Harry Williams's Reviews > Act of Will

Act of Will by A.J. Hartley
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's review
Mar 20, 2009

it was amazing
Read in March, 2009

Best fantasy book I've read in a LONG time, and a real breath of fresh air after all the pompous and self-indulgent High Fantasy I've read lately. Act of Will is fun (imagine that!) while still being exciting and better written than books with more literary aspirations. The story follows an apprentice actor, Will Hawthorne--the story's narrator--who is fleeing from the authorities when he has to throw his lot in with a band of noble adventurers who are out to investigate an army of horsemen who appear out of the mist and vanish again. A lot of the book's strength is in Will himself, who feels like he fell out of a different genre: he's street smart and full of actor's tricks but he's also cynical and values little beyond his own skin. He makes a great foil to the more conventional fantasy characters he gets stuck with and it's wonderful to hear a real contemporary voice as he deals with them and their values. I'll bet some readers will find him hard to take--even a critique of more conventional fantasy--but it works while still delivering lots of thrills and spills. Maybe other writers are doing similar things, but I wouldn't be surprised if this created an entire subgenre. Can't wait for a second book in this series.
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Stephen Welch I have to agree with you here. It was a great book. you can check out what I said if you like at my blog:

The writer said that I was one of the few who actually got what he was trying to accomplish.

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