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From the Publisher
"[A] fascinatingly lateral take on quest fantasy. A gripping read, this is a fine opening to a series I'm looking forward to continuing to enjoy."
— Jay Lake, author of Mainspring and Green
Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon,he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience! A gripping military fantasy in the tradition of Glen Cook, Scourge of the Betrayer explores the brutal politics of Empire–and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man’s soul.
Posted August 22, 2014
Arkamondos is a scribe trapped in a life of recording the day-to-day activities of merchants and lower nobles. The most exciting stories he records are of successful recoveries from droughts. But one day he gets offered a position by a unique employer – Braylar Killcoin, a Captain of the Syldoon Empire and leader of a band of soldiers on a mission in the kingdom of Anjuria. Arki jumps at the possibility of recording history, travelling with and recording the deeds of a retinue of the feared Syldoon. Through near-death experiences and death threats from his new comrades, Arki wonders if adventure is the right fit for him, but soon enough, he knows too much to be released from duty without feeling a crossbow bolt through his skull.
Scourge of the Betrayer is a thrilling introduction to the Bloodsounder’s Arc series by Jeff Salyards. Secrets are slowly unveiled, patience tested, and personalities forced into conflict. Combined with fierce fighting, Salyards builds tension on every side until the plots that have been running behind-the-scenes burst into the forefront. A lot of effort goes into establishing the core characters and their relationships to each other, so their reactions to events are highly personal. Supernatural artifacts and abilities add some extra flavor to the story, with a flail mysteriously connected to the ancient Deserter gods and people born with the special ability to manipulate memories playing key roles. Despite the importance of these supernatural elements, they do not overwhelm the story. They help shape the text, but do not define it. The definition of the story is solidly left to the characters and their machinations, which really helps provide some depth. I’m definitely excited to continue reading Salyards’ work.
Posted March 3, 2013
I've been on a science fiction kick lately and took a break from that genre on the recommendation to read Scourge of the Betrayer. I found that it flowed very well and kept me interested throughout. When I read a good book I get immersed where all the action appears as a movie flowing through my mind. Scourge of the Betrayer does that for me. I am looking forward to Book Two in the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.