights. As an aside, e-books have a definite downside for pool reading–getting the readers wet is generally a bad idea.
There are a couple of levels to this book. On one level, it’s a roaring good adventure yarn with lots of fine hacking and slashing. Adventure! Creatures! On this level, we follow Lenk and his five companions (Kataria the Shict who hates most humans, Gariath the dragonman who yearns to perish in battle, Denaos the rogue, Asper the cleric and Dreadaeleon the mage) as they fight and quest.
On another level, it is a commentary upon adventure tales. Adventurer’s are, as the text says:
To consider the term “adventure” one must consider it from the adventurer’s point of view. For a boy on his father’s knee, or a youth listening to an elder or a rapt crowd hearing the songs of poets, adventure is something to lust after, filled with riches, women, heroism and glory. For an adventurer, it’s work; dirty dusty, bloody, spittle-filled, lethal and cheap work.
On yet another level, there is clearly something going on in the tale beyond the chase and the battle. There are secrets and voices whispering and muttering in the hearts of the characters.
So, in other words, there is a bit of everything to go around for all sorts of likes. Fun, and I liked it.