Saevus Corax Deals with the Dead

Hachette Audio. (Corax Trilogy, Bk. 1). Oct. 2023. 13:45 hrs. ISBN 9781668620816. $31.99. SF
Parker’s (A Practical Guide to Conquering the World) latest fantasy series opens with battlefield salvager Saevus Corax disposing of the dead with gruesome jollity. He’s cynical yet practical, and desperate for listeners to understand he’s an utterly terrible person. Soon enough, his past misdeeds—or charities—catch up to him. Now, despite his self-proclaimed selfish nature, disdain for goodness, and desire to be left alone, it’s somehow up to him to stop a war. Saevus is theatrically voiced by Ben Onwukwe, whose voice is so deep it fairly rumbles. Onwukwe’s Corax wants listeners to know they’re being played—and he wants them to enjoy it. Onwukwe’s performance reminds us that Corax is both an actor and a man of secrets. Some secrets are revealed in heist-style twists, and others are buried in delightful obfuscation. Since Corax is writing the story, Onwukwe can voice other characters as Corax would hear them, making his respect or annoyance audibly clear.
VERDICT A must for fans of the lighter side of grimdark and morally gray characters like Shannack from Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief.
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