And so they’re beginning to trickle in, the write-ups on the latest Spectral chapbook, King Death, brought to you by the incomparable Paul Finch. The first one is from Walt Hicks, who has written reviews of previous issues for the Page Horrific webzine, and has posted this one to his new blog Hellbound Times. You can read what he had to say about the exploits of Rodric, the main protagonist in the story, here.
The second review is from Geoff Nelder, who runs the science42fiction blog, but, with his permission, I can quote this one directly:
“Rodric cannot believe his luck during the medieval black plague. He was immune, unlike virtually everyone in the area he wandered – between Cannock Chase and the Welsh border. So he looted with impunity though he theatrically dressed in black armour just in case he met resistance. Of course England wouldn’t be the green and pleasant land in the song, and award-winning author, Paul Finch, steeps us in the stench of rotting bodies, and plays with the retaking of the environment by Nature. To keep us engrossed in the medieval experience we are treated to a wonderful lexicon of the ages: Jongleur, rambraces, rerebraces, miniver, bascinet, seneschal, sokemen, and my favourite – ouches of gold. To save you reaching for Dictionary.com there is a glossary bringing up the rear though the context is usually enough to keep you going. Rodric meets a young unnamed lad with the result of more potential riches and yet an undoing. The former servant takes Rodric to his castle and its subjugation from the terrifying plague is described with splendid detail.
Readers might consider some of the tale as overdescriptive and the style could be tightened but it is excused by the beauty of the narrative: ‘The implacable silence was haunting. It was a listening silence, Rodric fancied, an eavesdropping silence…’
There is a wonderful peak in the story’s suspense and it is right at the end. Whether the boy or Rodric is the true king death is up to you.”
Thanks to both Walt and Geoff for sending me the reviews! Onwards and upwards!