“If one suffers, I suffer. If one is chained, I am chained.”
My faith called me to become a Lance. My compassion drew me into one of the fallen lands. Through my connection with the Chained God, I alone can find and destroy the Horror that stains the land.
Death can no longer chain me.
But I couldn’t have imagined the madness waiting for me in this village. I’m not sure my faith can withstand the secrets I’ll uncover. Or that my compassion can survive the violence to come. This Horror may swallow me whole.
Death can no longer free me.
A creature stalks in the dark. Buildings burn. People die. An altar has been built on the village green.
When I heard this was very Dark Souls-esque I was instantly intrigued. As someone who doesn’t have the patience to actually sit and complete them (mostly because I die way too much), but who will sit and google all the lore while her brother plays it, this was perfect for me.
There are so many small nods to the series, open gates that persist between deaths, the crazy lore where nothing ever quite seems to be on the side of ‘good’, and just the dark atmosphere that sits throughout the book. If you like the Dark Souls series you should really pick this up.
Hall dives straight into the story, which works perfectly as half the find is finding out more about the lore as our main character, Lance, explores the world outside the relative safety of his city. Between each death we get to see through the eyes of other Lance’s as they seek to free the lands from the Horror. It provides flashes of other stories and it really just adds an extra layer into the story, and the different types of Horror that can be found.
We never find out much about Lance, no name, no physical descriptors, but to be honest I actually didn’t realise this until I was writing this review. Hall crafts such a fascinating and rich world that it doesn’t actually feel important to know more about Lance. The focus is much more on the world and the Horrors within.
For a story that could become repetitive, Hall avoids this with ease. At no point did I ever feel bored, or like the same thing was happening again, which, in a sense, it is. Instead you’re focussed on the changes and differences and Lances attempts to change what has already happened.
I absolutely loved this and I can’t wait to read more from Nathan Hall.