The Stranger of Tempest is an epic fantasy novel with its own unique style.
The main character is a former soldier, who carries a mage gun and is trained to kill. Lynx is a deserter who makes a living doing mercenary works. In other words, he is hired for his shooting skills. The job that Lynx gets involved with becomes more complicated when Lynx decides to rescue a night mage; killing a group of knights in the process. Lynx and the band of Cards must now rescue the kidnapped girl and escape from the holy order of the Charnel knights.
I enjoyed the story and felt that Tom Lloyd has created a fantasy world that I would be interested in exploring further.
The mage gunfights were epic, I could picture the intensity of the fire created by the burners clearly as if it was a movie. The world building is well done, combining more traditional fantasy tropes with a more modern edge.
The plot feels like a journey of exploration of intrigue; where the intentions of each individual character are not totally clear.
Lynx is a strong, no-nonsense character, with a good sense of morality. He is both heroic and a tortured man, with a fear of going underground. Throughout the action-packed novel, there are plenty of references to Lynx’s past life, which should be expanded on in the second book. The complete cast of characters was written very well. Anatin, the leader of the Band of Cards, is a man who is not always sober and demands complete obedience from his mercenaries. There is plenty of banter amongst members of the band of cards and a few dishonest members who are willing to betray the other mercenaries for money.
The Stranger of Tempest is a fast-paced, easy and engaging read. I enjoy the fantasy genre a lot, and this book is a good start to a potentially compelling fantasy book series. This book’s greatest strength is to build the backstory of the characters as the plot moves along. There is magical lore described in this book, but there is much that is left unexplored. For example, I would like to see more information about the religion in this particular fantasy world and to fully grasp the political situation as well.
To summarise, this book is epic and a promising start to a fantasy series that feels like traditional fantasy, but yet has a modern feel about it.