The Boy Who Wept Blood
Not quite a fantasy Renaissance
Release Date: 29 January
608 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author: Den Patrick Publisher: Gollancz
Based in an alternate
version of 14th century Italy, Den Patrick’s interesting but not entirely remarkable Erebus Sequence owes as much to Game Of Thrones as it does to The Borgias. This second volume takes place a decade after the conclusion of opening instalment The Boy With The Porcelain Blade, and the decade- long gap means that you don’t necessarily have to be familiar with what has gone before.
Like Westeros, the mythical realm of Landfall is divided into a series of rival houses, who are predictably constantly at each other’s throats; lead character Dino even has a miniature dragon that perches upon his shoulder. Like George RR Martin, Patrick dials down the fantastical elements to good effect, concentrating instead on the political shenanigans between the opposing parties that occasionally erupt into vicious swordfights.
Patrick has a strong eye for character: the tender relationship between Dino and Anea, the mute Silent Queen, is particularly well drawn, while Dino’s priggish reaction to being embroiled in a sordid conspiracy to expose another character’s homosexuality is also deftly handled.
With some devastating revelations concerning the mysterious Erebus figure, the stage is set for the final part. Hopefully by then, the story will add up to more than the sum of its influences. Stephen Jewell Den Patrick will be discussing the series at Waterstone’s Piccadilly on Thursday 28 January. For tickets, call 0207 851 240.