Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Guest Book Reviewer Rob Sharpe & 'Malice' by John Gwynne

To celebrate the upcoming release of John Gwynne's 'Valour' the second novel in his 'The Faithful and The Fallen' series, here on WwAS we're running a few extra features on the award-winning debut 'Malice'. And rather than start with what WE think of 'Malice', we've gone out into the world and tracked down a reader in it's natural territory. On the way we trekked through swamps of coffee-rings, edged our way along the precipice of many a pile-o'-books, and were sworn at more than a few times on the London Underground for trying to read someone's Kindle over their shoulder. Alas, we have emerged successful (though not unscathed thanks to an unfortunate incident with unexpected breaking and an accidental screen-touch on an ereader!) and found a reader! So, without further delay, please let me introduce Rob Sharpe and his interview for 'Malice'.

I picked Malice up last year on a whim, and am glad to say that this time my whim made me very happy.  So happy that it was my favourite book of 2013, in the face of some stiff competition.  2013 was a good year for my bookshelf.

 Malice, in the current UK trend of  “grimdark”, is a coming of age story -  but this isn’t any old coming of age story – the characters are all very well fleshed out, there are twists and turns, politic machinations, deaths, some very well written battle scenes, that Bernard Cornwell would tip his hat to, and GIANTS…

 John Gwynne the author has stated that he has been influenced Gemmell, Tolkein and GRRM amongst other.  Certainly he, like GRRM uses multiple POV’s, my two favourite POV’s are the sister of one of the main protagonists, and the sworn man of the other protagonist, and he isn’t afraid to get rid of major characters or POV characters.

From my point of view there are two Gemmell related themes running through Malice – “The End never justifies the means” and “Evil only exists when good men stand aside and doing nothing”.  You’ll have to read the book to understand what I mean.

I cannot praise this book enough, and have tried not to give away too many spoilers – the reason being is that I want the people reading this review to pick up the book and enjoy every page as I have.

I would like to thank John, whom I have met, for such a great novel, and to D.E.M Emrys for publishing this review.

I can’t wait until March 27th for Valour (Book 2)

Rob Sharpe when not writing Oracle IT code is a keen reader. 
Rob first started of with Tolkien, Donaldson and Eddings before moving on heroic fantasy  - especially Brirsh heroic fantasy and the late great David Gemmell. 
Rob can be found, if you can track him down, busy reading books by John Gwynne, James Barclay, Joe Abercrombie, Anthony Ryan, Richard K Morgan, GRRM, Miles Cameron and a host of others.

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