SFX Review

A review of Malice by SFX Magazine.

Malice by John Gwynne REVIEW

 at 12:00pm December 7 2012

Malice by John Gwynne book review:

Malice by John Gwynne.

Release Date: 6 December 2012
672 pages | £16.99 (hardback)/£9.85 (ebook)
Author: John Gwynne
Publisher: Tor

It’s exciting when you find a strong new voice ringing out through the halls of fantasy, and John Gwynne hits all the right spots in his epic tale of good vs evil, the first in the Faithful & The Fallen series.

Firstly, there’s his handful of main characters. Corban is a teenager, struggling to become a man, beset by strange visions and unaware of his future role in the imminent wars; Evnis is ruthlessly ambitious and pledged to serve Asroth, a dark god bent on destroying humanity; meanwhile, Kastell has to flee his home after years of bullying by his cousin turns into a deadlier game. There are more characters involved, of course, and they’re all drawn with copious quantities of vivid personality.

Secondly, Gwynne takes the familiar plot points of good/evil, hidden identities and magic and develops something fresh and imaginative. There’s a rich backdrop of lost civilisations and abandoned cities, overlaid with a remnant race of giants and the prolific but warring humans. All this is revealed slowly, the backstory blending smoothly with current events in an effortless writing style that appears easy but no doubt takes a lot of hard work to achieve.

That said, it’s not quite perfect. There’s some unnecessarily detailed repetition as characters retell events to each other, and there are too many characters having similar violent issues with family members. But there’s a lot of pleasure to be had in this debut novel; Gwynne is definitely one to watch.

Sandy Auden


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15 thoughts on “SFX Review

  1. Absolutely amazing read, I read it between king of thorns and emperor of thorns and it blew them out of the water, cant wait for book two and news ?

    • Hi Isaac, thanks for the message. I’m really glad you enjoyed Malice so much – I’ve read ‘King of Thorns’ and loved it.

  2. Just finished reading Malice (should have been working but the less said about that the better!) and I’m stunned. An outrageously good read! Hop the next one isn’t too far away!

    • Hi James, thanks for dropping by the website. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed reading Malice, and thank-you for taking the time to let me know. Book 2 is finished, with my editor at the moment, and I am just waiting on a release date for it. I’ll post it here and on facebook as soon as I know.

  3. Im in awe! I’ve just finished Malice and… I’m speechless. Reading fantasy has been my sole interest when it comes to reading, and this is by far one of the best books I’ve read!
    For the love of all that’s holy, don’t stop writing John!


    • Hi Chris.
      Thanks for the message. Really pleased to hear that you enjoyed Malice. I can promise you that I have no intention of stopping writing.

      I appreciate you taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed Malice.
      Happy reading!

    • Hi Brett. I’m afraid there is no definite news about book 2 yet, but I have been reliably informed that I should hear Very soon. Please watch this space.

  4. Thanks for the reply buddy! Im just getting random books at the moment, filling the time between now and then. Never enjoyed a book so much as Malice and ive read a hell of alot of books!

    • Hi Brett. The short answer is no. Longer answer is that it is with my editor at Tor UK, and I should be hearing from her soon (by that I mean weeks not months!) I’ll post on here as soon as I have any firm news. Thanks for the interest.

  5. Just finished reading Malice, loved it.. cannot wait till the next one come out…hope it will be soon…have posted on my face book page to let others know about your book…

    • Hi Jason – so glad you enjoyed Malice. I’ve just finished book 2, but I don’t have a publication date yet. Should know soon, hopefully.

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