It usually takes me two to three days to finish an average-sized book. The Gutter Prayer took me two weeks. Now you may think that I struggled to finish it, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I tried to savor it for as long as I could, because although this is just my first read for 2019 and we're only in January, I'm confident that I won't find a greater book this year.
This book made me cry six times.
One of them was two whole days after I finished the damn thing.
Nick Hayes takes the news of his imminent death pretty well, or at least as well as any fifteen-year-old boy would. With an aggressive form of leukemia, the same disease he lost his father to a few years back, he knows that he has to live in full the last few months of his life. And what would that entail? Playing D&D with his friends, of course. But when the seemingly random events of his D&D campaign start mirroring real-life situations, or vice versa, he realizes that leukemia may not be his biggest problem yet.
Tarrik Nal-Valim, demon of the Thirty-Seventh Order, has been exiled for a heinous crime. That of loving a human. Away from his kind, he's content with living an ascetic life in the Guttering Wastes. Or so it seems. In secret, he plans to escape his exile and extract vengeance from those who wronged him. But when he's summoned back in the world of men by Serenity 'Ren' Branwen, a sorcerer of formidable power and a worshiper of the worst Demon of them all, he's forced to abandon his own plans and serve hers instead.
The Queen of Grimdark, holy be Her name, is back. And Death follows close behind.
Fantasy Fiction has an ever-evolving nature. Throughout the years there has been a number of prominent authors who had the ability to alter its natural course. Some of them heavily influenced the genre to the point that whole new sub-genres were created, and others nudged it to a new direction ever so slightly that was barely even noticeable, but helped modernize the genre all the same. Peter Newman is one of the latest.