Matt Spencer I think, gets a sense when it’s been too long since I reviewed one his books and he just sends me one to review. I mean, maybe he actually didn’t do that, but he did send this to me out of the blue, which was a great surprise and pleasure.
Back ito his world dark fantasy world of CHANGING OF THE GUARD(that I reviewed a couple months back), we are given the sister and brother rogues, Tia and Ketz. When they piss off the wrong bounty hunter, their hands are forced onto the security force of a cargo ship manned by a wealthy merchant and his crew. When tasked to kidnap his daughter, Hallucia, the pair soon find out that they may have finally bitten off more than they could chew.
Spencer’s fantasy is always fantastically pulpy, swords swing, the blood flows, quite often with a small chuckle. Tia and Ketz are fantastic characters and bounce off one another quite well. Being twins, they may end up sounding overly similar as you read the book, but when things are said and done, I thought Spencer did a pretty decent job with fleshing out not only the twins, but the other secondary characters like the enigmatic, Hallucia.
The politics of this world are always contentious, and (quite relevant for today) driven by race, which makes this very topical in all the best ways. Spencer doesn’t steer you away from the action, so just like any other book I have read from him, there’s a disclaimer, since there are plenty of scenes with gore, violence, and allusion to sexual violence. To his credit, Spencer makes sure his female characters are some of the most capable and dangerous individuals in his books. I was pleasantly surprised by how Tia could handle herself and how Hallucia manages everything on her plate.
At the end of the day, this is another great installment in his fantasy world, and it’s encouraging that a writer can create these more episodic stories without drawing them out, like so much epic fantasy does. It makes these small jaunts all the more rewarding.
THE RENEGADE GOD releases on August 12th from Black Carnival Books.