book review, fantasy

Banished by Lou Yardley

Set in the fantasy world of Venari, the town of Elkbury knows no hardship as long as the old and the sick undergo the banishment ceremony.

However, when you have a creepy priest running the show, and you banish people to the scary woods that surround your town, you know that it is only a matter of time before things take a turn for the worse.

I’ve only read Yardley’s short fiction up til now, and I loved it. It was interesting to read one of her full length novels. She made the brave choice to forego a single protagonist and tell the story equally from each town person. I admire her innovation but, unfortunately, it didn’t work for me in this instance.

Elkbury is a mash up of The Village and The Evil Dead. I loved that there really were dangers lurking in the woods, but it was unclear how the people benefited from their arrangement with the monsters.

Father Arcadius ran the town, had a huge church with stained glass windows and a sword named absolution. However, I’m not sure what he preached because he didn’t seem to believe in anything. He conducted the banishment ceremonies and was a maniac, but he didn’t appear to have any cult rhetoric to keep the townspeople in tow.

There was an interesting magic system and backstory to the town, and I wish it had been more developed as I felt the plot was a little thin for the 500 pages.

With fantasy zombies, lots of gore and plenty of humor, I thought Banished would tick all the boxes for me. It has its moments, but I was left frustrated because I wanted more from the setting and characters.

I award Banished

Banished is available for $4.16 ebook and $10.12 print book on Amazon.

Click here to read my review of Lou Yardley’s horror short, We All Scream For Ice Cream.

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