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(The Chronicles of Stratus #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  82 reviews
"De Jager takes his time with the mystery of Stratus’s identity, punctuating the internal conflict with adrenaline-fueled action sequences that notch up the tension and suspense. This promising series launch brings the goods." -- Publishers Weekly

The US debut of the Gemmell Award shortlisted fantasy novel Culturefly called “magical, fast-paced and imaginative”

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: November 26th 2020 by Solaris (first published August 11th 2016)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  243 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Liz Barnsley
Infernal is a BOOM book. Yes. In that you finish it and go BOOM thats what real fantasy looks like.

So I’m reviewing it a month ahead of its publication – there is method in my madness (ok we’ll pretend there is) because fans of really banging fantasy books might like to clear the reading decks a little (I’m not silly enough to imagine you could all read your entire pile in waiting but just a bit) because when Infernal hits the shelves you definitely want to be diving right in there…

Sometimes the
Sebastien Castell
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Don't want to give any spoilers as the book isn't out yet but I read the ARC and I think Mark de Jager will soon be a favourite for fans of dark heroic fantasy.
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

Waking in a field, in an unfamiliar body and unable to move, Stratus is paralysed, vultures cawing, pecking at him, carrion for the crows. He has no recollection of where he is, who he is, what he’s doing there, where he’s from or even his own name, it is all a mystery to him, his mind is wiped clean, a blank slate. He is found by a group of people and slowly, feeling returns to his
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2020, dark-fantasy
Infernal is fun. It’s also over-the-top and pulpy, but I loved it. Stratus wakes in an unfamiliar place, with no memories of his past. And just in time before local vultures rip him into pieces to enjoy the meal.

Things escalate quickly, and Stratus finds himself engaged in an approaching war with evil forces. He has no interest in people and their conflicts, but the fickle hand of fate cares little for his plans and goals. Especially that he has peculiar, inhuman, skills. Preternatural strength
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Originally reviewed at:

This is another one from one of my insane requesting sprees. Most normal people go on eBay and 'drunk-buy', I go on NetGally and request (too much) reading material in a caffeine induced state. Thrilling stuff. Weekends at my house are crazy.

First of all, you should probably not read this if you don't like the darker stuff. Stratus is not, by any means, a hero. So if you are offended by blood, guts, occasional religion bashing, viol
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley, dnf
“I set him on fire before his brain melted, then burned his corpse.” I’m afraid that this book just wasn’t for me. I made it to the 20% point and by that time Stratus had been in countless fights, he was injured but healed rapidly, he ate a lot and he was gradually remembering who he was and what his magical powers were. I also read the last chapter and discovered that he (and the reader) don’t find out the answers to those questions until the end of the book. And then they have to read a second ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Infernal features an extraordinary anti-hero. It is a first person narrative. I haven't read many high fantasy stories told this way.

Stratus wakes up paralyzed on a field somewhere and he hasn't got a clue about pretty much anything at first. Not even his name. Thanks to this memory loss he is on a mission to find out who he is and how he ended up where we first meet him.
A lot happens to him in this story.

Soon he finds out that there is a war between the kingdom of Krandin and the Penullin empi
Di Maitland
“I need to do something you provably won’t like very much. I know I won’t.” “You’re not stabbing me again.” “No,” I said, pointing to the body. “I just need to eat his brain.”

For all the brain-eating and decapitation that goes on in Infernal, this should be a dark, rather horrifying book. It is not. It’s actually quite funny (and not always in a gallows humour kind of way), with some beautiful world building and a couple of intriguing characters to lend weight to the story.

Stratus is…Stratus doe
Ed McDonald
My favourite thing about this book was the character voice. Stratus' disconnect from human emotions was entertaining throughout.

Infernal has a very high body count, a bit of gore-horror, and lots of using magic to resolve things. It's action packed from the first page, and it's fair to say that Stratus' general strategy is to kill everything in his path.
Chelsies Reading Escape
Actual Rating : 4.5 Stars

I would definitely recommend this book and Im grateful I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The intrigue in this book hooked me right away. Its an entertaining story with complexe characters. The way the author approached the main characters memory loss and new body added some great insight and diversity.

The main character Stratus wakes up in the desert with no memories but soon realizes he isnt quite human. He doesnt remember ever having a
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got hooked within the first chapter my curiosity had me try to guess Stratus's origin from the beginning. Then more plots got into play and my anticipation kept me from putting the vook down even when my eyes beg to rest. In Fernal has interesting story telling not that it's unique or anything but the way the story was told through Stratus from his learning, suffering and experiencing to find his identity and I really like how his character progress I couldn't help myself but rooted for him ev ...more
Anna Stephens
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A slick and very satisfying debut novel, I thoroughly enjoyed Infernal from start to oh my god I didn't that ending coming. I don't read a lot first person narration so it took a while to get into, but I adored Stratus' commentary as he learned about the world he was in and who he was. The ultimate unreliable narrator, his view on the world was both baffling and hilarious and I rooted for him throughout. tatyana was a great sidekick for him too and I envisage many more adventures for them. A hug ...more
Sep 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNFed at 20%.

Don't usually review DNFs but this one has peeved me. So far, this enormous Black dude (he's so black! No one's seen anyone this black before!) is failing to pique my interest at all, two hearts or no. Also:

- the "infirm" have a "stench of corruption"
- he levels up in strength and magical power every time he encounters any adversity - the threat level is zero, no matter how hungry he gets
- the author thinks he's funny, I think?
- he eats people. I think we're supposed to think that's
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016
Disclaimer: Mark is a dear friend and I went into this book knowing I liked Mark’s writing style and fully hoping I’d love the story, because having to negatively review a friend’s book is never fun. That being said let’s crack on with this review.

