Death’s White Hands: S.R. Jones
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I actually connected with S.R. Jones through this very site. He had commented on something and from there we chatted and have stayed in touch ever since. I had previously read some of the short stories leading up to this full length and from the writing and the plot points, I was very excited to dive in.
Sadly, this continued to flounder too far down my TBR, so when I was reviewing my list of books and I spotted the title, I pushed it to the top of the list.
What I liked: I read some fantasy and some sci-fi, but I am far from any sort of knowledgeable person when it comes to name-checking authors. What I will say is – for large sections of this book, the storytelling is as effortless as any of the Kingkiller works I have read from Rothfuss. Danika, known as Dan, is a traveller who is seemingly longing to find their place in the world. When Dan’s boss is brutally murdered, revenge becomes their only desire.
I can’t really say more than that without giving too much away. Jones crafts a fantastic world filled with ‘Gods of War’ level monsters and carnage. When someone dies, it isn’t a quick death. No, instead Jones makes sure that we get to feel every single cell in that thing or person’s body be eviscerated.
What I didn’t like: ‘Death’s White Hand‘ is subtitled as ‘Aegis Immemorial #1.’ I found that with a book that is expecting at least a sequel, it was a bit heavy-handed with more and more creatures. This isn’t a truly ‘bad’ thing, I found it was more of a divergence time and time again from the main plot point.
Why you should buy it: If you love dark fantasy and a character who has chosen a path and will do whatever it takes to get to the end, this is a book for you. Filled with lush landscapes and great characters that come and go, this was a great time. This would fit nicely alongside any books from Rothfuss, Martin and Brooks.
Death’s White Hands
The iylmin people cower beneath eternally clouded skies, living in fear of shards of dark stone that hurtle down from on high. These are the Falls, and each one bears the seeds of madness and death. The nightmare creatures born from these poisoned rocks would devour anyone that crosses their path- but not every iylmin they chase is willing to be their prey.
Under the endless grey, a traveller moves from city to city, wandering the lonely country paths between sparse pockets of civilisation, hunting the unclean things born from the cursed heavens. She is Danika Echo, known as Dan, drawn from her home in the south by a wanderlust that she cannot explain, and tormented by nightmares of a death that was not her own.
When Dan’s employer is murdered by a succubus, Dan takes it upon herself to seek revenge. Accompanied by the cursed priest Whitveil, she must fight her way through the rugged wilds of the north and reach her prey before it has a chance to breed, for the offspring of a succubus could bring untold ruin upon the iylmin people. But there may be greater dangers at hand, and Dan must face her own demons, as well as those born of fire and rock, if she is to succeed.
Death’s White Hands is an episodic novel of horror and adventure
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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