Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review: 'Banehunter' by Greg McLeod

Greg McLeod offers his third fantasy adventure in BANEHUNTER – that old fashioned (in the prime sense of the adjective) kind of novel that leads you through more mystery and danger and spells and terror and bravery than you could ever expect from a contemporary novelist.

Yes, fantasy has entered the minds of the populace – from little children to millennial to those adults who tire of the repeatedly assaulting apocalyptic Marvel Comics themes – a breathe of fresh imaginative air coming from the at times very dark places such as McLeod describes to the magic of transformation to good. It is a strange place to seek, but the psychological relief gained by reading the prose of Greg McLeod – that element of heroism and struggle abetted by magical nuances – is most satisfying.

Greg’s synopsis outlines where we are going: ‘It began on a small island off the coast of Marillin and quickly spread over the whole kingdom: the Bane. Now it threatens the people of the neighboring Vales, fighting for survival with nothing to save them from a fate far worse than death but a crumbling wall held together by weakening Wards and defended by a few brave men. As the creatures of the Bane gather force for a final, all-out assault, the only two people who can perhaps still change the course of events embark on a perilous journey to find its source: Graeme Banehunter, last of the rangers, disgraced and exiled for costing the lord of Longvale his only son; and Breanne, the lord’s unloved daughter, shut away in a convent and prone to sudden spells of blindness that bring her strange and frightening visions. And, possibly, there is a third: Arden, Breanne’s younger brother, summoned into the Bane by a mysterious Bitten woman and lost forever to the world of the living.’

Complete escapism – but severed in such a sensitive manner that it becomes a feast for our imagination and some reassurance that there will always be fairytales. Grady Harp, August 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.