Hey guys, how have you been keeping?
Here in England, we’re still observing our third lockdown, however, we’re hopeful it might end soon.
Today, I’m excited to be reviewing Pariah’s Lament (an Of Magic & Metal core story), by author Richie Billing.
This story is part of a larger group of works by various authors, who have banded together to explore a wide world of fantasy.
Of Metal & Magic Publishing has more details regarding this exciting joint project.
When Keeper Ashara is attacked by a mysterious assassin, his young advisor Edvar is tasked with finding out who is behind the betrayal.
When Isy, a young outcast is kidnapped by two members of an unusual race, she finds herself asked to help a suffering people, the Amast.
Together, both Edvar and Isy are forced to undergo journeys that will test the limits of their character.
Edvar proved to be a determined sort of man, always trying to prove himself to others. He was passionate toward his duty to the keeper and refused to be swayed from his true values, which made me admire him more and more as the story progressed.
Isy, a social outcast and book lover, developed beautifully during the course of the story. Although timid and unsure of herself at first, she gradually grew into a courageous and strong young woman, who persisted in doing what she considered to be the right thing.
Ashara (Keeper of Yurr) was a brave, wise, and determined man. He was like a father figure to Edvar, always providing support when Edvar doubted himself. At times, I questioned Ashara’s character as alternative accounts of him were given by others. His past held a lot of mystery, which made me consider him from various people’s perspectives.
Tesh, the Keeper of Karrabar (the lead antagonist) was driven purely by the rage that had built up within him over the years from a perceived betrayal. Blinded by his hatred, he seemed content only with the destruction of Yurr and its keeper. However, as the ashes of his great battle settle, we see a different side to Tesh, a side kept hidden from others as he did his best to seek revenge against a perceived foe.
Overall, the characters in this story each had their own troubled pasts, which helped to shape their character and motives. Each was well thought out and simply conveyed, adding layers of nuance to the story at large.
There was much I liked about Pariah’s Lament.
The choice of narration was interesting, switching mainly between Edvar and Isy’s perspectives, with the addition of Tesh’s perspective later on in the story. This combination of unique perspectives helped to better explore the main story, while simultaneously weaving in the character’s own personal turmoil, to enhance the emotionality of the book.
I also loved how the story explored Edvar and Isy’s innermost fears: how they held them back in life, and how they could only move forward with their quest by shedding them. The discussion of these various emotional issues helped to emphasize the main conflict without taking centre stage.
The tension building was done exceedingly well, gradually peaking throughout the novel, while providing unexpected twists that made me question what could possibly happen next. The story ended with a wonderful sense of unity that tied everything neatly together. That, along with the imaginative worldbuilding and backstory, made for an exciting adventure.
It was truly a challenge to pick out just a few quotes from Pariah’s Lament. In the end, I had noted down at least ten quotes which had wound their way into my heart and mind. After some time examining them, I was able to settle on the following five.
1) ‘Life is a struggle, is a fight in itself.’
2) ‘There are some things that you can’t learn from books. Some things you must do and feel to truly understand.’
3) ‘Fear can control your life, paralyse you- To beat it, you must fight back. Take the first step beyond the threshold with courage in your heart and curiosity in your mind.’
4) ‘Some things are just beyond our control- we have to make the best of it, even when it seems impossible. All we can do is pick ourselves up and take the next step forward. If we fall down again, we get up, until we fall for good.’
5) ‘Whoever controls the flow of information can manipulate things however they please. They can re-write history, erase people and nations from time.’
Each of these five quotes holds an important message for modern readers. They discuss how life is never easy, how we must work hard to survive, experience the world for ourselves and learn to shed our own fears, to achieve all that we are capable of. We must keep going, even when we feel like giving up. We must be aware of the information we take in and whether it can be trusted.
With themes of vengeance, betrayal, and unity, Pariah’s Lament made for an exciting and adventurous read.
The raw emotional concerns of the characters added a much needed touch of humanity throughout, something you don’t get with a lot of modern books.
I loved exploring the world of Soria and can’t wait to learn more about the various lands and their people.
My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to: Fantasy lovers, especially those who enjoy a war-inspired story, with intricate backstory.
Want more information?
Learn more about pariah’s Lament by visiting its Goodreads page, HERE.
Or, find out more about Richie Billing by visiting his website, HERE.
Alternatively, learn more about Of Metal & Magic Publishing by visiting its website, HERE.
As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Wishing you a wonderful week,