|Storytellers on Tour||ebook||151||Everard Books||Fantasy Horror||June 1st, 2020|
You know the way small/short people usually tend to have the most gusto and feist? Yeah, in this same way, this 151 page book blows into your life, causes a hurricane of terror, emotions and holy-shits and leaves a trail of wow behind it! It is of no surprise then, that like a force of nature, this fantasy horror title comes with a set of trigger warnings: Injured and dead animals (wilderness survivalism), Disease, Claustrophobia
A brutal wilderness.
Hungry, plague-ridden animals.
A winter so cold it snaps wood.
Chemosh, a scout imprisoned by the enemy, agrees to lead the way through this wilderness for his freedom. But both his knowledge and his resilience are put to the test, not just by the wilderness, but by the chaotic, violent man he guides. A man he must rely on if they are to survive.
The minute I read the blurb of the book, I was in. Short, to the point, instant intrigue with promise of outdoor survival hardships piling on left, right and centre. Love it. I mean, ‘ A winter so cold it snaps wood’ would have been enough to sell the book to me.
It takes skill to write so much story to a book with less than 200 pages. How much information is required for the reader to set the scene, to paint the setting, to convey the feeling – Howse seems to have it balanced just right. There isn’t a word too much or too little; and the impact is nonetheless shattering. Interestingly, while I enjoyed the scenes in the wilderness, and whilst the violent man was, indeed, mega intriguing, I have to admit, my favourite part of the book was the start. The start of the book covers off the TW of claustrophobia as Chemosh is imprisoned and dayum, did I feel it. I mean, the state Chemosh is in really hit me in the feels and I had no issue with placing myself there in the darkness with him to physically suffer and mentally teeter on the edge of madness.
Then, there’s the ‘violent man’ – we will keep him a mystery as to his background and such, but imagine a man larger than life with a bellowing voice, steely determination, physically the embodiment of the giants who walked the earth… yeah, well, then add this extreme anger issue and a freaking axe and kaboom!
But here’s another kaboom for you- Chemosh and the violent man both will surprise the reader by showing a different side to themselves! A nice surprising surprise, ha… I know, I can’t get any more vague than this! But I was reading about this surprising surprise with my mouth open, thinking: no way! and the book went: yes way!
Furthermore, the story is gelled together in the wilderness by the fantasy/horror element. That was interesting and the reader will know just enough to make the story compellingly edge-of-the-seat. It had this mythical feel to it nearly, a feel of some darker forces at play. The battles that our characters have to face out there in the wild are constantly placing us at death’s door.
Red in Tooth and Claw is entirely gung-ho from the opening to the closing sentence. Fans of fantasy/horror will surely enjoy this title, especially as it’s a rare gem of a quick enough read among the commitment demanding tomes. Sometimes, you just want to dive into a story and come up out of it for fresh air and change soon after. This title will allow readers to do that!
For those of you feeling lucky, there’s a giveaway running at present… enter now for your chance to win a copy, and enter quick as the deadline looms… good luck! 🙂
Prize: An ebook copy of Red in Tooth and Claw by Ryan Howse –INTERNATIONAL!
Starts: April 25th, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: May 2nd, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
About the author:
Ryan Howse is the author of The Steel Discord, The Alchemy Dirge, and Red in Tooth and Claw. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada, with his wife, children, and cats.