Author: M.C. Plank
Publisher: Pyr/Prometheus Books
Unique Elements: A Kendo-trained engineer from Earth finds himself transported to a magical world where he must represent a god of War to get home.
Series: World of Prime #2
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Number of Page: 315 pages
MSRP: $18 Trade Paperback/$9.99 ebook
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Reviewed by: J.T. Hanke
Final Score: 4.5 Moons (out of 5)
(Read our first review in this series here.)
After dying at the hands of mysterious torturers and being brought back to life by a Saint of the Lady, Christopher finds himself required to prove himself to the King with a new assignment.
The exploration of this assignment reveals more fully the presence of different color powers that are at war with the White throughout the kingdom and beyond, most notably in regards to the greed-run Yellow Church beneath the Gold Throne, and a black-aligned Sorcerer who terrorizes a kingdom.
However, not everything is as it seems and Christopher learns that a well-timed defeat is more powerful than many victories. (And a companionable cup of wine with a recluse can grant you a powerful and unexpected ally.)
To find out the path to finally get home, he’ll have to follow his bard to the college of the troubadours, a center of spymastery and secret knowledge in Prime.
This novel is a campaign story following Christopher’s first solo command with his troops, while at the same time developing new guns and military technology in his home factories to help with this. It manages to explore the details of this in a way that never gets monotonous or boring, which is very impressive.
The interpersonal dynamics of Christopher and his intentionally non-Magical lieutenant Karl are very intriguing, as both plan a coup that will overthrow everything everyone has ever known.
The exploration of the dynamics of how accumulated power effects those who have it continues to be important, as are how people can have unexpected power over others that they might not anticipate.
Planck also continues to look at how the dynamics of ethics lead to Christopher resurrecting his common men, despite the financial cost it puts on him. Through this, Planck continues to dynamically explore how political commentary can be woven into a mystical world far away that applies strongly to our world.
This series continues to have a strong Gothic fit with its emphasis on finding truth in the darkness, empowering those who’ve been powerless, and telling unexpected stories along the way.
I highly recommend this series and would encourage anyone who likes good fantasy to pick it up. (My adult son just started the series and has been really impressed with it.)
Story: 4.0 Moons (out of 5)
Dynamics: 4.0 Moons (out of 5)
Gothic Fit: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Final Score (not an average): 4.5 Moons (out of 5)