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A Journey of Enlightenment and Discovery Across a Mountain Pass with a Spiritual Guide

By Kraken Attacken, member

Mar 16, 2018: The metaphor in the title is something I would use to describe this story.

While the themes, pacing and substance of the story are all amazing, there are a few niggling things that persist in terms of scope, and are satisfied juuuusst a bit too slowly at times. I’d like to start with some metaphor, but if you’d like to skip all that, then jump over the block below.

The harsh mountain winds, the chilling colds, and the dangers and pitfalls at every turn. But a gentle and guiding force drives you on, encouraging you to scale the mountains heights, discover the depths of it’s crags, and to delve deeper and deeper into it’s secrets.

Your guide whispers words of encouragement to you as you press on, making steady progress. You sometimes come upon amazing discoveries, basking in the quiet wonder of what you bear witness to. Sometimes you meet upon other travellers, both friend and foe, but you always learn something valuable from the experience. Sometimes you stumble, but with that steady hand guiding you, you always find your footing, and press on.

A lonesome journey, but never truly alone.

While all of this is indeed true, there are times where, in this harsh but comforting journey where you will struggle to fully grasp the world beyond the mountain. This lack of understanding is a non-issue for some who traverse, but a perplexing conundrum for others, and discovering artefacts of the world beyond only leaves you hungry for more.

The Zombie Knight Saga is, in my opinion, a story about identity. The story starts with a boy at the end of his rope, who has lost his sense of identity. Within the first few pages, he is rescued from himself by his new forever friend, an ancient, wise, and ‘magical’ mentor, who begins to help our MC Hector to piece himself back together. But as with any situation where one, with help, takes the hammer to the anvil of their own soul, there will be setbacks, there will be harrowing experiences.

And therein lies the dark, sombre, yet inspiring nature of this story. Through the many themes the story presents, like servants and reapers, emergence and soul power, a picture is painted that largely portrays a journey of personal growth and upliftment. The reaper encourages the servant, the servant inspires the reaper, and vice-versa, on and on, the two sharing agency in one another’s personal growth.

And it isn’t simply the struggles, it is the constant reforging of the MCs identity, and the strength he works hard to gain that give this journey it’s gravitas. As Hector’s reaper, Garovel, once states to him very early on in the story:

"We respond by becoming better."

While this interplay of personal growth and discovering and achieving new heights of power and understanding through trails and ordeals is fascinating, invigorating even, the scattered glimpses of the world at large can be frustratingly sporadic.

George Frost has painting an amazing world, it can be very slightly annoying sometimes when cultures, peoples, practices and ideologies are ephemeral at best, absent at worse.

This barely detracts from the amazing quality of the story, but does make the story feel a touch myopic at times. I must admit that this issue is slowly being solved, but that slight lack of full depth in the scope of the wider world can be like the few brambles that might prick you in an otherwise paradisaical wonderland.

Let me be specific here. The problem isn’t permanent, it’s just a bit persistent. Unless I’m some disaffected narcissist, I’m gonna have some knowledge of the aforementioned highlights of this planet I live on. While there is much cultural depth in the story, it isn’t as ubiquitous as one might like.

All in all, the story is a must read if you are looking for an excellent dark fantasy which deals with triumph of growth, identity, ideals in spite of hopelessness, and sensible and rules based power fantasy.

2 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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No title

By casmirradon, member

May 31, 2016: A thoroughly enjoyable story that gets considerably better as it goes on. In my head it’s almost two different stories. There there’s the beginning, which for myself was honestly only just barely good enough to keep me coming back to see what happened next. And then later when the world opens up more and it became a sprawling and ambitious epic that had me obsessively reading day and night.

As others have noted, it’s confusing at first that it takes place in an alternate world that is just similar enough to our world that I couldn’t really get my bearings. And there are lots of parts in the beginning that don’t really fit perfectly well with what we know about the world later.

Really though, do yourself a favor and read the first few arcs to get a real feel for the story, it is so worth it.

Shame that the update schedule has slowed way way down recently. I’m dying for more chapters!

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Knight of the Living Dead

By tkjarrah, author of blacklight

Dec 11, 2015: I’m not apologising for the title.

The Zombie Knight is well worth your time. It’s funny, captivating, genuinely unique, and actually quite charming, inasmuch a piece of writing can be. Go read it.

Still here? Okay, then.

Hector Goffe wouldn’t fit your typical idea of a hero. Quiet . . . withdrawn . . . socially-awkward to an extreme . . . dead. So it’s a bit of a surprise when, after his death, he’s approached by a grim reaper named Garovel, who wants him to help people. And he wants to do this by giving Hector superpowers. In the world of the Zombie Knight, reapers can pick a single ‘servant’, someone they can bring back from the dead to interact with the living world, and can’t be killed. The magic seems simple enough at first, but more and more nuance is detailed later on, a trickle of information that’s always perfectly paced to keep you wanting more.

The same could be said of the story. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be ‘escalation’. Hector and Garovel continually find themselves in bigger, more dangerous situations, and you could never pinpoint any transition between them. Every step seems like a perfectly logical one, until you eventually look back and realise that you’re halfway up a mountain named ‘awesome’. I know the word’s overused, but really, it’s the only way to describe the fight scenes. They are, quite literally, worthy of awe; creative, gripping and tense. Oh, and gory as hell. Servants can regenerate from literally nothing, so expect plenty of impalement, disembowelment, decapitation and amputation. It’s not gratuitous, and it’s actually pretty hilarious at times, fitting with the rest of the story. It may be personal preference, but I laughed out loud frequently while reading, sometimes to the point where I had to stop reading until I recovered. It’s possible that Garovel the reaper may be my favorite character from anything, ever. Hector’s not slouch himself, and all the (many, many) characters get their moment in the spotlight.

The world-building is handled just as well as the fights, and if there’s a story bible that exists outside the author’s head, I would kill to read it, because he seems to have every single detail of the world worked out, language, history, politics, genealogy, all of it. The story seems to be set on our Earth in the beginning, set in the city of Brighton, but once the scale expands, it becomes pretty clear that it’s a whole ‘nother world entirely.

Now, the one criticism. Generally, the pacing has been excellent, and it’s recently begun picking up again, but the story has started to drag in the more recent oaths. Personally, it felt like the lack of a clear Myth Arc was beginning to hurt the story, as it just felt like stuff was just sort of . . . happening. It’s a fairly minor quibble overall, and I still enjoyed reading the arcs.

The Zombie Knight is probably one of my favourite pieces of literature, period, and it has the advantage of being still ongoing. You will not regret reading it in the slightest.

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