The Archbishop’s Amulet is an epic adventure tale in the genre of dark fantasy, filled with strange beings and replete with all nature of spells, counter-spells and magic in e-book format by Watson Davis.
Plot: The world consists of numerous tribes all gradually being brought under the aegis of the Nayen Empire. The Empress is an all-powerful, suppressive, cruel and ruthless ruler whose underlings are of the same ilk. The protagonist, Caldane, a former student of Eddard the Shaman of the Brightfox Clan (called the Onei) now is a slave after the clan’s destruction. He is the only living survivor of a sacrificial ceremony, ritualistic in nature to harvest his magic. He is alive but many magic spells have been burned horribly into his flesh. The story opens with his being forced to clean up the remains of another of the gorily repetitively performed ceremonies with newly acquired prisoners and his decision that he no longer can live with the very people who are being selectively sacrificed. The tale follows his escape that is hampered by his decision to take along a child and a young girl and later adds a young nobleman, as they proceed. The forces stacked against him are several ‘Overseers’, an Archbishop, a gigantic humanoid creature and her army of warriors with attendant zombie like creatures and all manner of magical spells and other operative procedures as well as demons from Hell. A concluding battle and “Aftermath” provide a hint of more to follow.
Discussion: The author is a Texas born mathematician, now living in Spain and spinning tales from his long standing interests in fantasy, sorcery, science fiction and assorted creatures they engender. This particular volume is on the abundantly gory dark side of fantasy with a plethora of characters both good and bad, interestingly created and each pursuing its own agenda. Fortunately, a sizeable Glossary and Cast of Characters is included to allow the reader to ‘keep things in order’. The story moves well and although it would seem to be more particularly of interest to younger readers for whom it could provide some lessons in fortitude, it is well written enough to be enjoyed by any reader who is a devotee of fantasy and not adverse to the gorier side of such tales.
Conclusion: For the fantasy devotee, particularly of the dark, gorier type.
4* For devotees of fantasy; 5* for those enjoying the more gory, dark variety.