Infernal by Mark de Jager
Book of the Month
Stratus wakes in an unfamiliar place, with nothing but the knowledge that he is not human, with no memories of his past but possessing great strength, a powerful sorcery and the burning instinct to survive at any cost.
When we first meet Stratus he is disorientated, suffering amnesia, immobile and in danger – and right from that first opening paragraph the reader is thrown into an unknown new world that we explore and discover alongside the main character. It allows the author to explain the finer nuances of the world and society without just reeling off the information – it is instead an integral part of Stratus learning both about himself and forging relationships with those he encounters.
I was concerned that this would be another run-of-the-mill fantasy novel but as the story unravels it becomes obvious that this is definitely a new approach to dark fantasy. Occasionally it wanders into a trope of fantasy novels everywhere, but quickly pulls itself back on track. For most of the book you aren’t entirely sure whether Stratus is actually the ‘good guy’, or if there is a good guy in the story at all. Some of the actions he takes, and the actions of those around him, weave a complicated dark web that I personally found enthralling to read. Discussing anything specific about the plot would unfortunately be a spoiler, so I’ll leave it to you to discover this plot for yourselves.
I’m struggling really to highlight anything particularly negative with Infernal. It’s fast-paced, easy to read, enthralling and in places amusing. I would like to learn more about the wider world, but as we only get new information at the same pace that Stratus learns it, this would be difficult to include naturally within the story. The narrative grows and matures as the book progresses, either reflecting Stratus growing as a character or (more likely) is just de Jager getting into his writing ‘groove’ a bit more.
The end of Infernal definitely hints at this being a series and I for one am eager to read more, not just in this series but also from the author – newcomer Mark de Jager. As a writer he has a flair for this type of story, and I can see him taking the character of Stratus far. If you enjoy the likes of Joe Abercrombie, this is definitely a book to check out and an author to keep an eye on.
This Infernal book review was written by Jo Fitzpatrick
Have you read Infernal?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Infernal reader reviews
8.7/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Powder Mage Trilogy
The alchemy of gunpowder fused with the magic of sorcery. In a time of upheaval, resurgence and corrupted Royalty Privileged, one-man’s love for his lost wife and his...
Seven Blades in Black
Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of...
The Poppy War
R F Kuang
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who cou...
The Magicians series
In a secret world of forbidden knowledge, power comes at a terrible price... Quentin Coldwater's life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turn...
In the first age of Andeira, men and dragons brought together the two halves of the elemental magic of the world to create a union through which their magic, and the world,...
Dawn of the Exile
For the damned, redemption may be just a mad dream…Years have passed since the demon Tarrik and his master, the sorcerer Ren, destroyed the servants of S...
The House of Shattered Wings
Aliette de Bodard
Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and...
When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford - Samuel Johnson. In fact, Dr Johnson was only half right. There is in Lo...
Winter Be My Shield
Sierra has a despised and forbidden gift - she raises power from the suffering of others. Enslaved by the king's torturer, Sierra escapes, barely keeping ahead of Raste...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: