Here we are again joing the fabulous Zooloo's book tours. This time it's for Pariah's Lament by Richie Billing. 

When an attempt is made on the life of Ashara, Keeper of Yurr, his young, hapless advisor Edvar must uncover and stop those behind it.

With enemies in the capital city and the belligerent Tesh, Keeper of neighbouring nation Karrabar stirring trouble in the Borderlands, can Edvar hold together Ashara's brittle reign?

The troubles ripple throughout Yurr, affecting an ancient race of people known as the Amast, who in their time of utmost need, turn to pariah Isy for salvation. Rejected by society, kith and kin, can Isy guide the Amast to safety during the greatest turmoil Yurr has known since the War of the Damned?

Pariah's Lament will take you on a rollercoaster of an adventure ‘that will keep you spellbound as you traverse the world alongside Isy and Edvar’ (Books Behind The Title). And along the way you’ll experience ‘intense fighting scenes, a little romance and flawed characters’ (Sarah Lillian Books).

If you love to explore fantasy worlds, this book won’t disappoint. Part of a shared universe populated by other authors, the setting in Pariah’s Lament has proven a huge hit with readers, with some praising the ‘insane level of detail’ (The Book Suite) and vividness of its descriptions.

Book Links

If fantasy on a grand scale is your cup of tea, then Pariah’s Lament may just be for you.

The story tells the story of Isy and Edvar. Two very different people from the opposite ends of society. One an outcast, one an advisor to the highest echelons of society. 

Their paths meet when an ancient race of people called the Amast who in order to approach the Keeper of Yurr and help save them from a terrible blight that is affecting their people. 

The story initially follows two main separate points of view (although there are others that at some point have an effect on the story in some way. 

The book has some intricate world building, along with some good characters. Especially the character of Isy, who kidnapped from her home by the Amast in order to teach them the Yurrish language so that they can get aid for the devastation that is affecting their people. Throughout the story we come to learn that Isy is shunned by her people, including those that should accept her for what she is, due to some form of facial deformity. It seems that her face is affected by a blemish across her skin.

The other main character is Edvar, an advisor to the Keeper of Yurr, who is thrusted into the limelight after an assassination attempt on the Keeper. 

Whilst the story has expansive themes of war and treachery, the tale itself is distilled into the two main characters finding their strength and determination despite the obstacles that they find thrown their way. 

One of the main aspects of the book was the world building. It was very intricate and had a similar feeling to the anthropological themes that are taken up Steven Erikson in his Malazan series. I think that this mainly is due to the fact that not only is the book telling a story, it is establishing a thematic setting, and when I discovered that the book was set in a shared world that others can share too, this made sense to me. 

The book is written in an interesting episodic manner rather than overarching chapters and has a kind of serialisation feel to it. Throughout these episodes, the spotlight is pointed to events and characters and how these will have an effect on the immediate story of the episode and the overarching storyline as a whole. 

As a reader, I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters, the structure of the book and the world building.

Richie’s Bio 

Richie Billing writes all kinds of stories, but mostly fantasy fiction. His tales often explore real-world issues, zooming in on his characters and their troubles.

His short fiction has been widely published, with one story adapted for BBC radio. And his debut novel, an epic fantasy called Pariah's Lament, was published by Of Metal and Magic Publishing in March 2021.

Richie also hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his acclaimed craft book, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook.

When not writing, Richie works as an editor and digital marketer and teaches creative writing both online and in his home city of Liverpool.

Most nights you can find him up into the early hours scribbling away or watching the NBA.

Richie’s Links


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