Architect (Book One of Calamity's Window)

Write on: Wed, 30 Sep 2020 by  in SPFBO 2020 Read 2749

Round Four! As a guest judge in this year's SPFBO 2020, I have been tasked with reading 5 of the 30 books in Booknest's batch this year, and choosing 1 of them to go on as a semi-finalist. My 5 books are The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey, Wayfarer by K.M. Weiland, A Storm of Silver and Ash by Marion Blackwood, Architect by RT Mulder, and Chasing Sunrise by Emily Mah. I will also be writing a brief review for each of them. Once that is done, I'll announce my choice of semi-finalist - and that's all happening today! Next up for review - Architect by RT Mulder...

I'm more conflicted about this book than any of the others I've read for the SPFBO this year. On one hand, it's by far the grandest and most complex in scope, story, and world, all well-told, nicely written, and lushly described. I'd almost go as far to say it's as sweeping a story as A Game of Thrones, with a dash of Thomas Covenant and maybe some Black Sails thrown in. We follow a panoply of characters of various species and races with a variety of strengths and magical powers on a venture to save a dying land, battling against truly frightening and dangerous foes. On the other hand, there's not a character among them who, for me, was easy to empathize with or root for - they're all despicable with few if any redeeming qualities. I'm an acknowledged fan of the grimdark fantasy sub-genre, but this is grimdark with a capital GRIM. I thoroughly enjoyed it for the story, but had a hard time wanting to follow the characters - if that makes any sense. Still, I was compelled to read it first page to last, and you might just absolutely love it.

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 November 2020 20:02
Dyrk Ashton

Dyrk Ashton is a Midwestern U.S. boy who spent some time in Hollywood. He teaches film, geeks out on movies and books, and writes about regular folks and their trouble with monsters. Author of The Paternus Trilogy, of which book one, Paternus: Rise of Gods, placed third out of 300 entries in Mark Lawrence's SPFBO 2016.