Book Review: THE LEOPARD

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

The Leopard Review

REVIEW: THE LEOPARD / AUTHOR: K.V. JOHANSEN / PUBLISHER: RANDOM HOUSE INTERNATIONAL / RELEASE DATE: JULY 10TH

There is something heart-warmingly old-fashioned about K.V. Johansen’s latest novel, The Leopard. The fantasy genre is currently full to the brim with gritty and post-modern versions of A Game of Thrones or overly dark retellings of Lord of the Rings. The Leopard bucks this trend by drawing on a legacy of pulpy, swords and sandals-style tales reminiscent of The Wheel of Time series but with a classic edge that feels as if it’s come from the 1950s.

The plot is nicely convoluted. The titular Leopard is an assassin called Ahjvar suffering from a rather nasty necromantic curse. It is a fiendishly unbreakable problem, which we’ll leave vague to avoid spoilers, but it is quite wicked, if not terribly original. One of the ways he can get out of it is to murder a false prophet, known as the Voice of Markand, who happens to have a horde of horrific minions (called Red Masks) running across the land causing all sorts of strife.

Ajvar isn’t a very likeable central protagonist and seems very keen to avoid getting involved in anything. Thankfully, the rest of the cast of characters keep the reader engaged. Deyandara the bard works partially because she’s also the world’s most reluctant noble and mostly because she’s a strong character with actual motivation. She’s helped by the perpetually put-upon Ghu who seems the most competent yet least capable member of the party. As the adventure progresses, things get even more involved and Johansen clearly delights in thinking up new ways to surprise her readers; the novel is filled with all sorts of pleasing twists.

Johansen’s style is not for everyone; there is a steady rhythm to the writing that does not change throughout the novel. It doesn’t matter if the characters are sharing a meal or fighting ghoulish minions – the pace remains painstakingly detailed throughout. Though this makes for an easy read, it also means it’s a little bland at times and coupled with a very dark tone, this may be unpalatable for some. It suffers greatly from being part one of a set -  a lot of the more interesting twists and turns are clearly set-ups for the next part in the series and this means that The Leopard has an unsatisfying ending, but one quite likely to leave you wanting more.



Suggested Articles:
Gwendolyn Bloom is a teenage schoolgirl who, ever since her mother was murdered, has spent her life
From the author of the Revelation Space series comes a tale of interstellar war from the perspective
This Young Monster explores the world of some of modern culture's most beloved monsters, taking a lo
In case you hadn’t realised, it’s 70 years since the death of HG Wells, which means (in the UK a
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

THE SONG RISING 21 February 2017

PSEUDOTOOTH 21 February 2017

THE CRUELTY 20 February 2017

SLOW BULLETS 18 February 2017

THE NINTH RAIN 14 February 2017

THIS YOUNG MONSTER 14 February 2017

THE TIME MACHINE 13 February 2017

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 12 February 2017

HEARTLESS 10 February 2017

WINTER OF THE GODS 09 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner