The Best Weapon by Martin Bolton and David Pilling


I originally met Martin Bolton through Musa. One of Urania’s many authors, he generously provided me with my first ever guest post, and, even better gave me a copy of his co-written fantasy novel to review. Due to a combination of mountains of homework and other obligations, it took me about two months longer than expected to finish the Best Weapon, but I can say it was certainly worth the wait.

The Best Weapon is the story of two brothers created by the ‘Lords of Hell’ as a last ditch effort to save themselves from an unnamed evil force. These brothers, Naiyar and Fulk, are placed on opposite ends of the planet so they won’t draw attention to themselves or discover themselves until the time is right. This book tells the tale of these brothers discovering their true natures and finding each other. Each faces trials which test their will power and strength while showing them that they are more than human.

From the very first scene—the scheming ‘Lords of Hell’ creating the two sons—I was entranced by this novel. I greatly enjoyed the vastly different cultures Naiyar and Fulk belonged to. Both Naiyar’s Djanki and Fulk’s Templars were created with tender care and great detail. While both sons came from deeply religious warrior cultures, the similarities end there. From the dress to the food to the rituals, the reader is shown just how different these two cultures are—and how beautiful, and twisted, each is in its own way.

As a writer, I find it incredible that these two authors managed to create a masterpiece together. I’ve never co-written anything, and to be honest, I’m afraid co-writing would lead to a lot of conflict for me; I have an incendiary personality and I don’t play well with others. So the fact that this world and book were brought together seamlessly by two authors is particularly impressive to me. While I’m pretty sure each writer took on the perspective of one son, there’s no noticeable change in style or writing quality, so you’d never be able to pinpoint which part is which author.

All in all, The Beast Weapon is well worth reading. It involves conflict at every level imaginable, fight scenes on a grand scale, incredible sacrifice and suffering for both brothers, and a beautifully detailed world. I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to review it and I highly recommend you purchase your copy today—and with any luck, you’ll be seeing these two lovely authors here for an interview sometime in the coming months. If I had to give this book a rating out of five stars, I’d give it four out of five stars because it’s a great book but it never quite moved me to tears, which is to me the mark of a book that surpasses even the idea of great.

You can purchase your copy of The Best Weapon here.

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, is The Best Weapon, is due to be released by Musa Publishing on 02 March 2012. His work is inspired by authors such as Joe Abercrombie, Robert E Howard, Bernard Cornwell and Iain M. Banks.

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