by D P Prior
A name destined to be forgotten. A cursed axe. An atrocity too great to be forgiven.
"Gritty, tense, and brutally tragic. High quality storytelling with great characters and a relentless plot." -- Mitchell Hogan, author of A Crucible of Souls and Aurealis Award winner.
The legend begins...
For more than a thousand years, the dwarves have hidden away from the world in their ravine city of Arx Gravis.
Governed by an inflexible council whose sole aim is to avoid the errors of the past, the defining virtue of their society is that nothing should ever change.
But when the Scriptorium is broken into, and Ravine Guard Carnifex Thane sees a homunculus fleeing the scene of the crime, events are set in motion that will ensure nothing will ever be the same again.
Deception and death are coming to Arx Gravis.
The riddles that preceded Carnifex's birth crystalize into a horrifying fate that inexorably closes in.
But it is in blood that legends are born, and redemption is seeded in the gravest of sins.
For Carnifex is destined to become the Ravine Butcher, before even that grim appellation is forever lost, along with everything that once defined him.
The long-awaited Nameless Dwarf origins novel, and the start of a brand new series, Legends of the Nameless Dwarf, Carnifex by D.P. Prior is a welcome addition to the sword and sorcery tradition that spawned R.E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Lieber, and Lin Carter, and it picks up right where the heroic fantasy of David Gemmell left off. With tight point of view, complex characterization, and an abundance of horror, bloodshed, and the relentless march of an uncaring fate, it also carries the hallmarks of modern day grimdark that readers of Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin are familiar with.