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BOOK REVIEW: The Barrow by Mark Smylie

REVIEW SUMMARY: The creator of the comic Artesia manages to convincingly jump from comics to novel in this full text debut.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS:: A mercenary cartographer and a motley set of mutually distrustful companions set off to obtain a legendary sword in a poisoned and dangerous realm outside civilized lands.

PROS: Deep worldbuilding, richly invoking the Known World; diverse set of characters with agency; evocative description of places and violence alike.
CONS: Highly charged sexual content may turn off some readers; prologue is tonally very different from rest of the novel.
BOTTOM LINE: A bloody, violent, sexy and evocative novel debut that captures the spirit and feel of the author’s graphic novel efforts.
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