A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)
Review by Grandma Peachy:
The Blade of the Destroyer is a very dark fantasy novel with a lot of death and destruction. However, that did not keep me from enjoying the book. The story is set in another world with a medieval, polytheistic society. The main character is a superhuman assassin, known as the Hunter, with a special relationship to his weapon, Soulhunger. Much of the book’s dialog takes place inside the Hunter’s mind between he and his weapon. This character displays traits of multiple personality and does not fit into the society in which he operates.
One of the first things I noticed was the technique the author used to describe the setting. The main character’s impressions and reactions to his environment set the scene while developing the character himself. Instead of just describing the filth and stench of the poorest parts of town we read how the Hunter feels about his surroundings. We feel his reaction of disgust for the filth and stench, yet having compassion on the very poorest people who inhabit this part of town. He appreciates the beauty and sweetness in the air of the wealthiest neighborhoods, while despising the wealth and wealthy.
The author did a good job developing the character in such a way that the reader can identify and empathize with him. Even though we may not normally like that he is an assassin for hire we understand that he believes everyone he kills deserves his or her fate. His job does not keep him from being a protector of the helpless and for that a reader has to at least like him, if not love him. At one point in the story it is discovered that he killed a noble and his escape is being thwarted by the noble’s security. I was rooting for him, hoping he wouldn’t be captured. In another scene, battling the antagonist, the sword fight had the flavor of a sword fight in The Princess Bride with the verbal banter. There are a number of scenes where it seems that he cannot escape and, with my heart pounding, I was driven to read until I knew he was safe again. These scenes really drew me into the story. Then, I just had to keep going to find out what would happen next. Honestly, I had a difficult time putting this book down.
The Hunter is a master of diguise and uses this to hide his true nature from those around him. His disguises give him access to all parts of the city at all levels of society. He hates them but they are a necessary part of his job both as an assassin and as a protector of the weak and less fortunate. The way he does his disguises reminded me of the ones in the Mission Impossible TV series and movies. The setting is a less advanced society, though, in a time of carts and draft animals. His face masks are made using alchemy instead of modern technologic means.
The plot contains continually building tension with a protracted climax just past midway through the book. A peak that earlier felt like that would be the conclusion, instead it lead to plot twists building tension until the very end.
The story can be a stand alone and a reader will not feel that they have been shortchanged and must read another book to get the whole story. However, there is definitely room for more adventures of the Hunter to be written. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Here is a little about from the book:
The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?