The priests and warriors of the Forgefather once ruled the world in his name. Now they are but a shadow of their former selves, forced to obscurity as their God turned his back on them and stopped answering their prayers. Rendered to simple smiths and craftsmen, they can but reminisce the old days and of that which was lost. But when an experiment goes wrong, they will get far more than they ever asked for.
"The blackness was total. Not the velvet night of above ground, when even the faintest of stars will provide some light. That darkness can even be a comfort. This was a darkness that held no warmth. It fell unopposed. And all unchallenged, it ruled."
Faithless has already been reviewed on BookNest three times in the last couple of weeks, so I'll keep mine short. In his new novel, Austin-King explores some different aspects of fantasy, shifting through a lot of themes such as faith, slavery and the art of craftsmanship. This isn't a book of epic fights, exciting action sequences, mages and creatures of old - this is a journey of self-discovery and of a twisted pilgrimage.
Austin-King paid a lot of attention to every detail, and that, combined with his unique story-telling abilities resulted in a mesmerizing story that gripes you from the very first page. A lot of minor sub-plots were efficiently interlaced within the main story-line, playing a vital role to the self-growth of the protagonist(s), and paving the road for the events to come, as well as some shocking revelations; revelations that were part of two carefully planned plot-twists that although I saw them coming from a long way, I was still pleased to see them unraveling.
The pace of the story was steady and with a rising tempo, but the finale felt kinda anti-climatic. Nothing important, mind you; just an observation, and most certainly not significant enough to affect the pleasure you will get from finishing the book. Finally, Austin-King's prose was excellent, as a matter of fact one of the best I've ever seen, changing and adapting throughout the story.
All in all, Faithless is the high point of Austin-King's career, and I'm truly surprised that it wasn't snatched by one of the major publishers. I expect it to be a finalist of SPFBO 2017.
You can buy Faithless HERE