Normally I don’t take review requests because I firmly believe in only reviewing books I love but when Martin Bolton approached me to review The Path of Sorrow I was thrilled, having already enjoyed and reviewed The Best Weapon back when it was still a Musa Publishing novel. The Path of Sorrow is a sequel and although I’d forgotten many details of The Best Weapon I still wanted to see more of the world.
This book is so intense right from the beginning that I honestly don’t know what counts as a spoiler so I’m going to let the back cover blurb explain as much about the story as the authors find appropriate:
“A song of hope and sorrow, born on the coming storm.”
After the cataclysmic events of The Best Weapon, an uneasy calm has descended over the world. The Winter Realm and the Old Kingdom are ruined by war, while the people of the southlands have retreated to their deserts and jungles, to lick their wounds and wait for better days.
Fulk the No Man’s Son is now the lord of Silverback, and commander of the surviving Templar knights. Considered a heretic by many of his followers, he struggles to contain his unearthly powers. His half-brother Naiyar has returned to the deep jungle of his youth, where he prefers to live alone, isolated from his tribe. Both men notice the stars shift in the sky, and become aware of the rising of a new god.
On a remote tundra in the heart of the great continent of Temeria, a peaceful nomadic tribe is attacked at night and wiped out by a mysterious enemy. There is only one survivor, a boy named Sorrow. Hunted by Templar Knights, bloodthirsty pirates and an army led by an increasingly desperate slave-turned-sorcerer, Sorrow’s chances of survival are slim. He finds an unlikely saviour in the form of Bail, a ruthless assassin, and the pair realise they must stay together to stay alive…
The Path of Sorrow is Book Two of The World Apparent tales, and continues the story of the half-brothers Fulk and Naiyar.
I loved The Best Weapon because of its detailed worldbuilding and the unusual tribal culture Naiyar came from, so I approached The Path of Sorrow with enthusiasm, but I was still utterly blown away by how awesome this book is. I’m kind of wishing I had a paper review copy so I could have covered it in sticky notes(I can’t stand the note function on my Kindle) where all the awesome techniques were used. If I ever teach a writing course this will be one of the books used as an example over and over again because it’s that good.
The Path of Sorrow features a huge cast of characters, all of whom manage to be interesting(or dead really quickly). It’s also got a fascinating story I guarantee will actually keep you guessing right up until the end–and an ending that manages to shock you while still being perfect for the story. And unlike other self published novels I’ve read it is edited impeccably.
The Path of Sorrow is not, however, for the faint of heart. I mean, I didn’t expect a happy-go-lucky novel after reading the title, but Martin Bolton and David Pilling impressed me with their ability to always make things worse and their willingness to kill characters. I’m not going to throw in any spoilers about who dies or how, but let’s just say the character death count in The Path of Sorrow would make George R. R. Martin proud.
Still, if I had to give this book a star rating(which I will when I upload this review to Goodreads and Amazon tonight) I would give this book a 5 star rating.
Martin Bolton was born in Cornwall in 1979 and now lives and works in Bristol.
Previously he concentrated on his artwork and writing small pieces of nonsense for the amusement of his friends, before deciding to do some serious creative writing. His first published work, a full length novel co-written with David Pilling, The Best Weapon, was published by Musa Publishing on 02 March 2012. The sequel, The Path of Sorrow, was published in March 2015. The Peace of Elias, a novelette set in the same world is also available on Amazon.
His short stories can be read at The 900 Club.
His work is inspired by such authors as Robert E Howard, Joe Abercrombie, Bernard Cornwell and Iain M. Banks.
You can find Martin Bolton @Bo1_tan.
David Pilling is an English writer and researcher, addicted to history for as long as he can remember. He spent much of his childhood dragging his long-suffering parents up and down the misted ruins of castles in Wales, and the medieval period has always held a particular fascination for him. He is also interested in the Roman period, the Dark Ages and the British Civil Wars of the 17th century.
His first published novel, Folville’s Law, followed the adventures of Sir John Swale during the dying days of Edward II’s catastrophic reign. It was followed by twelve mini-sequels. He has also written one stand alone novel, The Half-Hanged Man, and published the first two White Hawk novels, part of a planned 4 part series that takes place during the War of the Roses.
David Pilling’s most recent published works are Nowhere Was There Peace, a stand alone tale of espionage during The Second Baron’s War, and The Path of Sorrow, the second novel in a series co-written with his friend Martin Bolton. All of his published novels are available as both ebooks and paperbacks.
You can find David Pilling @RobeH2.
Does The Path of Sorrow sound awesome to you? Do you want to see more book reviews? Let me know in the comments section below!