Faithless – A True Darkness

My, it has been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry, it’s taken so long. Priorities have taken hold as has real life (pukes). However, I have returned with my long-promised book review.

I’ll admit, going into this I had no idea what to think. The author was looking for ARCS and I usually don’t take up too many willy nilly, especially from people I don’t know. I took a gamble, and besides, I love dark fantasy, which is what this book is in every syllable of the word.

My God, it was worth every gamble in the world.

Faithless, the grimdark, brutal journey in the first of a new series from author Graham Austin King, really hits you in the gut. Check out the blurb, and you’ll see exactly what I mean:

The temples of the Forgefather have fallen. The clerics and defenders that could once be found across the nine lands are no more. Priests huddle in the great temple, clinging to the echoes of their lost religion. But the Father has fallen silent. There are none who still hear his voice.

The mines of Aspiration lie far below the temple’s marble halls. Slaves toil in the blackness, striving to earn their way into the church and the light. Wynn has been sold into this fate, traded for a handful of silver. In the depths of the mines, where none dare carry flame, he must meet his tally or die. But there are things that lurk in that darkness, and still darker things within the hearts of men.

When the souls bound to the great forge are released in a failed ritual, one novice flees down into the darkness of the mines. The soulwraiths know only hunger, the risen know only hate. In the blackest depths Kharios must seek a light to combat the darkness which descends. 

 

Mines? The concept of religion? Brutality and dark themes? Sign me right up!

Now, this is not a fast paced book. It is slow from beginning to end, with the two POV’s alternating. They are Wynn, a young lad sold by his father to work in the mines of Aspiration, and Kharios, a novice in the Temple of the Forgefather, who must face the true darkness. It pulls no punches and has some pretty dark themes. Now, neither character is really lovable, and I must say I wanted to reach into the book and strangle both of them. Wynn for being incredibly naive and constantly out of touch with the violent underworld of the mines, and Kharios for…well…saying so would spoil too much. But his choices at every turn are cruel at best, brutal at worst. Be warned when you delve into this. It is not for the faint hearted. There are some incredible moments throughout the book and one particular scene which just blew my mind. It is borderline genius.

What Faithless really does well is realism. Every decision the characters make is just that, realistic. Not once did I see anything which I didn’t believe. The worldbuilding is also fantastic, on par with the best up there. It really blew me away delving into the violent, underground world of the mines, and the polished shit that was the Temple (I mean that in its grimy nature underneath the sheen, not that it was bad). You don’t see much of the outside world, but by all purposes, I want to see more. I love worldbuilding, and Faithless is up there with the demigods of it. I frankly cannot wait for the next book.

I apologize if the review this time was a little short, but I think I answered everything I wanted about it. It’s an excellent piece of literature, and I would say it is the best book I have read in 2017 so far. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Sit down with a goblet of blood (or wine, if you’d prefer. I personally prefer blood. Or Hot Chocolate) and delve into this brilliant yet cold-hearted world. You won’t be disappointed. And if by some miracle you are, I’m not apologizing.

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