The Bastard’s Grimoire by Joseph Hirsch
From the first chapter I knew this book would exceed my expectations. This book is rich in fantasy, gore, and sex. It is told from multiple perspectives with an adult style that was shocking, at first. I personally do not enjoy reading countless fantasy tales that surround a young adult’s angst ridden quest of self-discovery. That being said, this was exactly one of the story lines in the book! However, the main difference is that the book is written for adults and the young adult’s quest is merely one storyline in an intricate web of others. This style change was refreshing and realistic. The world is full of fear, hatred, violence, and injustice. This story does not shy away from describing, sometimes in depth, the gore and inequality.
Overall, the plot is complex with elements of magic and mystery. The characters are funny, quirky, and nuanced. They are rich with history, lore, and unanswered questions. The ending was abrupt, I was convinced that this book would be a series, but the conclusion wrapped up quickly at the end. Within this colorful world, full of unusual under dogs was a hodge podge of theology, religion, and enchantment. I am unaware of many religious references and there were various moments when I became lost in the allusions. The world in the story is one where authority should not be trusted and the possibility of justice remains. The story teaches you to never underestimate someone’s potential.
If you want to read a fantasy story about justice from an adult perspective, look no further. I would challenge adult readers who enjoy fantasy to read this book and experience the authenticity for oneself.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
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