The Hollow March by Chris Galford
It is a time of upheaval in the Idasian Empire. As religious fervour stirs dissent among the people, and the winter winds loom, thousands gather behind their aging emperor on a march to war.
In the midst of this, young Rurik Matair blunders home with childish notions of revenge, and an unlikely band of sellswords at his back. The third son of a backwater nobleman, Rurik was destined for a life in service to the crown. But when he reached beyond his station, he was banished from his father’s house with nothing to his name. Tired and hunted, he returns after two years abroad.
Yet all is not as it appears. As Idasia’s brutal war threatens to stagnate, old rivalries rekindle. Other players shift through dark games behind the scenes, and old magicks rise against a tottering throne, stirred on by a woman with nothing left…
“Man tames not vengeance; vengeance breaks the man.” - Idasian Proverb
The book started with this proverb, which made me immediately like it. It was all I could do to meet my own deadlines, because every time I went in to read a few pages of this work, I wanted to read more.
This is a well-written book, with the added boon of very few typos. The author’s style was perfect in description, in that I could see in my mind this world he had created instantly, with detail enough to make it real. Here is a passage to illustrate this:
Most of the Empire was not like the Ulneberg. To the north, warhorses streamed across well-laid and well-travelled paths, and wealthy caravans roamed from city to city, seeking to purvey the guilds’ trades. Farms littered a stripped and open countryside, as flat as a Karnush woman’s chest. However, this land suffered from a curious benefit: War. As the Empire pressed its manifest borders to north and south and west, the continual prospect of war had left this section of the Ulneberg largely untouched. The problem was the Kingdom of Surin to the east, a nation once lofty, now reduced to poverty and ruin.
I do caution that it takes a while for this book to get going, after the initial thrill of the prologue. It wasn’t until page 80, when one of the characters is brought in for questioning, that the book ramped back up to that level. Most of this first section is background on the main characters and information on their relationships to one another. There are also long lapses in the action of the book where flashbacks tell more background, and past events. These passages do make the book lag between character’s dialogue, so when one character is responding to a question on the previous page asked by another character, the reader may need to go back to the last dialogue to find out just what was asked.
I liked Essa and Voren. Rurik was something of a typical medieval “jock” and I didn’t like him as much, especially with his childish actions. If my father wanted me dead, I’d take a lot more care about my actions and not be getting drunk so often, or acting flippant with my guardian’s commands. The scene of Ros and Fallit was particularly moving
At 460 pages, this book is long. I think there are several passages that could have been cut from it or shortened, to make the action flow a little more smoothly and be more understandable. But compared with other fantasy books, this is in keeping with the genre. And I can’t fault the writing style, which I loved.
The book leaves off with many threads left hanging, making me think there may be a sequel.
Overall opinion: Good read!
This The Hollow March book review was written by Tara Fox Hall
All reviews for Chris Galford's The Haunted Shadows
The Hollow March
The Haunted Shadows: Book 1
It is a time of upheaval in the Idasian Empire. As religious fervour stirs dissent among the people, and the winter winds loom, thousands gather behind their aging emperor ...
Have you read The Hollow March?
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.
The Hollow March reader reviews
8/10 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 reader review for The Hollow March by Chris Galford; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
The Judging Eye
R Scott Bakker
The Three Seas are on the march under the leadership of Anasûrimbor Khellus. Khellus has spent these last twenty years conquering the various nations and forming the ...
Once Walked With Gods
The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of...
Chronicles of the Black Company
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Great Reawakening has left Latent people with a stark choice: either use their newfound magical powers in the service of the government, or choose the path of the Selfe...
The Divine Cities Trilogy
Robert Jackson Bennett
A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. &nbs...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: