Filip picked up his first fantasy novel when he was seven and hasn’t stopped reading since. A critical reader who judges novels on their technical use of language and plot alike, he has a soft spot for literary fiction and tragic, heroic tales.
In his free time, Filip writes fiction, makes gaming reviews on YouTube, and maintains a personal blog. All that when he’s not too busy going through piles of books in as short a time as possible.
Oliver Mayes’ debut novel, Occultist, has made a litRPG believer out of me, an accomplishment I wasn’t certain would ever be in the cards for me. All this, considering how each time I’d picked up a book in this particular subgenre of speculative fiction, I ended up walking away with devilishly bad impressions. In my experience, the litRPG genre suffers from several issues, the biggest of which are an over-reliance on nostalgia and a trend towards dense exposition, and I mean walls upon walls of text as unreadable as a bad 80’s AD&D module! But this isn’t about the subgenre as a whole, it’s about the first instalment in the Saga Online series, so let’s get into it!
This review is part of BookNest.eu’s #SPFBO 2018 finalist round. As such, I received the book for free.
Gates of Stone took me longer than I usually spend with a 500-page fantasy novel, and has left me with mixed feelings. Angus Macallan is the pseudonym of author Angus Donald, whose historical fiction is well-known to historical aficionados; this novel is his first entry in the world of epic fantasy.