One, an old and seasoned guide who knows the way to a tomb where riches are rumored to exist. A place somewhere on the fabled mountain called the Horn of Torgiv, in a region notorious for evil things and dark deeds.
The other is a mysterious young man named Halsedric, who seeks something other than wealth. What he seeks is something old, dark, and diabolical.
What waits in the dark depths of the tomb? And will it lead to their ruin?
Journey to the Horn of Torgiv and discover the dark secret hidden beneath the gray stone of the mountain.
I would love to be able to finish this book, but for me, I think it would be too much. I'll probably come back to it at another time, but for now, I have to leave it here. It's not the book's fault at all. It does deliver on the promise to have a darker type of Christian fantasy. Not a necessarily grotesque darkness, but blatant picture of it, with no details lacking. There's no sugar coating here. And I'm sure the ending would be spectacular, indeed, I would like to know how it all turns out. I'm nearly certain I'll come back to finish this book sometime. The characters are charming to me, mysterious and intriguing. Somewhat like Tolkien in world building and creatures but with it's own spin. So, if you're looking for a more-intense-than-usual Christian fantasy read, I definitely recommend this one.
Herman P. Hunter has created The Revenant and the Tomb - a story of four companions led by Hasledric who investigate an ancient tomb that may hold a powerful evil force awoken after several long years
Hunter really had me compelled from beginning to end and really impressed me with how he has shown a sense of paranoid difficulty in our characters and their task. The characters were interesting but did tend to draw away from the story at certain points. The consistency felt often predictable and the narrative was tense yet remorseful. The predictability of this coupled with the lack of motivation for our antagonist could have been built upon and really strengthened the core of the story.
This was worth the read but the improvement needed was too vast for it to stand out from others in similar settings.
Two Types Of Fantasy Stories With fantasy, novels tend to fall into one of two camps - world-building or quests. Fantasy trends since about Robert Jordan have been an attempt to get beyond the 1,000-page mark and build a world where it seems like every family line and even every forest has its history and story. The quest adventures seems to try and establish cool characters quickly and get into the action. World-building tends to loose focus on the quest and quest stories tend to forget that the reader might not know the world that the story exists in.
The Ones Who Return Where Hunter succeeds well in his quest storytelling is hinting at a world that is bigger than the story and makes the characters interesting enough to want the reader to imagine more if another book isn't available. With just four characters to focus on, the world-building can be narrowed down to just their stories, and really there's only one of the characters that is brought into the most focus. On the other hand, the quest story, which is to a cave and back again, flows the story well and in a reasonable time in story. The story's action and drama builds, rises, climaxes, and falls in a well-paced way. At 140 pages, this can be a difficult thing to do.
The three main adventures Halsedric, Herodiani, and Tulvgir are different than the race of man, elf, and dwarf/giant; but they are not so different for you to need to know everything about their make out. The curmudgeon guide, Drahm, is a good foil for the audience learning new information about the world and the bigger story at large.
The Tomb & The Forrest The prose of the story is well-written and it's not too heavy in the "ye ol'" story. There are some really great lines and metaphors. One of my favorites was *no spoiler* in the midst of battle one of the characters praying for a wind to come to have one moment of coolness. At that part of the story, that line was palpable. There were a few misses like the quickness of a light-catching fire like fire to gasoline. This world could have gasoline but it was a line that took me out of the story for a moment.
Halsedric, the main character, has an interesting story told within this story. While not specifically a "Christian" fantasy outright, Halsedric has a very interesting backstory of being resurrected from the dead and attributing the deed, salvation, and creation to a One True God. The world Hunter writes of has all the elements where the author believes the world to exist in which adds elements of authorial magic. One of the biggest gripes with George R.R. Martin is the world he writes in has clear indications that God/gods/etc. exist and the smart characters do not believe this and neither does the author. This book does not suffer from this deficiency.
