“A sane man is simply a man afraid to unleash his inner demons.”
This is one of those books that you don’t expect to be so good, like it runs up behind you and coward punches your face in until you love it. I went into this book knowing I would like it because of that blurb, but having finished it I’m just sitting here mind blown, literally like I’m questioning my own sanity right now. This is one of the most thought provoking novels I’ve ever read in my entire life. The plot is so intricate and complex and I can’t believe this is a debut novel. I am so impressed by everything. It’s a rarity that I read a novel where I hate every single character in it, but love the book with every inch of my heart. This was a fabulous and well written journey into the darker side of mental illnesses. It was also extremely fast paced, full of unexpected things & had a straight forward different magic system. It of course didn’t come without flaws but alas, they were very minor (I’ll talk about these later). I’ve been praying to the Gods of Grimdark for a while now, I just need a proper Grimdark that I don’t roll my eyes at or doesn’t try to hard to be dark. Well folks this is that book. It’s warped, disturbing, disgusting & amazing all at once. I hate every character and they are proper villains (finally). I love books like this where you don’t know who the real villain is. Is there even a villain? Or is everyone the villain? I don’t know. But i honestly just love the whole concept of everyone being a fucked up evil mess. But despite hating the characters I actually felt terrible if something bad happened to anyone. At one point I was sick to my stomach because it was so intense. So this author is obviously extremely talented to have me hating everyone with a passion then sobbing quietly in the corner if they got hurt, especially Konig (I have no idea why because I hate that guy his a c@&$). Oh and it made me happy that every single person was ugly. It helped me hate them more… Except Wichtig his beautiful & easy to hate.
“My mirror never shows me what I want to see. I can’t possibly be that fat and ugly!”
Basically this is a story about villainary and villains doing villainous things. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a book. In a world where mental illness is power, the more insane you are the stronger you are at delusions and magic. Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. ‘Belief defines reality’. There is a high priest Konig. Who is moulding a god from his own hands, twisting the child’s mind everyday until this child is the ‘perfect’ God. However Konig isn’t the only person who wants this god child to Ascend with his influence, in a world full of real walking doppelgänger’s, kleptomaniac’s, sociopaths, narcissists, schizophrenics, dysmophics, spilt personalities & psychopaths, all with their own intent to capture the gold child. Time is running out for everyone & this could be everyone’s last chance of redemption before they pass into the after death. Yes this book is as good as it sounds and without saying spoilers I will say that it is so much more complex then the blurb leads you to believe. Blew my expectations out of the water at full speed. It took me a while to get to this novel because of the disappointing Grimdarks I’ve read lately, but trolling goodreads I came across two DNF reviews one was “this book was to dark” the second “it villainized mental illness”. Which quite honestly made me want to read the book even more, that’s when I added it to my priority list and I’m glad I did. It washed me into a void of craziness. Definitely not for everyone, I understand this, it is very gritty, full of badassery, dark, obscene & so fucking brutal, like it’s beyond redemption. Which I guess most people don’t enjoy. but I honestly love this shite the more crazy the better. I also just want to touch on the ‘villainized mental illness’ in this book. I totally understand how someone could feel this book demonizes mental illness. However I strongly feel that the author isn’t trying to demonize mental illnesses instead he is showing his readers the dark side to a mental illness. Let’s be real there are Orc shite crazy people out there who do bad things on a daily basis and that’s exactly what this book is about. It’s about being inside the head of someone who is so crazy they are actually ‘delusional’. This book is one big mind fuck. But a good one. There is very little relief in the novel because even the authors humour is extremely grim, so if your a soft kitten who loves cuddles and rainbows, you definitely should not read this.
artwork by Quint VonCanon
“Their malnourished bodies reminded Gehirn of sticks and dry tinder and she resisted the urge to burn them where they stood”
Now I wanna talk about some shite that ruffled my feathers, like I said earlier there was a few minor cons. Firstly I need to talk about the over usage of the word shite. It really started to give me the shites. Every single page shite was said atleast five times. Shite Mccrikey. I’ve had enough. It is also one of those books that you need to concentrate on really hard, because the author has a rich vocabulary and it’s also a little confusing because the concept is so different, so in this first 20% my poor simple mind had trouble following, however my delusions grew stronger and I have a doppelgänger that is highly intelligent which helped me understand the plot better. But in reality around 20% in most things are explained so the story becomes more enjoyable and easier to follow. Another thing that I personally didn’t like (matter of personal taste here folks) is the German names. I have nothing against the language, it just confused me BUT I did get used to it and it taught me how to pronounce some huge tongue twisters. I’m now a delusional idiot from reading this.. Oh, I think I already was but I’m worse now.
artwork by Quint VonCanon
“Always best to start with violence and attempt communication second. People reacted more favorably when they knew you would snuff a few lives to get what you wanted… or for no reason whatsoever.”
Recommended to all people who are hardcore. Also fans of Abercrombie, Erikson & R. Scott Bakker, will enjoy this novel. Also if you love dark fantasy and appreciate mind blowing differentness this book is for you.
“I am beyond redemption.”
artwork by Quint VonCanon
P.s. I think, I just became this authors biggest fan.
Review by Luna.