Marik's Way by Nick Brown
Perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy comes a book that introduces the nicest guy in grimdark: Marik.
He begins the book without even a sword. He lives in a cut-throat world of slavers, mercenaries and thugs; yet, for all that, he just wants to make an honest living. He doesn’t enjoy killing, and only does it when he has to, though he excels at it. Once he gets a blade in his hand again, none who stand in his way remain standing for long.
It’s a very immediate story with a character who continuously gets dragged down by other people’s shit, and because of his genuinely gallant nature he always stops to lend a hand (or a sword.) As such the plot jitters around and takes unexpected directions, but in doing so Nick Brown demonstrates the compelling nature of grimdark fantasy: it’s about realism within a fantasy world. And life doesn’t always go the way we want it, and for Marik it certainly doesn’t. He takes a simple job, that of a bodyguard, protecting the daughter of a money lender and escorting her across the sea, when a mass storm hits leaving him victim to the elements.
From there, he finds himself in the midst of a new land where he quickly gets roped into aiding a rebellion against a tyrannical overlord Reverrik (and his ginormous enforcer Hammerhand.) The action that ensued is visceral and tense. For all Marik’s skill, on more than one occasion, I felt that if he took one wrong move he’d be dead. Hammerhand is a fierce fighter, and if his name wasn’t intimidating enough, he’s also over seven feet tall and uses a rather large mace and chain as a weapon. Marik has to use all his skill with a sword (and no small amount of luck) to just survive an encounter with such a deadly foe. Waiting to see these two slug it out one final time pushed me to the end of the book quite quickly: there’s nothing like a good grudge match.
The book has a strong ending, well-rounded characters and a backstory that is waiting to be explored. Fantasy is nothing without its world building. And this was free from huge information dumps and drawn out pieces of narration, instead preferring to reveal the information through dialogue as Marik remembered (or tried not to remember) his violent past. There’s much to be picked up here, and we have had a few small details, but I want to know exactly what made such a skilled swordsman as Marik flee from battle. I think there’s more than he’s letting on at this point.
It’s also worth noting that this is not only Nick Brown’s first venture into fantasy, but it’s also his first self-published novel. And it just goes to show, you don’t necessarily need a publisher to produce quality fiction. I enjoyed this every bit as much as the Agent of Rome series. It’s a solid piece of adventure fantasy.
This Marik's Way book review was written by Sean Barrs
Have you read Marik's Way?
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.
Marik's Way reader reviews
8.5/10 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
Great fantasy books published in 2018
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scop...
Age of War
Michael J Sullivan
The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron...
Legion: Lies of the Beholder
Stephen Leeds, also known as 'Legion', has a unique mental condition. He can become an expert on any subject in hours... and with every new area of expertise a new ...
A Veil of Spears
The Night of Endless Swords nearly saw the destruction of Sharakhai, and since then the Kings have come down hard on the rebelloious Moonless Host. Hundreds have been murde...
The Ember Blade
A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questione...
Fire and Blood
George RR Martin
From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones - one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series - comes a definitive history of West...
In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of S...
Iron and Magic
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh ...
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...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: