Monday, September 21, 2015

Black Monastery by William Stacey

Title:  Black Monastery
Author:  William Stacey
Publication Date:  July 15/13 by Bastard Sword Press
Length:  263pgs
Genre:  historical paranormal thriller
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

The Viking north clashes with the supernatural east in an epic historical fantasy tale of heroism and redemption.

Banned from his homeland, Viking warband leader Asgrim Wood-Nose has been declared outlaw. Unless he can raise a princely blood debt, he will never see his beloved Denmark again. When a Saracen merchant brags of a great treasure hidden on the Frankish island of Noirmoutier—home to the Black Monastery—Asgrim believes fate is offering him a chance to go home again. But an ancient evil has escaped the Black Monastery, an eastern demon that wears the skins of its victims. Hunted by this monstrous foe and tormented by the ghosts of those he has slain, Asgrim’s only ally becomes another lonely soul, a Frankish woman abandoned by her people under suspicion of witchcraft.

Beware the foe behind the strange threshold.

My Review:

Stacey combines Vikings with the supernaturals in an unmistakably unique way. I enjoyed the mixing and meeting of cultures, mythologies, and religions. Stacey has lots of intricate world building that adds to the story rather than slowing down the plot to go on a long narrative. I appreciated the little bits of history and realism that were also scattered throughout. I found the process of building the longship very fascinating.

There is a sense of foreboding throughout that really kept me on my toes. The sense of darkness gave me chills at times. It was remarkably well done. Stacey’s well written, intimately crafted tale made me think and definitely had me coming back for more.

I quite enjoyed the characters in this novel as well. The fact that their ultimate role in the novel wasn’t immediately apparent was a treat. I enjoyed getting to know them and finding out where they belonged in the tale. I also enjoyed how each stayed true to their beliefs, rather than being swayed by those around them.

This was a bit of a dense read, but it’s definitely one that I’ll never forget. Stacey brought this entire world to life in a big and unforgettable way.

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1 comment:

  1. Vikings and supernatural powers is something that has definitely not happened before! I want to see which traits they would take from each creature, and how that will affect them!

    My recent discussion post: