As promised, here is my review of Tribesman by Paul Freeman (as posted on UK Amazon):
If you are a fan of the Fantasy genre – think Tolkien, Dungeons and Dragons, sword and sorcery, enchanted blades, Gods v mortals and perilous quests – then this is the book for you!
This is old school fantasy firmly and brilliantly brought into the 21st century. A nostalgic thrill for a generation (such as mine) brought up on Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad movies (plus Xmas TV re-runs of Jason and The Argonauts) and a riveting read for a new generation of PC gamers glued to their screens battling creepy critters in Diablo, Infinity Blade (et al). At last, a book to tempt the gamers to engage once more with the written word – and a story that will appeal equally to teenagers and older readers.
Tribesman delivers every thrill and spill of the video game or movie screen – and plenty more besides. (NB If I were a movie producer planning a new Fantasy blockbuster, I’d be contacting Mr Freeman about the film rights. Furthermore, any games developers wanting to licence a storyline for a brand new quest-based series are similarly advised!)
Freeman’s characterisation is excellent – without being clichés in any way, we feel we know the lead characters already and this sense of familiarity means we readily root for the heroes and cheer when the bad guys are vanquished! More than this, Freeman has created an entire fantasy realm for his characters to inhabit – a place of tribes and clans with their own distinct histories and cultures, a domain of magic and mages, of Gods and mortals and hidden cities of the undead. It comes together seamlessly and the reader never questions the veracity of the tale that unfolds as Culainn – fearsome ‘warrior born’ – pits his wits (and deadly blade) against foe after foe. The ability to create an entire new world (complemented by an all-encompassing bespoke history and culture) is extremely difficult and yet it remains fundamental to the ultimate success of any Fantasy tale. Freeman makes it seem effortless – and, in this regard, he is right up there with grandmasters of the genre such as Mervyn Peake and Tolkien. The raven-God, Morrigu, is an inspired creation.
Paul Freeman’s Tribesman is a thrilling return to the excitement and escapism of traditional Fantasy and will, I predict, set new standards for the genre in our modern era.
Tribesman had me firing up the Kindle at all hours – hooked and determined to finish. I am confident it will do the same for you!