Ichabod Brooks has earned a reputation for taking the jobs most men and women fear to challenge. This reputation has brought him to the charred remains of a small village nestled within the hills and forest of Ralian. The ruins are a source of strange monsters that terrorize the countryside and repeatedly elude the local guards and hunters. The few brave souls who have entered the creatures’ lair have yet to come out alive or dead.
The chances of survival are slim, but that generous payment is too much for Ichabod to resist. After all, a man and his family have to eat.
My Review: I really enjoyed this story. It was a great adventure and I can’t decide if it was the characters or the City of Beasts that were more fun.
The story starts out with a list of rules posted on the main character’s property. FYI, he’s the guy you call when you have a really hard job that needs to be done. We find out that Ichabod Books is an upfront kind of guy. He makes it clear that if you want to hire him you have to follow his rules. I, personally, wouldn’t want to be the person who doesn’t follow his rules. He’s smart and brave; everything we look for in a hero. He also gets himself into serious trouble in this story.
The lighter moments come when someone talks about the stories that they have heard about Ichabod. Bards appear to be the bane of Ichabod’s existence. He curses them each and every time someone is wrong about him. I guess bards are this worlds tabloids.
This story manages to be adventurous and gory without being graphic. There are plenty of beasts that are slain and people who die but oddly it isn’t violent. I think the authors decision not to be overly detailed worked well. Some authors would have gone to town with the blood. There is just enough description to get the point across but not enough to make you put down your lunch.
I only have one single issue with this story. It’s told in present tense. I think that stories told in present tense should come with a warning label. I believe that I have ranted on this topic before and will no doubt rant about it again sometime. Present tense distracts me. It’s a personal preference and I’m not going to hold it against the story. That’s my only complaint. This story is well done and I look forward to reading more about Ichabod’s adventures and I really hope Morgan goes with him. I won’t spoil Morgan for anyone but I think she may be one of my favorite characters ever.
Background Image: Forest Fire by Ylvers