Saturday, 23 April 2016

Gravedigger - Michael Israel Jarvis

Dead or alive. Good or evil. Hero or fugitive.

Valo needs a specific solution to a grave problem. The human Claimfold and prigon Torzsi draw apart. War is promised in the West. Worst of all, the magi of Nagyevo are meddling with the dead.

Perin is an apprentice Gravedigger: uneducated, unwanted, unsure. He may be the answer Valo needs, if he doesn't get killed before he works out what's going on. But of course there's the chance that fate hasn't called him after all. The gods are nameless and silent and the best laid plans have a way of going badly wrong.

Enter the spade and sorcery world of Valo.

Gravedigger subverts the expectations of that oldest of foes in fantasy, the dead that walk, in a fast-paced adventure through a world of culture, intrigue, magic and blood.


Dane Cobain had contacted me in early March asking if I would like to read any of the four books he had told me about, I said I could read all four and review each of them, Gravedigger was one of those four.

I have to admit that with a name of Gravedigger, I wasn't sure what to expect, I have to admit that it wasn't something I had expected, and it was truly enjoyable. We take the view of Perin, an apprentice gravedigger who has no friends and what you can see as no future. And then a giant bull-man Kesairl the Prigon, and his dead friend Medrivar the undead king come seeking the services of Perin’s master, and shatter the narrow minded ways of the Graveyard. When unfortunate events occur within and after a year, Perin has no choice but to leave the graveyard behind and follow Kesairl across the land alongside Medrivar, but not in the form you think.

The story is well paced, I loved that all of the characters were individual in mind set and skills it just helped that they weren't clones of each other. I was surprised at the level of gore but it wasn't offensive, in fact it helped the book become greater.

"The book Gravedigger, is about living and dead people and then the living dead people. It has corrupt mages, secret societies and ale-drinking anarchists.
It’s also about brotherhood and resilience in the face of adversity. It questions the existence of fate and the motivations of the gods."

I couldn't sum it up any better, a nail biting, edge of the seat, intense, gory, fantasy with no dragons or pixies, a great amount of progression and amazingly written characters and story line. The ending truly blew my mind, I wasn't expecting it to happen how it happened but it unfolded perfectly and was a overall, I wasn't able to stop turning pages.

I can say that Jarvis has a talent when it comes to writing Fantasy and the immersion is effective due to his eye for detail.

The only thing I've got to say is that for me it felt like a very big lengthy read but it's faultless besides that. I love the artwork, it's an exact replica of the way I see both of the characters pictured. As for the recommendations having now read this book? Well any fantasy lover, anyone who wants to dip their toes into a twist of fantasy or the fantasy genre in general.

Overall a 5/5 from me, I definitely will me looking out for more of Michaels work.

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