The Corpse Rat King – Lee Battersby (Angry Robot)
Marius and his apprentice, Gerd are professionals… Professional corpse robbers that is. When they stumble upon the fallen King of Scorby on a blood soaked battlefield they get rather more than they bargained for, and Marius finds himself mistaken for the monarch after being rudely transported to the mysterious Kingdom of the Dead. Soon the rogues find themselves banished to the surface with just one mission in mind – find a real king of the dead or remain cursed with un-death forever!
A very unusual and inventive examination of the age old fantasy and mythology staple, the Realm of the Dead, even though the book is made up of what seems to be disconnected but very imaginative encounters, the tale itself is never lost. Battersby has almost put together a more modern take on the quest but instead of knights and noblemen has the cast of the ‘Walking Dead’ and Marius, a thief who stole a crown from a dead king which turned out to be the worst possible thing that he ever could have done, a characater who is comical throughout and not really sure if he is actually dead or not. Although it does read more like a collection of short stories rather than a novel, it’s a quick and easy read and thoroughly entertaining. There is a lack of depth, but the humorous dialogue and the constant bad taste with which Marius handles himself in any and all situations more than makes up for it.. Don’t tae it too seriously, and it’ll be more than worthy of your time… Gav