Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: The Path of Anger, by Antoine Rouaud

Title: The Path of Anger
Author: Antoine Rouaud (translated by Tom Clegg)
Release date: October 20133
Publisher: Gollancz
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free copy at World Fantasy Con '13.

Description: There will be blood. There will be death. This is the path of anger. . .

Dun-Cadal has been drinking his life away for years. Betrayed by his friends - who turned their back on their ideals in favour of a new republic - and grief stricken at the loss of his apprentice, who saved his life on the battlefield and whom he trained as a knight in exchange, he's done with politics, with adventure, and with people.

But people aren't finished with him - not yet. Viola is a young historian looking for the last Emperor's sword, and her search not only brings her to Dun-Cadal, it's also going to embroil them both in a series of assassinations. Because Dun-Cadal's turncoat friends are being murdered, one by one. . . by someone who kills in the unmistakable style of an Imperial assassin. . .

My thoughts: 'The Path Of Anger' is a typical fantasy novel. It begins in an in, and as with many good stories, it's a dark and stormy night... Viola walks in with her mysterious protector and finds an old man she's been told is called Dune. When she discovers he's actually Dun-Cadal, the war hero she's heard a lot about, she persuades him to begin talking.

The story jumps from the present, with Viola trying to get Dun-Cadal's help to find the sword of the Emperor, and the past, where he narrates some of his battles, and the events that lead to the fall of the empire. Then, just as Dun-Cadal seems to be wrapping up his story, and I thought the present day narrative would take centre stage, everything changes.

"Like a coin with two sides ... Two things as different in their forms as in their meanings, and yet, it's still one and the same coin."

From here, the story really starts to race along. I don't want to give too much away, but all that's been said so far gets cast in a different light as the second half begins. Dun-Cadal, Viola and her companions begin their task in earnest of launching an attack on the republic and its leaders. Their plan could go wrong in a variety of ways, and in the days leading up to the attack, there are several revelations that cause characters to wobble in their desire to do as they've planned. Will they do it? Will they make the 'right' choices, whatever those may be? Those are the questions readers are thinking as you read the rest of the book.

A great fantasy novel, I agree with the suggestions on the back - fans of Pat Rothfuss and Brent Weeks will also enjoy Antoine Rouaud's 'The Path of Anger'.

Overall, I give it 9/10.



Melliane on January 15, 2014 at 10:33 AM said...

I'm not that much a fantasy reader but I'm glad you liked it, it sounds really nice! It made me really curious, thank you!

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