The beast was nearly upon her. And with that rocket-propulsion of an opening, we’re off into Michael Paul Scott’s Stormsend, the first installment in the Saga of the Freewilds, a series that combines the twin inspirations of dark fantasy and detective noir to conjure a tale—and a world—that both beckons with familiars while refreshing the lens on well-worn genres.
The book sweeps us off to the ramshackle village of Ollgarten, a borough of the city Viridia, capital of what is known as the Eminent Empire. It’s here where the Cult of Ebon gathers, a malicious sect of no less than demon-worshippers who have their sights on an eclectic community of people known as the Gathered: citizens of other nations, displaced by an endless cycle of warfare started years ago by a terrible tyrant.
Constable Lukarde Alfans, a keen investigator, once sought justice for this beleaguered minority—which put him squarely in the crosshairs of the cult, who framed Lukarde for the murder of a clairvoyant he’d consult regularly for his criminal investigations.
With his name and reputation in tatters, and now living in exile, Lukarde hasn’t given up: his goal now is the stretch of southern country known as the Freewilds, where he might well find true renewal, as well as the space to probe the enigmas of the Cult of Ebon—all in an attempt to clear his name, and deliver overdue justice.
Stormsend firmly lays down unique, worthy territory for itself in a popular genre. The world-building is both rich and breezy, delivered on the back of a compelling story. An impressive marriage of two great storytelling traditions, it’s sure to satisfy both diehard high-fantasy fans and newcomers to the genre.
Learn more at Freewilds.net.
Find your copy on Amazon.