Interesting, albeit short, fantasy adventure by Glenn Thater, whom I had not read before. Kind of a cross between “The Black Company” and “The Thirteenth Warrior”.

I haven’t read anything by Thater before, but it was recommended by a friend who reads a lot of fantasy, as “something you might find interesting”. He was right, and it’s not bad. I enjoyed the characters and the story, though I doubt I will continue with this series. It reads like someone’s tabletop RPG adventure converted into novel form, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it left me feeling that there was something a bit lacking overall.

The story is a straightforward swords-and-sandals fantasy procedural, but it has a striking similarity to Michael Crichton’s “Eaters of the Dead” — a very misleading title about Vikings having an adventure while traveling through a foreign land, while a guest from yet another distant land creatively narrates and provides reader access to the story. A similar device here poses Norse warriors dealing with an intrusion into their land while a guest from a distant land lends unexpected capability and spices up the story.

Put simply, the story was very straightforward, but it was creatively told, and had some very strong scenes along the way. That’s worth a lot. And some of these characters, particularly the dwarf Ob, and the guest “Angle Theta”, are quite memorable.

Some notes about the audio: Reader Stefan Rudnicki seemed a bit tame at first, but I warmed up to him after a while. The voices of various characters are really well done.

Maybe it’s just me, but I got Chapter 7, featuring Theta being lead on a tour around the community, after the rest of the story was over, as if it was some sort of epilogue. I reported it to Audible but I don’t see anything about it in the Audible or Amazon comments, so it might have just been a problem with my download. Caveat emptor.

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