Read Twenty Palaces by Harry Connolly Free Online
Book Title: Twenty Palaces|
The author of the book: Harry Connolly
Edition: Radar Avenue Press
Date of issue: November 24th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780989828406
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 420 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2033 times
Reader ratings: 6.5
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I read Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces, #1) (my review) and thought the series had merit. It reminded me of a Jack Reacher -esque urban fantasy. However, a peculiarity of that first-book-in-the-series was that it wasn’t. This Prequel is the real first book in the series. It’s better than Child of Fire .
Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces, #1) was published in 2009. This book (Twenty Palaces, #0.5) was published in 2011. A peculiarity of Child of Fire was the amount of detailed backstory in that first-in-the-series book. Child of Fire might properly have been considered Book #2 in the series. This book contains that backstory, fleshed-out in detail and with additional long-term plotlines properly laid-out.
In my previous review, I commented on the rough-edges in the author’s prose. Two years later, I can see they’re being polished-off. The prose is technically better than the previous book. Lilly working magic and crafting his famous ghost knife were particularly well done. In addition, at a slim 250-pages the author shows a promising economy with his storytelling. Although, I realize the scant page count is the absence of the dead weight of backstory that authors of series' are compelled either psychotically [sic] or by their editors to include.
There is violence in this story, but no sex. You would think a man fresh out of prison would be interested in getting some? Violence is moderately detailed. It’s, edged weapons, firearms and physical. Most of the physical violence is Horror-related (cannibalism included). Body count is moderately high. I see this is becoming a signature for the author.
The protagonist Ray Lilly gets a deeper development than earlier. His twin motivations of loyalty and avoidance of criminality are well handled. Annalise Powliss is shown to be more than a magical Terminator. Unfortunately, the author misses on developing the motive for her enmity for Lilly. Jon Burrows an important character in the story is somewhat mishandled. For some reason, he’s the least possessed of the possessed. There are a number of minor characters. The vampiric sorcerer Callin was the most interesting supporting character to me. There is also Wally, a spell distributing loose cannon. He shows-up in later stories. Neither of these characters were mentioned in Child of Fire. There are also the requisite number of NPCs. With such a high body count, you can never have enough.
Plotting was good. It rests on the Throwing Off the Disability and Guilt tropes. Unfortunately, Burrow’s unlikely, modest degree of possession used to pluck Lilly’s heartstrings doesn’t work. What does work is Lilly’s unintentional double-cross of Callin. Finally, this book felt more Lovecraftian than the earlier book.
World building adds just a little more than found in the previous book. However, the more the better.
This is a better book than Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces, #1). The writing is better and the plotting is twistier. The author is better at the shorter, novella format than the longer 350-page book length. I'd still like the author to tone down the gratuitous slaughter. That this ‘prequel’ story came out about the same time as Book #3 in the series is a great failing of the: author, his agent and his editor. Anyone thinking about starting or reading only one-book in this series needs to start with this one. I didn’t. I should have.
I’ll likely be reading the second (really the third book in the series: Game of Cages.
Readers who are interested in this type of story and haven’t read it already should checkout: Sandman Slim.
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