Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell
Epic fantasy meets alternate history in a sweeping saga that crosses the medieval world. Matthias Eynon must escape the clutches the Witchhunters and locate the masters of the four magic arts to overthrow the tyrannical Demon King, descendant of the twisted Richard III.
Mathias Eynon"s dreams were small. A dabbler in magic, and son of a magician, he expected to live in obscurity in his home in the Welsh hills, quietly conducting his experiments and hoping not to draw too much attention to himself.
But fate has other plans for him. It is the Year of Our Lord Fifteen-Ninety, and a revolution is quietly brewing, here and further abroad. Richard V has overstayed his rule, some say; others whisper that the whole line of Demon Kings must be burned out. Mathias son of a man executed for the practice of magic, forbidden by the paranoid king is set to become a symbol, and a leader.
And to do that, he needs champions. A wise woman sends him to the corners of the known world to the frozen lands of the Danes, to the pirate-haunted ports of Spain, to the mountains of the German Empire, to the burning sands of the Holy Land to bring back masters of the four magic arts. With the best and brightest of Richard's Witch Hunters on his heels, he sets out to gather his allies.
This was the first book I ever receive to review it. I will not go astray with my review with a prospect of receiving other books.
Sarah Cawkwell is a great writer. I say this because I’ve read several short stories by her, set on the 40K world, and they were quite good. So in we go to a new adventure.
The world as we know change a bit. After the crusades magic was introduced to Europe nobility. As the time passed the peasants got hold of it. Of course the nobility didn’t want that to happen and neither did the King so the Inquisition was formed and magic purged. The reason was beyond the jealousy or fear. There is a secret that only the house of Plantagenet knows that will doom the country.
As the story progress we get to know Richard V, his Inquisition Lord Charles Weaver, our Main character Mathias and his bethroned Tagan. There are also some other characters like the Pirate King, Shapeshifter, She who Sees and a engineer that developed some steam boats and a battle tank. There are a lot of characters and in my opinion none were that developed. In the end besides the King none seemed to changed. Ok Tagan and Mathias had to make some sacrifices but only in their last chapters. The engineer had some parts of a chapter but that was it. Why was he included? He had no purposed besides building those machines. He had some motivation but no purpose or interest. He was just there. The shapeshifter had some internal problems that didn’t resolve until the end of the book. Even Charles Weaver, probably the character that had more word count not counting with Mathias didn’t have a closure.
I know this seems to be a lot of bad things but there were some interesting points. There is a feel of alternate history, fantasy and steampunk in each chapter that made me know more. The magic and it’s role was quite interesting, but at the same I felt that I didn’t know nothing about it. The story tells us about those characters and England but I didn’t know nothing of the rest of Europe besides that there were really good magus in the Vatican. So the church embraced magic? Why? How? This were answers I would like to see answered. Along with the purpose of our characters and allies in the coming struggle against the demons from the aetherworld.
I really thing this book can be a beginning a series that will enjoy alternate history, steampunk and fantasy enthusiasts. 6.5/10