Griffin's Reviews > The Sane King

The Sane King by Matt Knott
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy

This first book by Matt Knot is my first acquaintance with indie authorship. It firmly proves there are gems sitting between the knock-offs.

At the beginning we meet our characters int two separate acts, both hooking us more than sufficiently. The first act features grim tidings and
the lucky run-in while the second act displays an unusual trial setup. Both plotlines come together naturally though not without some major
consequences. The story systematically spirals a grim, dark and lugubrious tale.

Before delving into the characters some thoughts on the setting and prose. First off, the author doesn't like info-dumps. On the contrary, he doesn't really like
to explain much at all really. We experience the events how they transpire and we have to connect the dots. A big plus, certainly as many (published)
authors make the mistake of info-dumping. The actual worldbuilding is rather flimsy, yet sufficient. We've got some geographical areas we spent some time in,
creatures (some come straight from a horror-themed book like Bone worms and some frightening arthopods and hexapods). Other ingredients to the
recipe are Gods - real ones, not the metaphorical ones - another humanoid species and something called the 'Limp' I'll not explain.

Knott's prose is succint. Every thing exhaled in this story adds up. Some of his descriptions are outstanding. I did feel he should describe or elaborate
more. The story misses some meat on the bones in that respect. I as a reader wanted to enjoy more of this, and was yet down in that regard. In the end
that's a good thing of course.

'The Sane King' reminded me of 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' by Steven Erikson. Knott's prose (see later) and setting
are coming the closest it I have ever read and I really like it. If some themes ran more emphatically through the veins of this novel,
it might come really close (hint).

The characters themselves are well-established, distinctive and relatable. My favourite ones were Captain Birch, Rayle and Mortimer.
Birch and Rayle are prime examples how a past can haunt you. Birch is the obvious example. He figuratively and literally flees from his past.
He's an addict because of it. Rayle is not an obvious example. It's hinted at and will probably be revealed later on. Mortimer is another beast altogether.
An inn keeper, rather weak and petty exuviates under duress into an unlikely leader. Characters I didn't hate, but need more on are Arra, Sanny and Bray.
I missed some grief in the story arc of Bray for example.

Some random impressions, remakrs and comments are mentioned below:
- The Defeated: I like the name, I love the idea. Soldiers with a history claim the name as "only the defeated can (always) rise again".
- I would adore some POVs from the Gods. They are an unknown so far. I expect some complex motives reflecting how the plot progressed so far.
- Characters die and that's a good thing.
- Lots of POVs, some characters we meet a lot, some barely a few times.


The Good:
- Prose!
- Characters

The less good:
- Too succint, put some meat on it!
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Reading Progress

October 6, 2015 – Started Reading
October 6, 2015 – Shelved
October 6, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy
October 8, 2015 –
page 131
October 11, 2015 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt Knott Thank you very much for giving the book a shot, and doubly for the well-considered review!

A lot of great feedback. Really happy to hear you enjoyed it.

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