To kill an heir is to claim their power. But at what cost?
As the khan’s fiercest headhunters, brothers Subei and Bataar are feared across the steppe. When they’re struck by lightning from a freak storm, however, they awake to find unnatural powers growing within them. And what’s more, they’re not alone.
All across the land other “heirs of the ancestors” have been imbued with these powers. Some call it a gift. Others, a curse. The khan calls it opportunity.
Under the tutelage of two infamous women – one a conqueror, the other a monk – the brothers are sent to the lands of the mighty Zhong empire to hunt heirs and consume their power for the good of the khanate.
With each kill, their powers grow. But so too does something else, boiling beneath the surface until itbreaks free in uncontrollable fits of violence. As these so called bloodrages grow stronger and last longer, Subei and Bataar must weigh their duty, and their honor, against the unnatural madness growing within.
Author: A.Z. Anthony
Formats: Paperback, Kindle
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Contact: A.Z. Anthony, Write.firstname.lastname@example.org
Servant of Rage is the debut novel of A. Z. Anthony and what a cracking debut it is. Although it is his debut released under his own name, Anthony is in fact an experienced writer and this shines through; Servant of Rage does not feel like a debut, it reads like something written by someone who has had ample opportunity to hone his craft.
Although the opening is quite dialogue heavy, the story immediately hooked me; there was very little description and instead we are thrust into the plot. The chapters are usually short and snappy, encouraging the fast pace. Anthony’s writing style is unique; the narrative voice is clipped, ruthlessly slicing and disregarding any irrelevant words like a true Ghangerai hunter. Much like his protagonists and their wonderfully crafted culture, Anthony’s writing style seems to shun any unnecessary frills. If you enjoy just the right amount of snark and sarcasm in your storytelling then Anthony’s writing will be perfect for you.
For the most part this book has plenty of action, and a wonderfully driving plot. However the were moments where I felt the pace slackened; our protagonist has some life changing decisions to make and there was the odd occasion where I felt his inner torment was beginning to get a little repetitive possibly. Anthony does an incredible job creating his world; Subei’s culture is wonderfully deep and intricate, I found it a fascinating culture to read about. Even his mindset and his regard of other peoples and cultures in Anthony’s world reflects his culture and heritage, making it a totally believable and compelling read. I would have therefore liked his struggle to come a little further along in the story.
It’s a minor blip in what is otherwise wonderful storytelling; Anthony has a real talent for creating distinct characters you truly care about. He is a master of foreshadowing and building your expectations, then whipping the story right round again; there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. It has a wonderful depth of emotion and morality; balanced with the most epic of fight scenes and a downright awesome magic system. I cannot wait to see where this series goes next, and what new powers are awoken.
In short, this book is snarky, it’s punchy and it delves deep into what makes us and what drives us; are we our own motivators or are we just servants to untangible masters?
“Any anger he’d felt previously was drowned now, a drop of rain falling through the sky to find only the ocean below and learn ti was but the smallest piece of a vast immensity. Such was the rage he felt as it grew and swelled and resolved itself into something greater. Something primal.”
You can enter my giveaway for a copy of Servant of Rage and read an excerpt HERE
About the Author
A.Z. Anthony is best known for his genre-warping fiction whose popularity commonly crashes global markets. Also, his humility.
More realistically, he is the author of several award-winning short stories. His debut novel, Servant of Rage, releases April 3, 2018. He’s also hard at work on an additional standalone novel, the two sequels to Servant of Rage, and is a contributor at The Fantasy Hive.
Should you wish to reach out to A.Z. you should know he prefers to be contacted exclusively through Sasquatch-esque whoops and tree knocks. However, he can also be reached through these less effective means:
Goodreads: A.Z. Anthony