Shadow of the Exile (The Infernal Guardian #1)

Write on: Tue, 09 Oct 2018 by  in Petros' Reviews Read 10059

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. 

 "Reality tore, prized open by arcane forces. A blast of frost washed through Tarrik, a frigid wind he could sense ethereally but not physically feel. A conduit was created, joining this world to an abyssal realm. The void beckoned. Tarrik Nal-Valim surrendered to its song."

I've read thousands of fantasy books by hundreds of fantasy authors. I've loved quite a few of them, some more than others. It would be hard, if not impossible, to rank them or their authors, in any order, and especially that of best to worst. But if you asked me for my 5 favorite authors, I would know what to answer. And I would know Mitchel Hogan would be one of them. 

Shadow of the Exile, as with every other of Hogan's novels, starts slow. Maybe even painfully so for those who enjoy fast-paced books. Sure, there are quite a few action scenes in the very first chapters, and you find out some of the character's traits, personalities and purpose early on, but the book doesn't really take off until halfway through. But when it does.... let's say you're in for a treat. 

I could talk about the book's prose, world-building, magic-system, and a dozen other things, as I usually do in my reviews. But this time I won't. Because in Mitchell Hogan's books, that's not what I care about, and I dare say you shouldn't either. There's only one thing important enough, and everything else pales before it. The story, and the story alone. And Mitchell Hogan knows how to tell one, better than most. Shadow of the Exile is a story about love, forgiveness and absolution. It's also a story about war, death, and destruction. It's, more or less, a story about a demon who's more human that the rest of us.

Shadow of the Exile is out today. Buy it. Read it. Forget about prose, pace, characterization (not that the book isn't excellent on that regard), and enjoy a good story instead. And then buy the rest of his books and do the same. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2018 18:25

Petros is the creator & owner of BookNest. He lives in Patrai, Greece, where he works as a betting agent.

In his free time you may find him reading books, watching TV, and participating in Roman orgies (not really). 

He also has an infatuation with sloths that others might call unhealthy.