|Is this a dagger I see before me?|
My friend and fellow author Seth Chamberlin wrote the following book review.
The Last Bucelarii Book I: Blade of the Destroyer, by Andy Peloquin from J. Ellington Ashton Press, is like no fantasy book I’ve ever read. Being a huge fan of antihero characters, the story of the Hunter appealed to me right away. It also deals with demons and tons of realistic fighting with a dash—or bloody splash—or two of magic tossed in, which is also totally my grizzly cup of tea.
Blade of the Destroyer follows the Hunter, an immortal killer for hire. We are immediately introduced to a character that seems cold, unfeeling, even cruel, and at first it is difficult to like him. What I did like though, and I’m always drawn to in any character, is his amazing abilities. Any character that is really good at some becomes instantly interesting; this one just happens to be really good at cold blooded murder. The Hunter tracks and dispatches his targets with a dagger called Soulhunger. This seemingly living weapon not only helps the Hunter find his victims but whispers to him, asking for its own blood lust to be sated, driving the hunter to need to kill as much as the blade desires it.
In this way, I quickly realized that one of the things I liked about the Hunter, was that he is, in a way, a fantasy version of a serial killer. Yes, he does what he does by contract, and is paid handsomely, but in the end, he kills because he there is something in his wiring, as well as the relationship with the dagger, that requires him to do so. This harkens to serial killer stories like Jeff Lindsey’s Dexter (though the Showtime series does it best), or Dan Wells’ John Cleaver series, which starts with I Am Not a Serial Killer. Neither of these series are fantasy, though they play with the supernatural (see the later versions of the Dexter books). So, seeing this spun into a fantasy universe was a special treat.