Sons of Darkness

Head of Zeus. Jan. 2024. 672p. ISBN 9781035900237. $30.99. FANTASY
DEBUT Inspired by George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series and Indian mythology, this grimdark fantasy novel kicks off with a powerful prologue and then proceeds to follow a large cast of morally gray characters, including some from the epic Mahabharata. Witness the cunning of Krishna, the unflinching courage and loyalty of Satyabhama, the independence of the pirate princess Mati, the honor of Shishupal as a man who is tired of the games played by the powerful and the proud, and many more besides. Altogether, their riveting stories provide an original twist on classic mythology. The magic system of chakras and mandalas is seamlessly woven into a rich world, and the story smartly explores themes of ambition and vengeance.
VERDICT This tome of a book is a slow-burning and sprawling epic where the reader’s patience is well-rewarded by the fluid prose, the complex geo-political intrigue, and the harrowing war sequences. The saga is equal parts valor and depraved desperation, and the bleak violence is by no means for the faint of heart, though it will appeal to fans of Joe Abercrombie and Steven Erikson.
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