The World Breaker Requiem by Luke Tarzian
Prince of Woe…
Avaria Norrith is the adopted heir to the Ariathan throne. But that means little to a man who, for the better part of fifteen years, has sought and failed to earn his mother’s love. Fueled by pride and envy, Avaria seeks the means to prove himself and cast away his mental chains. When he’s tasked with the recreation of The Raven’s Rage he sees his chance, for with the infamous blade he can rewrite history and start anew.
Daughter of the Mountain…
Erath has not felt sunlight for a century. Not since Ariath condemned her people to a life of darkness with their misuse of The Raven’s Rage. But when an old friend comes seeking the remnants of the ancient sword, Erath cannot contain her curiosity and resolves to lend her aid. Is it true—can history be revised? Can her people be reclaimed?
Toll the Hounds…
They are hungry—and they are here.
From the first time that I read Vultures, I was hooked on Luke Tarzian and his approach to storytelling. It is just utterly stunning!
He is some sort of mad genius that creates these mindmashingly, surrealistic landscapes that just grab you by the face and suck you right in. I am totally in awe.
And his latest creation is again that Frankenstein monster of utter brilliance.
The World Breaker Requiem is the second standalone novel of The Adjacent Monsters series, which is a prequel to the Shadow Twins Series. The prequel books are
The story revolves around two characters, Avaria and Erath as they search for the legendary sword The Raven’s Rage, The sword of a world maker that can turn the tides of the temporal sea and thus alter history and events. As the main characters journey to the heart of the dead city Banerowos, each of the protagonists must come face to face with their own motivations and overcome trials (including being dead at one point) in order to reach the fabled sword.
I have to say, that I think the World Breaker Requiem is Luke Tarzian’s best work, and I was completely blown away by the levels of complexity that he has managed to write into this story. The prose has an almost hallucinatory quality to it, and sometimes you may get a little lost in all the unrelentingly mind bending prose and adjustments in timelines, but he writes with a stark rawness of the soul that you cannot help but fall into a trance at the brilliance of it.
Luke Tarzian’s books are utterly unique and I don’t think that I have ever read anything before or since like them. At times they can have the wild abandon of Burroughs and the like, but there is always an underlying feeling of humanity at the heart of it.
His characters are just amazing, at times confusing as they take on different aspects of past lives, multiple lives and interdimensional lives.
But what I also love is the surreal absurdity of the narrative with which Luke Tarzian peppers throughout the book. There are some really fine pieces of black humour throughout the book, which whilst it is classed of Dark Fantasy, there are lots of moments of light heartedness in the story, like the relationship with Avaria and Geph.
And whilst this isn’t run of the mill fantasy, Luke Tarzian does incorporate many recognisable aspects of fantasy fiction and twists them for his own evil misdeeds, for instance using a magically imbibed sword to turn back time, or the main characters going on a quest. In addition there is the main evil big bad Te Mirkvahil.
Throughout the story, Luke Tarzian makes an effective use of recurring distinctive features, such as recurring words and sentences. In all honesty, it took me a little while to catch on to this device, but when I did it added to the impact of the story by increasing the emotive quality of it.
I did read the book twice (and generally do with Luke Tarzian’s books) as there is so much that can be missed in the first experience, you start to pick out bits that you missed on the first time round, and even the second time around to be honest. I think I tend to just digest the story when I first read it and then as it becomes more familiar I can pick things out and determine aspects of the story.
To say that I like these books is an understatement. I cannot hide my utter delight at the way that Luke Tarzian manipulates common tropes. His story is malleable and twists and turns to ways that you don’t expect, moving forwards, backwards and even to the side.