Plot: Since the kings were overthrown, Gol has been controlled by greedy barons. Driven from his home by the cruel sons of one such man, Erun Cade becomes the chosen one of the gods, taught to fight and survive. He is driven by revenge for his father and to see the woman he loves once again.
Liss hates her forced marriage. Finding love elsewhere, she does not think of the consequences until it is too late.
Far across the sea, a demon has been unleashed to destroy everything in its path. It’s heading for Gol and nothing can stop it.
Quote: `The self-titled anti-hermit rubbed his hands together and yawned. “Rest for a time now, laddie, lese you’ll exhaust us both with your daft questions.`
Opinion: Gol: The Legends of Ansu by J.W Webb sounded like it should be up my street: fantasy, sword fights, a love story and meddlesome gods trying to either destroy or save the world. In the end, I enjoyed it. But it took a while to get going and for the characters to establish themselves.
The plot is multi-strand, following the various characters across the land of Gol. The main stories focus on Erun Cade and Lissane Barola and their experiences. But the reader is also witness to events happening elsewhere, mainly the released of the Ashmali and the destruction of other continents. Although this multi-narration works, there were several points where the time-line didn’t seem to be linear and I couldn’t work out what was happening when in relation to each other.
To say the characters develop is an understatement. Book Two of this novel is far stronger than the first because of the character development. Erun, for example, I wanted to slap for being so pathetic in the first half, then he quickly became my favourite in the second as he develops a back-bone – even if he only thinks with a certain part of his body! Liss, however, went from strong but stubborn to purely stubborn and selfish. My opinion of her went the other way to Erun and I disliked her by the end.
The minor characters were the most fun. Red Torrig was just so crazy it was sheer entertainment to read, as was Rakaro. They seemed the most genuine characters in the entire book. The “bad guys” – the Barolas mainly – were so far-fetched with their sadism it read as unreal and I couldn’t relate to them as characters in the way I could for the others.
The writing is fairly strong the whole way through. The style suits fantasy well. My initial thoughts, however, was that it felt like a Game of Thrones book – and the more I thought that, the more I began to pair up the characters. It lacked some originality despite the complex new world being created.
If you enjoy fantasy, this is not a bad book once you’re past the sex and violence. It’s far from the best though, so don’t have your hopes too high.