Petrik's Reviews > Valley of the Free: Pandemonium Rising

Valley of the Free by Michael Sliter
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
59458347
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: owned-ebooks

4.5/5 stars

Short, violent, and bloody; this is a good place for you to try Sliter’s writing.


Valley of the Free is a prequel novella to Mike Sliter’s grimdark fantasy series: Pandemonium Rising. The story follows Ferl’s quest for vengeance, and this little novella depicts the conception of the infamous Ferl’s Company. Having read—and loved—the two available books in the main series so far, I can safely vouch that no prior reading of the main series is required. You can enjoy Valley of the Free without any knowledge of the main series; excluding the main character—Ferl—only one or two other characters appeared briefly. In fact, I do honestly think that this is a very starting point for you to try Sliter’s work. Valley of the Free is not as dark/brutal as Sliter’s debut work, Solace Lost, and it’s good to familiarize yourself with his writing style and gritty content first. I would say that Valley of the Free is more attuned to Wisdom Lost in terms of content and quality, which, in my opinion, delivers a more balanced narrative and also encapsulates Sliter’s craft at his best so far.

Same as the main series, characterizations are still the heart of Sliter’s storytelling; this is one thing that he learned well from reading Abercrombie. I’ve always enjoyed Sliter’s style of characterizations. There’s something about the way he makes sure that every event we read always unfolds and perceived directly from the character’s point of view that reminds me of Abercrombie’s style. Yes, Sliter’s books are dark, violent, and that’s still applicable here. But I found the dialogues traded between Ferl, Ashland, Christoph, and all the other characters he encountered to be engaging and even funny at times. I certainly didn’t expect to enjoy reading Ferl’s Mercenary Company conception this much—heck I honestly almost forgot who Ferl was—but this one kept me thoroughly entertained and hooked. Also, for such a short book, I’m amazed that Sliter managed to deliver an action scene—including some of the most terrifying pigs I’ve ever read—that made me feel so invested; I don’t usually feel invested in reading action scenes contained in novellas due to the lack of time spent with the characters and characterizations. I don’t think I have any issues with this novella other than the one that I often encountered with stories in the medium itself, which is that it’s a bit too short to my liking.

“She hated it, this killing. But Ashland knew that people tended to hate the things they were best at. The blacksmith eventually resented his hammer. The fisherman would rather toss his pole in the lake at times. The innkeeper would, by some point, just as soon burn down his livelihood, turning the place into kindling. And, in similar fashion, she wished that she did not have to kill. But life always had different plans.”


Filled with morally ambiguous characters and gory actions, Valley of the Free provides a quick and bloody reading experience. Finishing this made me eager to get back to the main series. By Pandemonium’s brain, I hope my memory will be enough to remember the necessary details when the third book—Faith Lost—in the main series comes out. Give me Faith Lost already, Sliter! Grimdark fantasy fans, get on this series, this is a good place for you to start your journey and it's only $0.99!

You can order the book from: Amazon

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Mike, Hamad, Miracle, & Devin.
72 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Valley of the Free.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 13, 2019 – Shelved
January 2, 2020 – Started Reading
January 2, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lucia (new)

Lucia This sounds interesting! You are bane of my TBR list Petrik, LOL :)


Petrik Lucia wrote: "This sounds interesting! You are bane of my TBR list Petrik, LOL :)"

Hahaha! That's so good to hear, Lucia! :)


message 3: by Jody (new)

Jody Lucia wrote: "This sounds interesting! You are bane of my TBR list Petrik, LOL :)"

Petrik has been the bane of my TBR for years, Lucia. May as well get used to it. Lol! :D


Petrik Jody wrote: "Lucia wrote: "This sounds interesting! You are bane of my TBR list Petrik, LOL :)"

Petrik has been the bane of my TBR for years, Lucia. May as well get used to it. Lol! :D"


Hear what Jody said, Lucia! Jody is wise! :)


message 5: by Lucia (new)

Lucia Jody wrote: "Lucia wrote: "This sounds interesting! You are bane of my TBR list Petrik, LOL :)"

Petrik has been the bane of my TBR for years, Lucia. May as well get used to it. Lol! :D"


Your TBR must be enormous by now LOL, mine is growing too quick for my liking thanks to Petrik ;)


Petrik Lucia wrote: "Jody wrote: "Lucia wrote: "This sounds interesting! You are bane of my TBR list Petrik, LOL :)"

Petrik has been the bane of my TBR for years, Lucia. May as well get used to it. Lol! :D"

Your TBR ..."


Hahaha! it's always better to have infinite TBR than nothing to read, though, right!? :D


message 7: by Travis (new) - added it

Travis Love the review! I need to get on this series but this seems like a good one to binge!! Is this a good one to read right away or after the first 2?


message 8: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Nothing to read I’m not familiar with the notion since I began reading fantasy books haha and worse English fantasy books. My tbr knows no rest because of Petrik too but I like it to see it growing over and over , that’s our lives of bookworm lol. As usual great review Petrik I already have the first two in my tbr I will add this one


Petrik Travis wrote: "Love the review! I need to get on this series but this seems like a good one to binge!! Is this a good one to read right away or after the first 2?"

Thank you, Travis! Oh yes definitely get on this! Solace Lost or this one is a good place to start! You can read this right away, it's a prequel to the main series! :)


Petrik Audrey wrote: "Nothing to read I’m not familiar with the notion since I began reading fantasy books haha and worse English fantasy books. My tbr knows no rest because of Petrik too but I like it to see it growing..."

Thank you, Audrey! Haha having infinite number of books to read are the best kind of problems to have! :D


back to top