This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
01.12.20 / PS Publishing / Fantasy / Hardback / 116pp / 978-1786366948
About Broken Things: A Tale Of Durstan
The goddess Amaranth, Queen of the Broken, has been reborn for the first time in generations and now resides once more in her distant tower, observing the world through her strange, fractured eyes. Three pilgrims set out on the trail to find her, each for their own reasons: Pallor, the Knight of Perish, who wishes to die by a worthy hand and will challenge the goddess to a fight to the death; Nok, the tribal Wolkin, who carries her brother’s bones to beg Amaranth to restore him to the afterlife; and Ambrose, the monk, charged by his Order to seek the answer to the unanswerable question at the heart of his faith. Each of these pilgrims will be tested on the road to their inevitable convergence—and each will be granted answers, of a sort, from the Broken Queen…
Broken Things Review
George Mann is an absolute go-to guy for anything steampunk, mystery and dark thriller and I am pleased to now be able to add fantasy to that list! Broken Things is a novella that acts as an extended prologue to a larger fantasy narrative that I am excited to see play out. Broken Things follows three pilgrims on their way to face Amaranth, a god returned from the dead. All three face deadly trials on their journey to see Amaranth but their purpose fortify them in their travels.
Nok, a wilding, tasked by her mother to bring her brother’s bones to Amaranth so that he may be granted a chance at a peaceful afterlife. A priest tasked with asking a god a question that is the key to unlocking a truer understanding. And a knight in pursuit of a honourable death, a trusty squire at his heel. Why not face a god as the ultimate foe. All encounter unforgiving threats, be it human, beast or a horrible mixture of both.
In participating in this pilgrimage to Amaranth, these three individuals are repeating a cycle that has occurred for many centuries. They will learn that there is more important and immediate matters to dedicate their lives too and all three of them will be sent on a new path. Broken Things is a grisly and electrifying fantasy adventure that gives just a taste of George Mann’s potential in the genre and I cannot wait to see more.
Broken Things is really all about character experiences. The title is a reference to them and their plights. Thankfully a novella all about characters is filled with some compelling individuals. Nok is my favourite because her world is so fantastical and savage. She really gets into the thick of it quickly and those that hunt her are pure evil. Their backstory was so gruesome yet very cool. Nok has the most surprises and I am really rooting for her.
I really liked Pallor as well. He is a brave fool and mostly relies on his faithful squire Stonn. Their dynamic familiar and reliable yet holds some really great secrets of its own. Ambrose the priest is probably the least important to me right now. But I do like the way he views the world and his diplomatic ways. Each character has something (or many things) the reader can relate to and invest in whether it be family, faith, food or fighting amongst many others.
George Mann writes wholeheartedly and with creative gusto. There is nothing subtle about the kind fantasy that he has written in Broken Things. It is wild, bloody and captivating. I can’t give a definitive impression of where he is going with the story or the themes explored within it but I have high hopes that what has already been divulged can evolve in awesome ways. There are a lot of pathways this series can take and a mixing pot of atmospheres, plot ideas and messages to explore in its duration that I hope will be refined during the continuation of the narrative. I definitely needed more than just over a hundred pages but I am content to wait for more.
Broken Things is an incredible start to an enticing fantasy account of the exploits of three individuals brought together by a god and I am eager to get stuck into more of their adventures. George Mann keeps giving me more and more reasons to go back to his work and fantasy was another perfect opportunity.
About George Mann
George Mann is a Sunday Times bestselling novelist and scriptwriter. He’s the creator of the supernatural crime series Wychwood, as well as the popular Newbury & Hobbes and Tales of the Ghost series, two of which are in development as television shows. He’s written new adventures for landmark properties such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Judge Dredd, Warhammer 40,000 and Dark Souls.
George lives near Grantham with his wife, family and two noisy dogs. He loves mythology and folklore, Kate Bush and chocolate. He is constantly surrounded by tottering piles of books.