Monday 6 December 2021

An Altar On The Village Green by Nathan Hall

Title: An Altar on the Village Green by Nathan Hall
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy (grimdark)
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Plot: My faith called me to become a Lance. My compassion drew me into one of the fallen lands. Through my connection with the Chained God, I alone can find and destroy the Horror that stains the land.
Death can no longer chain me.
But I couldn’t have imagined the madness waiting for me in this village. I’m not sure my faith can withstand the secrets I’ll uncover. Or that my compassion can survive the violence to come. This Horror may swallow me whole.
Death can no longer free me.
A creature stalks in the dark. Buildings burn. People die. An altar has been built on the village green.

What did I think?

As an avid Bloodborne...addict, this was one of the best books I've read in 2021. I'm not exaggerating, this book made me feel...things.

At times, it felt as though Nathan Hall had written this book specifically for me. Admittedly, that thought is a bit creepy, but...somehow this book was exactly what I wanted it to be.

The prose is exquisite (truly), the world-building while definitely inspired by the Dark Souls games is unique, and the atmosphere, oh the atmosphere...

I breathed this book! I lived this book.

It's rare, at least now that I'm an adult and my brain is racked by the constant reminders of endless responsibilities, that a book simply absorbs me.

I didn't want to look up, I didn't want to stop!

The pacing is...a bit like playing a Dark Souls game. You have to work for it, but the payoff is absolutely worth it. This isn't a book to be devoured in a few hours, it's to be relished, slowly, while sipping something warming.

The only slump I found noticeable was shortly after the halfway point: the pacing had slowed, my initial excitement died down and just for a brief moment, I found myself...dare I say, struggling?

By that point the protagonist had died a dozen times and was one or two deaths away from being consumed by madness, and it occurred to me that perhaps...perhaps Nathan Hall had slowed the pace on purpose.

Right at that point, my mindset mirrored the protagonist's. Frustrated, itching to try again, itching to succeed. Onwards! What a book!

Whether you're a fan of the Souls games or just like dark atmospheric fantasy, do yourself a favour and give this one a try.

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