Infernal is Mark de Jager’s debut novel and it is one that should make both epic and grim dark fantasy readers sit up and take note. What I really liked about the narration, but what also made it somewhat harder to get into the story, was the fact that
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I must say, I'm somewhat surprised about the overwhelmingly good reviews of this book. It's not that it's bad (and it gets some slack for being a debut novel), but there was nothing really outstanding in it. The plot is, taking away the shrouded amnesia mystery, very simple and dare I say somewhat cliché boiling down to a "allying with a former enemy" type of thing. It's even clear not too much after what the mystery is, though the main character doesn't find out till the end. I will warn that i ...more
Raven の Nest
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've posted my review of Infernal on my blog (link here)

I will be really glad if you check it out

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, arc
The premise to this was certainly interesting - a creature of unknown origin wakes up in a strange place with amnesia. I liked the strangeness of Stratus' character; he is violent, even eating people, but he navigated the world with a strange sort of logic that I understood. He was also unexpectedly funny, and I enjoyed reading about his journey to discover exactly who he is and what he had been trying to do. I also liked Tatyana and Lucien, side characters that he ends up befriending. However, ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Abandoned at 45%. I'm sorry to say that I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other reviewers. Maybe I'm too squeamish, or maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea.

The story is told in the first person, in a running dialogue, as the main character tries to figure out who he is, and why he can't remember his past. The problem for me was that even half-way through the book, I just really didn't care who he was or why he couldn't remember. Although I do have a strong suspicion about who he really is. B
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Advanced Reading copy kindly received from Netgalley and Rebellion Publishing. The enjoyment was all my own!

Marc de Jager’s ‘Infernal’ is a strange beast. The book is built around our hero (well anti - hero really) Stratus, who finds himself paralysed in a field with no memory of who or what he is. As vultures circle, and subsequently try to eat him because they think he is dead, he is saved by a roving band of travelers. From there we learn that Stratus is a hulk of a man who is very different
Rob Boffard
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review coming soon.
Jon Adams
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Argh! How long do I have to wait for the next book!?!?
Alisha Tarran
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That synopsis right there is what interested me in this book, when I first discovered it on GoodReads! A main character who doesn't remember who he is, who essentially knows nothing. I was intrigued, I was thinking of how the story might be told, what might happen and honestly...I was surprised at every turn and blown away. There's nothing about a sequel anywhere, but judging from the ending...I'm hoping there is. I mean...what a finish to the book...what a last line! I read that line and I was ...more
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
"Their bows were more powerful than I had expected, and if I hadn’t been so heavy the impact of the first two shafts might have knocked me off balance and off the roof. The swordsmen were running forward now, and the ladder-man had vanished. I had no time to curse before I slammed into the first swordsman, who had realized far too late that I wasn’t about to stop and offer battle. My shoulder crushed his sword arm against his chest, handily driving the little bar above the sword handle between h ...more
Jenna Rideout
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, read-netgalley
Thank you to Mark de Jager and publisher Rebellion for granting me eARC access to Infernal in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.

Although I chose not to finish reading Infernal, I do feel that I've read enough to be able to offer a fair review. Please note that this is a DNF review, and I would call it a 1.5 if I could award half stars.

Infernal is the story of Stratus, a demonic being with amnesia who escapes his paladin captors and proceeds to murder and eat his way through the wo
INFERNAL is an entertaining fantasy novel. A little grim and dark, and plenty of action. It is particularly the story of one man in the quest for his identity. And hence, a lot focus is given in developing the character's personality along with the plot and the world-building. Some of the grotesque details of brain-eating shit might distract the readers. I think it was one of the weak points of the novel though it's fashioned in the dark mode. Jager should have turned towards a more magical appr ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
1.5 stars

I just can't do it. I'm tapping out at 20%. Every single time I try to read this my eyes start closing and I want to take a nap. Which is weird because there should be enough going on here that I shouldn't be so damn bored with it. But bored I am. Out of my mind. Books written in the first person never really seemed to bother me until this one either. I don't know if it was just the overload of descriptions on everything or this guy's simple way of thinking, but it didn't work for me. I
Rebecca Veight
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gripping from the first scene, with the protagonist lying on the ground, not being able to move. In danger of vultures trying to eat him, he only remembers his name, Stratus. Feeling that there's a monster within him, he tries to solve the mystery of his existence and why he knows about magic.

Stratus's POV feels like a natural internal monologue of undeniable wit, an exploration of being and is utterly engaging. The author has done such a great job with the protagonist's amnesia, the emotional t
Donna Bull
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A man wakes up in a field with no memory of who he is, only the feeling that he is not wholly human. Infernal follows Stratus, who discovers he is a powerful sorcerer but doesn't understand how he came to be where he is, only that he must fight for survival. As he travels a countryside that is being torn apart by war, he realizes that dark magic is at the heart of all that is happening. Stratus' journey of self discovery brings him into contact with wizards, priests, kings, paladins and lots and ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalleys
‘Infernal’ is the intriguing start of a new fantasy series packed with magic, dry humour, and mystery. It has an old-school fantasy feel, yet the twists – especially the finale – feel fresh and unpredictable. For a debut author, de Jeger is incredibly assured, taking risks which initially made me doubtful but which work brilliantly, adding an air of cloaking and uncertainty without detracting from the story.

Stratus wakes up alone. He knows very little except that the body he is in is not his own
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and Rebellion Publishing in return for an honest review ***

Bottom line: I loved this book. Clear and simple.

Why: The book tells the story of Stratus, a more than human character, who wakes up with no memory and no social skills, and slaughters his way through the book while learning how to interact with humans, and ends up with a good relationship with a female side-kick.

Why not 5 stars? Ends on a cliffhanger which I hate. Plus though Stratus doe
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