An Altar on the Village Green by Nathan Hall | Book Review
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Horrors are taking over villages one by one at an ever-increasing rate. Where once Lances of the Chained God would combat the evil encroaching the land, they have either become lost to the madness the horrors bring or given up. But there is one Page that seeks to become a Lance and carry on their duties. Having read countless tales of the prior Lances, he feels that he can carry on their legacy and help save the world. But as he picks up his sword as a Lance and dives into his first horror, he will struggle to combat the madness that surrounds him. And with each death he will unveil hidden truths about his heroes, only to discover some weren’t what they seemed.
An Altar on the Village Green is one of those books that asks you to put the pieces together as you read. Just enough information is given to slowly reveal the horror the main protagonist experiences to discover the truth. You will most likely be confused as the story shifts focus from time to time, but stick with it. When the pieces come together, you’ll never want to put this book down.
Nathan Hall’s writing is phenomenal. You’ll be engaged in the thrilling struggle to free one of the many villages from Horror. There are many avenues evil has taken hold of the village, but our protagonist must find the true source and destroy it. But what happens when you slaughter countless people you think are the source of evil, only to find you were wrong? Imagine the emotional toll it takes and the doubt it places in your mind. And then picture the knowledge that death cannot free you from madness. Each death starts the cycle of madness over and over and over again. The only true freedom is finding the initial cause of the horror.
As a gamer, I never considered what it would be like for a character I’m playing to die and respawn again and again. To have to repeat the same path and try something different each time to achieve success. An Altar on the Village Green brings this detail so often overlooked in games to startling clarity. It truly is a horror all its own to have to experience death multiple times just to learn how to achieve success.
This is an intense book. Not only is An Altar on the Village Green a brilliant dive into the fantasy genre, the notes of horror woven within the story give it an overall darker tone that accents the narrative. Readers will experience firsthand everything the protagonist is feeling and the doubts wedging themselves into his mind as the majority of the book is written in the first person. But in between failed attempts to banish the Horror, third person slips in to reveal the lives of past Lances. And their tales reveal hidden truths and falsifications the world has blatantly trusted as truth.
Every chance I could I sat down to read this book. It has been a long time since a book has captivated as much as An Altar on the Village Green. Fantasy readers, you have to pick this up and give it a try. And if you enjoy tales that walk on the darker side of the genre? This is perfect for you.
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