Title: Cold Counsel
Author: Chris Sharp
In Chris Sharp’s new epic fantasy Cold Counsel, Slud of the Blood Claw Clan, Bringer of Troubles, was born at the heart of the worst storm the mountain had ever seen. Slud’s father, chief of the clan, was changed by his son’s presence. For the first time since the age of the giants, he rallied the remaining trolls under one banner and marched to war taking back the mountain from the goblin clans.
However, the long-lived elves remembered the brutal wars of the last age, and did not welcome the return of these lesser-giants to martial power. Twenty thousand elves marched on the mountain intent on genocide. They eradicated the entire troll species—save two.
Aunt Agnes, an old witch from the Iron Wood, carried Slud away before the elves could find them. Their existence remained hidden for decades, and in that time, Agnes molded Slud to become her instrument of revenge.
For cold is the counsel of women
Got permission from my editor to post the Gamecca book reviews here so there’ll be more regular. The reviews in the magazine have a max 200 word count so I’m expanding.
I actually didn’t read the synopsis to this book before I selected it, which happened to be a good thing. It is merely the introduction to a grander story that slashes it’s way onward. Intermingled with a lot of Norse mythology, Cold Counsel was a book I enjoyed far more than I thought I would.
It follows the story of Slud. He doesn’t seem to be the sharpest knife in the kitchen, merely a fantastically large brute who has been raised by Aunt Agnes, a witch living in a dark forest called Iron Wood. His upbringing is brutal, riddled with tests and challenges and tales of great battles between gods and monsters. All of this, is merely a taste of the unfolding story.
The writing flows really well. You get a sense of the characters and the world around them clearly. Good vivid descriptions incorporating the senses like smell, and sight, and sound, that it was easy to imagine Slud’s exploits during the course of the story. The characters are also given so much life. From Neither-Nor and his almost eccentric paranoid nimbleness to the seething anger that boils within Aunt Agnes.
A really fantastic novel, unfortunately quite short, but engaging and fun.
Rating: A riveting 4 out of 5