Release Date: January 22, 2015
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Gaelland is a nation gripped by fear.
In the country, fishing boats return with their crews mysteriously vanished, while farms are left empty, their owners gone into the night, meals still on the table. In the cities, children disappear from the streets or even out of their own beds. The King tells his people that it is the work of selkies – mythical creatures who can turn from seals into men and back again – and witches. But no matter how many women he burns at the stake, the children are still being taken.
Fallon is a man who has always dreamed of being a hero. His wife Bridgit just wants to live in peace and quiet, and to escape the tragedies that have filled her life. His greatest wish and her worst nightmare are about to collide.
When an empty ship sails into their village, he begins to follow the trail towards the truth behind the evil stalking their land. But it is a journey that will take them both into a dark, dark place and nobody can tell them where it might end…
Superstition abounds and true magic is hinted at in The Last Quarrel: Episode One. Duncan Lay’s first installment of The Last Quarrel sets the stage for interesting things to come, though on its own Episode One takes quite a while to engage readers. Still, Mr. Lay’s land of myth and magic is interesting and shows true potential. There are creepy monsters, kidnapped children, politics, family strife, a man who wishes to be a hero, danger, and numerous unsolved mysteries all woven into Episode One. If it seems like a lot to introduce in a small slice of a book, that’s because it is. Rather than parse things out over the course of the story, Mr. Lay chooses to introduce a good portion (if not all) of the central players right from the start. This means that Episode One is heavy on introduction without providing much depth. Since I assume that the characters will be fully fleshed out as the story goes on, I’m not bothered by this. I will say that perhaps this is a story best read from start to finish, as it doesn’t read like an intended serial.
The Last Quarrel: Episode One is a difficult book for me to review because I felt like I didn’t get enough sense of the story as a whole to judge it. I had a hard time starting Episode One because it felt weighed down by numerous introductions, but by the end I was ready to leap into the next part. The best thing I can say is that The Last Quarrel shows a lot of promise and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.