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The Heresy Within: The Ties that Bind book 1 (First Earth Saga) Kindle Edition
Thanquil Darkheart is a witch hunter for the Inquisition, on a holy crusade to rid the world of heresy. He’s also something else... expendable. When the God Emperor gives Thanquil an impossible task, he knows he has no choice but to venture deep into the Wilds to hunt down a fallen Inquisitor.
Even the best swordswoman is one bad day away from a corpse. It’s a lesson Blademaster Jezzet Vel’urn isn’t keen to learn. Chased into the Wilds by a vengeful warlord, Jezzet makes it to the free city of Chade. But instead of sanctuary all she finds are more enemies from her past.
The Black Thorn is a cheat, a thief, a murderer and worse. He’s best known for the killing of several Inquisitors and every town in the Wilds has a WANTED poster with his name on it. Thorn knows it’s often best to lie low and let the dust settle, but some jobs pay too well to pass up.
As their fates converge, Jezzet, Thanquil, and the Black Thorn will need to forge an uneasy alliance in order to face the truth the Inquisition has been hiding from them all.
★★★★★"Without doubt one of, if not THE best fantasy adventure books I have read in the last ten years."
★★★★★"Great characters,terrific storyline and a storyteller to bring it all together."
★★★★★"I found myself devouring the book, unable to stop for much else."
★★★★★"The story couldn't have been better, a true fantasy wet dream for me.
About the Author
- ASIN : B0728DQVP5
- Publication date : June 21, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 3058 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 516 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #108,820 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Here's my input:
-Interesting world development
-Nice work at balancing the reality of magic vs. non-magic and exploring the problems with both.
-Very realistic. No fantastic heroes here, just people with self interest paramount balanced with a limited empathy. Most of the characters are broken in some way, which makes for many surprises. It reminded me very much of Erickson's Malazan novels. Different perspectives, misunderstandings, anti-heroes, and a sense of realness that is hard to find in fantasy novels that include magic.
-Bringing multiple storylines together can be a challenge but Hayes does a fine job.
THE NEED MORE SECTION
-Depth: The book is an easy read, gritty and dark, but it begged for 'more' background and character development. Or maybe I wanted MORE! The writing could be sparse at times, and there were pieces where I had trouble imagining what the protagonists were seeing around them. Fleshing that out would have made this an easy 5 star review.
That said, I've already purchased the second book in the series, and again the storyline development, and the way Hays can keep connecting characters and situations is amazing. It's writers like these that we, as fans, need to encourage so that dark, adult fantasy remains relevant.
So why rough diamond and why only 4 stars. Well, it is, clearly, a first book. Take the language, for starters. I reckon if I have to harken yet another reckon, I would split ye book with them here battleaxe. So yes, this is self published, which I LOVE, but still, had Hayes sent the final draft off to an editor, it would have come back with every reckon crossed out. I reckon.
Also, there is a tendency to repeat words and phrases a few times in a string. I recognise this in my own writing, and it's almost impossible to spot oneself, but even a computer editor like Grammarly will help you root out this evil.
Secondly, and much more fatal. There are enough fraglantly obvious inconsistencies to throw you out of all that beautiful action and make you shake your head. Many of them, I suspect, arising from having experienced outdoor life though D&D rather than the Scouts. So, at what distance can you miss a group of horsemen making camp at night, on an open steppe? 50 feet? I don't think so. 50 feet away in open terrain on a quiet night without all the disturbing noise of cars and trains and teenage neighbours, you will hear a blackbird turning leaves over to find worm. That's just one example that doesn't give away any important plot points, but there are more, trust me, and often related to how hearing and seeing and moving about functions. So that accounts for the withdrawn fifth star. It really is a gem, but in the rough.
Having already read Hayes' Best Laid Plans duology, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of the world and getting a few cameos from the later series. (Or is it the other way around?) Having read BLP, I also happen to know that Hayes only gets better from here.
The bottom line is that I had a terrible time putting this book down and bought the second one within minutes of finishing the last sentence.
Top reviews from other countries
I like the fact that the author stuck to three interesting characters (for point-of-view's sake) and brought them together fairly quickly (though there are other books, this could stand alone, and probably will from my point of view). The writing is occasionally repetitive, but the use of less formal language disguises, and excuses, some of it.
The only complaint is that the plot didn't have a really decent twist--like Abercrombie would, for example--and that while things weren't exactly easy for the protagonists, the detective work, as it were, was pretty straightforward.
Overall, though, an enjoyable read, much better than some things out there, and worth reading (even worth paying for, though I didn't have to). I suppose I should rate it four stars, but I don't hold with internet rating inflation...
I went into the book not expecting a huge amount, and disliking the name of the first of the protagonists introduced. The negatives stop there. What a belter of a book. Very much in the vein of Abercrombie and Lynch, this book has a filthy, black, putrefying heart. The story revolves around three main protagonists; Thanquil Darkheart (there's that name) - an Arbiter in the inquisition who is disliked both within and without the inquisition; Thorn aka The Black Thorn, a mercenary for hire with a particularly brutal past; and Jezzet Vel'urn, a blademaster of prodigious skill but down on her luck. The tale is told from each perspective, with the perspective shifting each chapter. There is a subcast of strong characters that emerge, but the tale continues to be told from the main three perspectives, at least for book 1. Book 2 has the same style, but written from more perspectives as the story continues (that is as far as I have got thus far, but have bought all three).
Make no mistake, this is a dark fantasy book, and Hayes does not flinch from anything in his writing. This makes the protagonists just as dislikeable as they are likeable at times. There is a black sense of humour throughout, and his Black Thorn character has more than a passing whiff of Abercrombie's Northmen, one digit-deficient name in particular.
The e-book cost me £0.77 and was a blast. A good story, well told. My only other gripe is very minor - I am a spelling/grammar nazi, and there are some typos in the book. Rare, but enough to make me tut each time (doesn't take much), mostly words with multiple spellings that have slipped through a spellchecker.
Anyhow, don't want to end on a low - it is a great book if you like your fantasy black and pustulating, fast paced and brutal.