The action, quest, and characters move along and the read is quite quick because of the action. The biggest complaint is the ending. I'm ok with a story that might not be part of a 12-part series and this will be the only book - the background given makes it more than enough in ideas of the world created. The very quick glance over one of the character's change and end result is very glossed over for the sake of the limit on pages - even if the ending is "good".
Christian Art In Fantasy If you're looking for a quick story with a good quest, good combat, and a 3-part story arc that believes in the world it creates - this one does what a good book does - leaves you wanting another story and a little bit more reveal of the world. I also listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Steve Fortune, does a phenomenal job and more narration for him should be sought after. There is only one God and He saves The Revenant to go to the Tomb. Final Grade - B+
As per usual, need to let this percolate a bit before I decide an official rating. Initial thoughts include that the writing was okay but often redundant, characterization was minimal, and pacing was, imho, a bit lacking.
All in all, it's an okay story. I got to the end, which usually earns a book at least three stars. At the same time, I felt there was a lot of lead up with little pay-off. In the end, I'm going with a 3 star rating because I enjoyed it and would recommend it to those who prefer the Christian fantasy genre as it definitely adheres to elements included in that genre.
Where I struggled here was the characterization and pacing. I never truly felt I got to know any of these characters because it was almost third person limited pov, but not quite. Random moments of entering other characters heads really took me out of the story several times.
As for the pacing, I feel like this should have been part one of a slightly longer novel. Like I said above, there was a lot of build off to what was, for me, very little pay-off. I noticed the author mentioned that this book is supposed to be like a sampler and would encourage him to update his description for this book to indicate such as I was expecting The Revenant and the Tomb to have its own plot arc rather than be a build-up for other stories within the same world. If he had, I would have read with a different set of expectations, which definitely would have affected my overall rating.
I would recommend this novel to those who prefer to read books in the Christian fantasy genre, enjoy travelog style fantasy stories, and a, in a roundabout way, heist.
Thanks to BookSirens for the ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily and all opinions are my own.
All in all, this was an okay read. I enjoyed the inclusion of faith, especially the repeated refrain 'There is only ONE, God." It's not often that christian dips into fantasy and the undead, but it's cool to see!
The book was kind of short, and seemed to focus more on the side characters reactions than the main problem. In the end the climax seemed to fall flat, and was kind of vague; which was surprising, as there was a lot of detail up until that point.
I'm guessing this fits into a larger world, and I look forward to longer works, where hopefully we get to see more of this world, learn it's history, and delve into more character development!
(I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.)
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
This was a pretty original fantasy story of good vs. evil. I liked the spiritual aspect of the main character Halsederic, and his back story. His divine flaming sword that had the power to detect evil was cool too. There was good character development as well as world building that wasn't too overdone. For me there was a were few areas in the story that was a little over descriptive in areas that I felt that didn't really need it (ie. technical descriptions of the tomb as well as the landscape on the journey to the tomb). Overall this was a good book that leaves the reader looking for follow up adventures by our main character duo.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
It took me a while, but it was worth it. The book is great! The story isn't too long, but it's filled with enough action, development, and descriptions so it's intriguing from start to finish. The author has really nice narrative style and I loved the descriptions. The characters are very well thought out with balanced character development. I loved how to author handled the setting. That air of pressure, tension, and paranoia vibes are always there in the background throughout the story, which makes the reading experience even more intriguing!
The Revenant and the Tomb is a novella by Herman Lol Hunter. I felt that this book was unique in it's approach to evil. Halsedric is the wielded if Holy Flame and he and his group, led by tracker Drahm, are going up the fabled mountain, Horn of Torgiv. There are man ft fights and lots of obstacles to prevent them from reaching the Tomb. I found the characters to be interesting and the battle with the evil shadows was an epic battle. I received an arc for free and am leaving my review voluntarily.
I had just finished reading this book after reading the Wizard’s Stone previously. This one is more darker than the other, but like the other nothing is what it appears to be on the surface of the story. The real story is in the subtext of the book which speaks volumes of the author’s ability to weave a good tale. I look forward to reading more from the author and I highly recommend it to fantasy fans who have a yen for the classic pulp storytelling.