book review, fantasy, Joseph Sale

Joseph Sale Month: The Fifth Horseman

In The Fifth Horseman, the characters from the stories in Four Horsemen come together in a dense, symbolism laden tale full of the author’s trademark layers, depth and monsters.

The Prince has landed on the shores of Nekyia and claimed it for his own, bringing hope to the land of death by promising its denizens a way out of their suffering.

While Fay the fortune teller, Pike the last knight, Hagga, Larri, and even Dr Monaghan, seem to support the Prince, the dethroned magician, Yin, and The Taking Man plot against their new leader.

Nekyia, the land of death in this book, is a land of power and opportunity. Nothing is quite what it seems. Dark forces reach out to control and manipulate the masses. Torture, pain and brutality exist, as does wonder. It’s a lot like life.

I loved seeing all the characters together. They each have extensive character arcs, with a lot of growth and change – some in quite surprising ways.

Sale’s imagination is so rich, and the story of The Fifth Horseman so deep and layered that it deserves to be read several times.

Even though the story takes place in death, the land of Nekyia is very much about life, ego, and being willing to fight for the truth.

Despite the sacrifices, betrayals and torture, or because of them, the characters find there is still hope. There is triumph.

I award The Fifth Horseman

This review was originally posted in a slightly different form on 18th May 2020

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