Friday 18 June 2021

The Coward by Stephen Aryan


Kell Kressia is a hero, a legend. 10 years ago he set off in a party to fight the Ice Lich, they won, the Ice Lich was killed but Kell was the only survivor. Was he a skilled warrior though or just in the right place at the right time? (the book's title kinda gives it away). 

In the here and now a new threat is rising in the North and the people believe they have just the man for the job (Kell should have learnt one of the first rules of fantasy fiction - things always come back to bite you in the butt). The people want Hero Kell to save them again, use his legendary prowess and warrior skills to save the day but Kell is no hero and doesn't want to go. 

Anyway, long story short, as you would expect he goes off to save the day and picks up a rag tag bunch to help him on his quest. These don't always seem to be the best, the most suitable but when it comes to the nitty gritty they somehow seem just the right ones for the job in hand. 

For me I think it was this mis-matched gang that made this story for me. So often these quests set out with what seems like a perfect group with just the right person for each task before them, a noble bunch whereas Kell's group seemed more like vagabonds and rogues. As has been mentioned before it reminded me of Nicholas Eame's Kings of the Wyld and, trust me, that is not a bad thing. 

I've read Aryan's books before and found his world building to be really good and the same applies with The Coward but there is also a sense of there being a lot more to come as well. As this is the first in a series we'll just have to see but I, for one, will certainly be there for the next installment. 

A good fun quest novel 4/5*

Thanks to Caroline Lambe and Angry Robot for inviting me onto this tour and please have a look at the posts by the other bloggers taking part (below) 

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