The Boy Who Wept Blood

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books -

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.

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