May 182015

Cover for Michael R. Fletcher's Beyond Redemption. Three warriors on horseback ride through a stylistic landscape of brown and gray.Booklist:  A general guideline in high fantasy is the need for a sympathetic and ignorant main character—someone readers can follow close behind and from whom they can learn about this new world, just as the protagonist does. Practically every character in this author’s new novel is insane, deplorable, or both, but in some dark corner of themselves, readers will admire all of them and thus be compelled to follow their grippingly fascinating story through to its terrifying climax. Living in a world where the lines between sane reality and the fantasies of madness are blurred, Konig, the high priest of a powerful cult, has tried for 10 years to create a new child-god, given power by the delusions of the faithful and controlled by Konig himself. But a trio of nearly as ambitious bandits has plans to capitalize on this growing cult at exactly the right time. The journey is dark and emotionally taxing, but there aren’t many fantasy novels as smart, ambitious, and excellently written as this one.