THE GUNS OF IVREA
Here be adventure
released 11 February 480 pages | Paperback/ ebook
Author Clifford Beale
Merpersons and pirates, swashbuckling sword- wielders and world- shaking secrets kept by a religious elite. Say what you will about Clifford Beale’s new fantasy novel, but it has all the elements that promise a Saturday morning serial- tinged reading experience.
Better still, Beale is a storyteller who can handle plot adeptly enough to create a hugely compelling narrative. From the moment thief- turnedmonk Acquel Galenus takes something he shouldn’t from a sacred tomb, Guns Of Ivrea gallops along. Or perhaps sails along might be a better analogy, considering how much of the story revolves around corsair princeling Nicolo Danamis, a lazy young man who gets a harsh lesson in the need to pay attention to what unscrupulous underlings might be doing.
It’s all terrific fun, although the publishers’ comparisons with George RR Martin and Master And Commander author Patrick O’Brian are a little overcooked; as yet, Beale’s fiction doesn’t have this thematic depth. Nonetheless, with plenty of plot threads left at best only loosely resolved and hints at dark developments ahead, we’re looking forward to shouting, “Ahoy there!” to the sequel. Jonathan Wright
Formerly ed- in- chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly, Clifford Beale is trained in 17th- century- style rapier combat.