Winterbirth: Excellent epic fantasy

Brian Ruckley fantasy book reviews The Godless World: 1. Winterbirth 2. Bloodheirbook review Brian Ruckley The Godless World WinterbirthWinterbirth by Brian Ruckley

I have been craving a real epic fantasy novel and Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley is exactly that — gods, diverse races, medieval setting, and plenty of warfare. What more could a lover of epic fantasy want?

Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Ruckley also does a really good job of creating fascinating characters and plot. Too often you get one or the other, but Ruckley really paints a picture that you can get into. That is due in large part because he doesn’t try to feed you too much all at once — it’s really well-paced.

The main character (if there really is just one), Orisian, is a younger son of a minor noble family. He seems immature for his years, which makes him both interesting and annoying at the same time. The progression from young and weak to mature man is very well done; Orisian’s reaction to life-changing events feels real, not like the typical hero who nonchalantly passes through the refiner’s fire with barely a thought. The other characters are equally interesting.

I really enjoyed the way that Ruckley allowed the reader to see how something that one person sees as evil could be another person’s good. It’s not that you want the bad guy to succeed, but his motives are understandable and reasonable for his character.

I am excited to start the next book in this series, Bloodheir. If Ruckley can maintain the intensity and pace that he set with Winterbirth, then this promises to be one of the best trilogies released recently. Fans of excellent epic fantasy shouldn’t miss Winterbirth.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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