With an epic quest and plenty of action and adventure, this heroic fantasy novel is a blast of a read.
A thoroughly entertaining and epic slice of heroic fantasy fiction with battles and heroes aplenty, yet there is more to focus on here than initially meets the eye. With reluctance legend Kell Kressia, who for ten years has been tending his farm, sets out on a quest to save the land from an icy terror. Author Stephen Aryan’s debut was a finalist in the David Gemmell Morningstar Award, and The Coward definitely put me in mind of the late and great author. There is a solid backbone of decency, with the traditional action, adventure and swordplay on offer, this book also looks at cowardice, heroism, friendship, and love. Set in a world that I felt on the edge of already knowing, the landscape is almost recognisable, yet different enough to create interest. The characters have some depth while still being larger than life. This is a lively yet simple tale, one that you can wholeheartedly throw yourself into, and there are some unexpected moments to help you along the way. The plot sings along and makes this a read you can roar through. It’s a thundering introduction to a new series, and you can sign me up for book two already! A heady hit of escapism, The Coward is rollicking-good read.
Kell Kressia is the hero from the legends. But legends don't tell the whole story.
Kell Kressia is a legend, a celebrity, a hero. Aged just seventeen, he set out on an epic quest with a band of wizened fighters to slay the Ice Lich and save the world. He returned victorious, but alone.
Ten years have passed and Kell lives a quiet life, while stories of his heroism are told in taverns all across the land. But now a new terror has arisen in the north – something has taken up residence in the Lich’s abandoned castle beyond the Frozen Circle, and the ice is beginning to creep south once more.
For the second time, Kell is called upon to take up his famous sword, Slayer, and battle the forces of darkness. But he has a terrible secret. Kell was never a hero – he was just lucky. Everyone puts their faith in Kell the Legend, but he’s just a coward who has no intention of risking his life for anyone...
|Publication date:||8th June 2021|
|Publisher:||Angry Robot an imprint of Watkins Media|
Stephen Aryan puts the epic into Epic Fantasy.
Aryan's battle scenes are visceral masterpieces that transport the reader deep into the melee.
I really enjoyed this book.
Sparkling action sequences punctuate keen dialogue and a journey full of colour and interest.
A great fantasy tale.
Magnificent...Exactly the sort of breathless adventure we need after a lockdown year
Sure to please fantasy readers
Stephen Aryan was born in 1977 and raised by the sea in the North East of England. He started reading fantasy at a young age and cites among his early influences Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Ursula Le Guin, Terry Brooks, David Eddings and David Gemmell. He currently lives in West Yorkshire and when he's not sampling real ales or walking in the hills, he can be found reading and writing fantasy. Author photo © Hannah WebsterMore About Stephen Aryan