Tuesday, September 27, 2016
ARC Review of Funeral Games by Colin Heintze
Title: Funeral Games
Author: Colin Heintze
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: September 26, 2016
Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural, Historical, Mystery
Rating: 5/5 "Loved it!"
I received an eARC from the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Description from GoodReads
Ingerval is the Country of the Dead. Despised by the wider world, blighted by history, since the beginning of time it has honored one law: the Dead rule, and the Living submit. No one remembers why Ingerval nobles return as ghosts after their deaths. To enjoy a brief life of pleasure and plenty, followed by an eternity of reigning from beyond the grave, is the fate of all Ingerval lords. All but one.
As the youngest son of the King's third wife, Syphax never thought he would amount to anything. He is content to live out a contemplative life free from the scourges of power and politics that infatuate his peers. But, after answering a summons to the Palace – a sprawling, ever-expanding repository for Ingerval's ghosts – he finds himself at the heart of a dynastic struggle centuries in the making.
Funerals are happy occasions in Ingerval, and the King is planning for his to be the most decadent in the country's long memory. He does not know that, unlike every lord before him, he will not return to rule alongside his ancestors. He will die the true death, sparking a succession crisis that throws the noble families into chaos. Amidst the violence and intrigue, Syphax alone asks, "What really happened to the King?" The deeper Syphax digs, the more he realizes these events are connected to others dating back to the founding of his father's dynasty.
Let the games begin.
Wow. Just, wow. I am so glad that I found Colin Heintze! This will definitely not be the last of his books that I read. Now for the ever daunting task of deciding where to begin this review.
Well, the best place to start tends to be the beginning. So, let's start there. How often is it that readers lament the moments when their favorite characters die? And Heintze either ignores that fact or chooses to make a mockery of it by throwing us into a funeral at the very beginning. We don't even know the characters yet and they are already dying on us! And then coming back! I was stunned by this quick turn of events. Heintze seems to do this in order to acclimate us to the Ingerval view of deaths and funerals. That way, we are beyond stunned when King Heron does not return. Rather than being upset that a beloved character died, we feel Syphax's pain when his father's funeral goes wrong.
Let's take a second to just think about Prince Syphax. He knows that he really doesn't have much to look forward to. He knows that he isn't going to be king and he knows that he has spent most of his life just living for physical enjoyment. However, he grows so much as the plot plays out. From being a hedonistic individual to caring about what happens to his kingdom, the clans, and a variety of individuals. My favorite example of this is the way that he cares for and repays his debts to Aunt Milda and the baby. I cried as soon as that baby was quiet.
There was only one thing that I truly disliked about this novel. The fact that Syphax finds no romance with the woman he loves. I definitely understand why Heintze wrote this the way he did. It demonstrates just how far Syphax has come since the beginning of this novel. However, I think I would have preferred it if Heintze killed a favorite character than put me through the final scene between Fina and Syphax. You'll have to read, and cry over it, yourself.
I definitely encourage you to give this book a chance! You can buy it on Amazon.