The eponymous main character, Decimus Fate, is a complicated man. An extremely powerful sorcerer haunted by a dark past, he has sworn off the use of magic—which is unfortunate, because there are a lot of people who want to kill him for the crimes he committed. The plot of the novel throws him together with another man with an equally painful past, a demon-hunter who quit his order and gave up his sword. Now, the two must confront some very deadly foes while avoiding those who want Fate dead—all without the benefit of either’s renounced powers.
Decimus Fate is a very well thought-out novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters grow on you as they are fleshed out, while the plot hurls you ahead. Peter Flannery has a voice that is easy to read and transparent, disappearing beneath the story for an immersive reading experience.
The novel explores the theme of “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” After living a life as a slave to magic that caused him to commit unspeakable acts, Fate has renounced his power and has spent many years paying penance for his sins. When he gets in over his head, he is sorely tempted to fall back on those powers to save his own life, knowing that to do so would corrupt him.
I highly recommend this book to fans of epic fantasy who enjoy morally gray characters. It’s good, clean, fast-paced fiction.