Thursday, February 12, 2015

A dark fantasy that doesn't deliver

Masters of Blood and Bone

By Craig Saunders

Publisher: DarkFuse

Pub. Date: February 3, 2015

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

In Craig Saunders' Masters of Blood and Bone, we meet Matthew Doyle Holland, a man who knows death and hurried many to their death. He has a daughter named Ankh who may be the only person he really has feelings for. But Ankh is soon trapped, in a book of all places, by a vengeful God who is out to conquer the world. Holland is set to battle the Gods and save his daughter.

If only this book was so direct and clear. And if only I could care.

Masters of Blood and Bone was a drag for me to read and the fault mainly lies in the characters. Holland is a boring pompous old killer whose love for his daughter never really comes through in the pages. She comes across more like a possession to him than a daughter. His daughter comes out no better. In a dark fantasy like this one, characterization is the key and in this book, the key is broken from the beginning. So we are left with Saunder's ability to build a fantastic world with words. He fares much better here. His dark blend of modern horror and mythology is quite interesting to read yet, without the protagonists to push the story, it does not gel too well. it is too bad because there seems to be a real talent here. While there were moments that took off, for the most part I simply struggled with trying to care and hence was happy to finally come to the end of a long journey in a surprisingly short book. This may appeal to some dark fantasy fans but it did not involve me nor did it succeed as a horror novel. Not recommended.

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