Heavy Lies The Crown - Ben Galley
You don’t have to save the world, you just have to survive it
The battle for freedom has left Emaneska reeling and desolated. Both Scalussen and Arka are scattered to the winds. With the Blazing Throne now empty and the Arka Empire for the taking, the race to claim Emaneska has begun.
Farden and Mithrid have been stranded alone in strange eastern lands by errant magick, They battle not to return home, but to uncover an ancient weapon capable of defeating a god. A god who desires nothing but chaos.
In Emaneska, Elessi leads the survivors of the Rogue’s Armada to safer havens, something rare and lacking in the uncharted waters of the south.
Treachery and pain await them both, but the price of failure is steeper. New enemies lie in wait on those foreign paths. Dark creatures born of nightmares and forgotten powers. Warlords set on mastering magick. And an old threat reborn, doggedly pursuing one fate:
The death of Farden.
Ben Galley continues the story of Mithrid, Durnus & Farden in this continent crossing follow up to The Forever King.
Heavy Lies The Crown,the story continues straight after the climactic ending of the first book and Fardan and the gang find themselves 2000 miles from Emmaneska. Not only that, he finds himself, along with Mithrid, Durnus, Warbringer and Aspala separated from the rest of the Scalussen survivors who are loaded onto the remaining ships of the Armada.
Now, you think that with all that going on the lot of 'em don't need any more problems, but the itinerant god Loki has other ideas and decides that he is going to make life as hard as he can for all the members of Scalussen, whichever side of the world they are on. Oh, and he also decides to create an abomination against the gods in the process to chase Fardan & Mithrid.
Heavy Lies The Crown is such a bloody brilliant follow up to The Forever King that expands the story so much more. Ben Galley populates his books with fantastic characters and fantastic beasts, and Ben Galley astounds me again with this new book.
I have seen it mentioned by other reviewers that when they have read Ben Galley's books they remind them of the reason why they fell in love with the genre in the first place, and I must say I have to echo those sentiments. Ben Galley's writing has that heady mixture of adventure, full on fantasy and a dash of comedy. He uses all the tropes of fantasy that I love, found family, quests, magic and mythical beasts, all incorporated into a fresh new way. The relationships between the characters are brilliant. For instance, the love/hate relationship between Fardan and Mithrid (which I have to say involves a good deal of sweary snarkiness that I absolutely adore coz it makes me chuckle every time.
On top of that, Loki is such a good villain in this book. He has decided to throw all caution to the wind and is just plain nasty. In Heavy Lies The Crown, he is most definitely the main antagonist of the story and we see that more of his plans are revealed. Turns out, he has some pretty hefty plans afoot that not only involve Fardan and the gang, but also the whole of God Dom, and Ben Galley expertly knits this aspect of the story into background of the story that it is not readily noticeable until suddenly it jumps up and smacks you in the face.
The book has an interestingly dual dynamic with the two storylines of the split parties. On the one hand you get the story of the survivors as they are engaged in a taut cat and mouse game with Loki and his Leviathans, and on the other you get Mithrid and the gang off searching for a fabled artifact that has the potential to change the course of the war.
You'd think that that would be enough to keep a book filled but Mithrid and Fardan have other problems. Fardan has lost his magic and time is catching up with him, and the seeds of doubt are rife on the relationships of the party itself, causing friction and changing the dynamic of the party.
Heavy Lies The Crown is a totally amazing follow up to the first book, expanding the world massively. Ben Galley's writing is totally on point, maintaining the pace and the plot all the way through the book. Simply put, if you love classic fantasy that is filled with brilliantly realised characters, plenty of adventure and filled with fantasy monsters, Ben Galley's books are definitely up your street.