Book Review: The Pariah (Covenant of Steel #1) by Anthony Ryan. (three stars)
It was one of the contradictions of outlaw life that those called to it at a young age were often better behaved than seemed natural for children, but then fear is a great disciplinarian.
An orphan finds his way in a world best by human and perhaps demonic evil. Better than average hero’s journey with the twist of the protagonist narrating it from a far in the future perspective, which spoils some events but gives greater poignancy to others.
It would please me to report that this was the only occasion on which I experienced profound surprise at finding myself still alive, but that, as you will see, would be very far from the truth.
Reasonably sound medieval pseudo-European hard fantasy (that is, little magic and no orcs, elves and the like), but who wants reasonable fantasy? Recycled world and people with the potential that everyone, including Alwyn, is flawed, and his life depends on him sorting who is a threat and who an ally.
I suspected the Lady Evadine might not be conscious of her own calculation. She believed, of that I had no doubt, and a believer will justify all acts in pursuit of their faith.
Lost a star each due to gratuitous profanity and the abrupt ending. Having established a character by her salty language, Ryan could have backed off but didn’t. The book (and story) didn’t finish; it just cut off.
If it has already been written down, can I still change it?