Oh, Lee Battersby. You sure showed me, huh? When I said I enjoyed but didn’t love The Corpse-Rat King last August, it’s like you took it as a PERSONAL CHALLENGE and decided to write a book you knew I would LOOOOOVE.
What? That’s not what happened? Oh. Hm.
For the rest of you – if you’re too lazy to click that link up there, The Corpse-Rat King was the first of Battersby’s Marius don Hellespont novels, in which a downright scoundrel is mistaken for the King of the Dead, and the only way he can extricate himself from the situation is to find them a new King.
The Marching Dead picks up several years later, after Marius has settled into a staid rural existence with Keth, his One True Love.
Life is decent, if boring, and Marius has learned to derive pleasure from the small things – like aiming the cat at the stickerbushes he’s planted outside the window.
Here’s where this gets difficult for me to write. There are literally TENS OF THINGS I want to discuss, but to do so would mean spoiling the crap out of this book for you guys. And since Angry Robot was kind enough to avoid spoilers in their blurb, I don’t even really feel comfortable wading too far into those waters.
Since I’m not being a spoilery asshat, here are some things you can look forward to, should you decide to pick up The Marching Dead:
- Real and true ASSASSIN NUNS, not those stupid assassin nuns I’ve written about before that don’t really do any assassinating.
- Too many eff bombs for my reader to accurately count.
- Some kind of icky sex.
- “You’re fucked. Love Dad”
- Some of the best fantasy worldbuilding I’ve encountered in a very long time, with nary an infodump in sight.
- A particularly poignant scene that made me cry my eyes out.
- Tons of laughs, many of them of the uncomfortable variety.
One of the things I loved most about The Marching Dead is that it works well on its own. I don’t think you need to’ve read The Corpse-Rat King to appreciate it at all. It’s difficult to find books in a series lately that effectively standalone, but this one definitely does. That’s not to say I don’t think you should go read the first RIGHT THIS SECOND to prepare yourself for this one (US and ebook release March 26, everywhere else April 4) because I totally do.
There. Now you have your reading assignment for this week. Go read the first book, then pre-order this one.
I need someone I can discuss them with.
(Thanks for the eARC, Angry Robot!)