Review: The Tower of Bones / Author: Frank P. Ryan / Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books / Release Date: Out Now
The Tower of Bones by Frank P. Ryan sees four people Kate, Mo, Alan and Mark in a world with many dangers and few allies. Not only do they need to contend with the native creatures and inhabitant but also the treacherous witch Olc. Her plans to summon the demigod Fangorath has our four heroes involved in something greater than they themselves can barely comprehend...
It is the detail with which the author writes that is so immersive. The locations have a real sense of authenticity within the context of the world they are set in. This detail isn't in place of, or doesn't mean, your imagination won't be needed, it does in fact allow it to be used to greater effect. This allows for a real appreciation of the book as you are then able to enjoy the story fully. The story in this book is violent, dark and while the premise of four people in a fantasy sounds familiar, it is a far cry from people having tea with beavers. Not only is the physicality of the characters and creatures described well but so are the sounds they make, which only heightens the sense of danger.
There are moments of real fear in the book, when the characters seem to be in real danger. The author does a nice a job of making sure you empathise with the heroes and loathe the villains. Faltana in particular is a character which likes to inflict pain on people but never kill, she enjoys it, maybe a little too much. The anticipation lies with how characters like Faltana will meet their demise and if it is fate deserving of a character so evil. All the characters in this book are crafted well, each with their own motives for doing what they think is right. It is interesting to find out of how these motives will lead to good or bad things and how it affects other characters.
Frank P. Ryan has crafted a world of such detail that it deserves a read at least once. It's refreshing to read a fantasy novel which is relentlessly dark as it is all the more satisfying when something good happens. This is a strong entry to a series and the next entry can't come soon enough.