The Beginning of Sorrows by Walter E Mark

(9.0/10)

The Avengers are loose. Do they have anything to do with the prophecy concerning the twelfth? On the brink of the twelfth, a few dream dreams. What do they mean? Do the dreams hold the key to the prophesied crisis? The reactions seen with in the sixth world of men are varied. Some believe the prophecy, while others reject it as folly. Some whisper about conspiracies. Do they know something? What will really happen on the twelfth? Is there a way to avoid it? Is there really a crisis to avoid? The people of Kosundo will soon know the answers. The twelfth of Setmi is upon them…

Walter E Mark’s third novel in this hybrid fantasy/science-fiction series expands further upon the previous two books, introducing us to lots of new characters, as well as continuing the stories of our old friend Agap, and the antagonist Neaotomo, who with his single-minded pursuit of power, and the help of a mysterious, guiding presence will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. These two characters still dominate the central plot although they appear to a far lesser degree in this book.

Agap has always been an interesting character due to the inner conflict he faces over his faith, and its opposition to his sole drive to better mankind with technology. The story places a lot of emphasis on faith and the advancement of technology, and how these opposed views influence the tale.

The strong pre-occupation with time again prevails, and the Sixth World’s catastrophic events continue to unfold at a breathless pace, as The Avengers approach Kosundo, bringing destruction to the world. This central plot brings an immediacy and excitement to the storyline and delivers a sense of urgency to the proceedings.

In this book, one of Mark’s key abilities is the way he runs numerous characters and arcs alongside each other, without confusing the reader. The story doesn’t suffer as a result of all the parallel arcs as they come together in a way reminiscent to techniques used by writers such as Martin and Erikson. This is achieved with Mark’s easy, uncluttered approach to storytelling. His style doesn’t bog the reader down with heavy exposition or narrative, but instead forces the plot along at a relaxed, immersive pace.

With all the different threads combining, a more layered exploration of the Sixth World of Men is developed and a deeper world building and character development follows. Mark creates a stronger, more vivid and complete world, in which his story unfolds, bringing the first trilogy successfully to a conclusion. However, it is an ending which leaves countless questions unanswered and a need for future resolution, but it does bring a sense that something profound has changed.

I have enjoyed this trilogy and was often reminded of Asimov’s Foundation books. I would recommend these books to anyone interested in fantasy or science-fiction.

Review by

Our interview with Walter E Mark

Walter E. Mark started his life's journey in north eastern Ohio in the city of Canton. Athletics was Walter's first love as a youth. He played football, basketball and baseball on the youth and school levels and achie [...]

Read interview

15+

All reviews for Walter E Mark's The Sixth World of Men series

A Beacon of Hope

by Walter E Mark

On the surface, the sixth world of men is a glorious world. It is a world of great technological advancement. It is a world that has been at peace for a hundred years. Whil [...]

Series: The Sixth World of Men: Book 1
Published: 0000

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.9 | positive reader reviews

15+

Paths of Intimate Contention

by Walter E Mark

What has he done to her? She would never agree to that unless he had done something horrible to her. Degmer just knows that Neaotomo had done something to Laysa while she w [...]

Series: The Sixth World of Men: Book 2
Published: 2011

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Beginning of Sorrows

by Walter E Mark

The Avengers are loose. Do they have anything to do with the prophecy concerning the twelfth? On the brink of the twelfth, a few dream dreams. What do they mean? Do the dre [...]

Series: The Sixth World of Men: Book 3
Published: 2011

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Beginning of Sorrows reader reviews

9/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Middlegame

by Seanan McGuire

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.Meet Dodger, his twin. Numb [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2019

Score: 98

Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

On a remote jungle island, genetic engineers have created a dinosaur game park. An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now on [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1990

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Doomsday Book

by Connie Willis

For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four [...]

Series: Oxford Time Travel #1
Published: 1992

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

by Haruki Murakami

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+