Review of The Sable City by M. Edward Mcnally
Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: "Matilda Lanai, she of the sickening fall and the miraculous, silt-spitting, quaking resurrection. It might be a sign at that. The Island girl wasn’t stupid. She knew how to work. And she had it inside her to be ruthless. Block had seen it plain as day."
Epic Fantasy, Muskets & Magic. Historical fiction in a fictional world
Finally I found a book in the Fantasy genre that picked my interest for this week and it turned out to be a very good one. It is called The Sable City and is apparently part of a trilogy.
We begin our story through the eyes of one Captain Block who is a Miilarkian dwarf. Though the islands of Miilark are populated primarily with humans, Captain Block long ago adapted to the customs of the place (including shaving off his beard as Miilarkian men are all clean-shaven) and made it his home.
Block is tasked with going on a special quest assigned to him by his house, which is how Miilarkian societies are divided, and must choose someone to help him. Rather than searching for the top person for the job, Block seems to be looking for someone rather mediocre and choses Matilda Lanai who is also of the same house.
We are not told what “Tilda” and Block’s mission is and they also keep that information from others that they encounter in their travels. Later it is revealed that they are looking for a man who was long ago exiled from Miilark but they don’t say what they will do when they find them Dugan, a deserter soldier who they team up with on the road, assumes that their intention is to kill the man when they find him.
Dugan is looking for the same man and promises to lead them to the man if they promise not to kill him also. Thus, they come to an uneasy truce.
Soon the mission begins to unravel. They encounter strange giant mosquitos and a knight bent on vengeance against Dugan. And all the while, Tilda wonders why Captain Block has chosen her for this mission when he had his choice of the best of their house, yet she can’t ask him because it is somehow against their culture. How will she continue when she has so many questions and faces so many strange new places? She is a trained assassin but one who has never left her homeland. Everything is so new to her.
This is what the reader will uncover if she or he continues to read. The story is very engrossing as well as unique compared to many Fantasies of today. No stealing from The Lord of the Rings here.
I would love to go on about all the great characters in this one but I would give away too many spoilers I think. Suffice it to say it is well worth the time spent getting to know them and hearing their stories as well as their backstories.
I will end, instead, with a great quote from the story. “Good luck wears off, the Tulls had said. Bad luck lasts forever.” Isn’t that the truth? Well, seems like it anyway.
Contains: Fantasy violence, mild language, sexual innuendo