The Harsh Suns by Jason E. Thummel
S.E. Lindberg rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jason E. Thummel proved he was an accomplished author of short story adventure with In Savage Lands, in which he delivered 13 quality Sword & Sorcery tales. Actually the author’s track record with publishing shorts via Blackgate and Rogue Blades Entertainment speaks to his merit. In addition to Thummel’s crisp writing, I have been attracted to his retro-vibe cover designs (artist Didier Normand painted covers for In Savage Lands and The Harsh Suns).
With The Harsh Suns, he develops a continuing character, chronicling the warrior Khal across three chapters (each essentially a short story). The focus is on warrior Khal’s quest to avenge his sister’s death. The primary conflict is “Kahl vs. evil-sorcerer Thanak Sul,” but there are recurring undertones of “Khal vs. gods/religion” which fortify the adventure with depth. Plenty of Sword & Sorcery delivered well. This is pulpy adventure, so you expect some arbitrary predicaments that keep the pace rolling.
The book essentially is an “origins” story that explains how Kahl becomes a wayfaring, god-cursed fighter. There is no explicit cliffhanger, but I was left expecting a sequel. I would welcome that.
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