Hail Sword Swingers!
Now that I have my site up and running and I'm getting close to publishing, I thought I would put up some book reviews. Lets get right to the action-
The Turquoise Serpent by Alexander Palacio.
Palacio conjures up the familiar feel of classic sword and sorcery and draws you into a Meso-American setting with a unique feel. His style fits in with the newpub wave of authors reaching back to the pulp roots of action adventure, which is a good thing.
Exposition is sparse, which is both a strength and a drawback. I wanted a deeper background to the character of the retired warlord Cayucali, who (without bringing up spoilers) seems oddly at easy with a dangerous situation. Since the Meso-American setting is not familiar to me I found that some things that could be mentioned without explanation in a proto-European theater left me wanting further description. This is not a fatal flaw, and it creates an air of mystery. And to be fair, the descriptions he does have are well done. For example, one scene brings the beauty and danger of a jungle alive.
The flip side of this is the speed at which the story unfolds. Palacio’s solid plot and engaging (and sometimes infuriating) characters never bore. He has a solid grasp of the spirit of sword and sorcery, and no page goes by without an air of mystery and danger.
The Turquoise Serpent is a short, stonking fun, ripping fast adventure. I’ve already picked up book two. I've also been informed that he and his gang will rob your train with old timey guns and red bandana masks. Just so you know what you are getting into.