13th May2014

Book Review: Tithe of the Saviours

by Richard Axtell

Written by A. J. Dalton | Published by Orion Books | Format: Paperback/eBook, RRP £14.99/£7.99 respectively


Jillan, his beloved Hella and their friends have finally found Haven, a place of peace and never ending growth. Their battles are over and they can finally live their lives together. Or can they? In Tithe of the Saviours, Jillan and his companions once again find themselves in a battle for survival, bigger than ever. They find themselves at odds against the King of the Dead, who plans to lead his armies into the land of the living, the mighty Declension who plan to strike from their realm, following long awaited plans and even the Gods themselves, who face extinction. Along with this, they are divided with self-doubt and fight against each other. Is there any hope for survival?

A. J. Dalton brings the epic in Tithe of the Saviours. The book is an insane roller coaster ride of extreme battles, emotions and insanity as we follow groups of characters getting themselves into situations which none one would really want to be in. His descriptions of the characters, from the old, naked holy man to the Sun God in the sky are stunningly realistic. They can be terrifying, beautiful and quite a lot of the time hilarious as the characters dance off the pages in the book.

The genre of this book describes itself as ‘Metaphysical fantasy’, which is A J Dalton’s niche (he even has a website about it!), which he describes as ‘ the smart end of fantasy’ concerning itself with a more philosophical approach to fantasy, generally involving gods and considering life and its meaning. This is probably why I found myself a bit lost as to what was going on a few times in the story, as characters battle wits with long philosophical discussions. As well as this, I was a bit disappointed when I found the relationship between Jillan and Hella, who are deeply in love and all that, fell a bit flat. It definitely builds towards the end, but they did seem a bit wet at the beginning and not as built up as I felt they should have been.

Despite that, the majority of the characters in this book are amazingly well crafted and great to read about. Even as they battle the Gods themselves, they still seem real and down to earth. The action sequences are well written, flowing smoothly and easy to read. The descriptions of the different realms the characters move through and the battles they fight can be brutally realistic as well, Dalton not holding back on the more gory details. Most importantly of all, the book keeps you reading as Dalton masterfully raises the tension in the story so all seems lost and you are sure that the characters are all going to just give up at multiple points. Tithe of the Saviours is a great book for fantasy lovers out there, and an amazing third addition to Dalton’s Saviour series.

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