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A mute elven archer known only as Killer. Azyrin, a half Winter-orc shaman and his human swordswoman bride, Makha. Drake, the charming, swashbuckling rogue. The fireball-slinging pixie-goblin, Rahiel, and her mini-unicorn, Bill. These are the Gryphonpike Companions.

Arriving in Strongwater Barrow, the Companions find the town riddled with plague and death. Ending the curse and saving the survivors means going into the swamps where monsters lurk and witches wait. Sounds like exactly their kind of day.

Witch Hunt is an adventure fantasy novella.

Also in the Gryphonpike Chronicles series:
Twice Drowned Dragon
A Stone’s Throw
Dead of Knight
The Barrows
(omnibus edition)

Free on 7th - 9th Dec 21
View on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

"An enjoyable fantasy story with an interesting cast if characters."

Reviewer: .



Killer is a Elf with a dark secret, one that now leaves her unable to speak and even trying to communicate brings her pain. She is part of a band of adventurers called the Gryphonpike Companions. As they look to renew their adventuring charter, the town they had hoped to visit has been attacked by three witches. Many of the villagers have either been killed, or afflicted with curses and plagues. The villagers had managed to kill one of the witches, but the other two have wreaked their revenge and without help the village is all but lost. The companions resolve to head out and deal with the witches to free the village and start out heading into a swamp north of the village. As they enter the swamp they encounter the first of the witches and the creatures she controls. The fight is tough, but they manage to kill the witch and look to regroup before heading on again. After a quiet night, they are magically attacked as they rise leaving them with the tough choice of either retreating back to the town or looking to find the witch and stop her, before she kills them.

I was in mixed minds about this story when I picked it up. Starting with the diverse grab bag of character types and races I was beginning to wonder if it was someone's fantasy roleplay session that had been written up. There is a brief interlude setting the background for the main character before it dives straight into the main story. The quick introduction to each of the companions is a little perfunctory, but gives the reader enough to being with and what helps is the characters grow on you during the story. Their actions and words help to define them without being told of what they had done somewhere else. The writing helps being descriptive of the situations without trying to paint out the world at large and it sticks to the story, the area they travel in and the people they meet. I will admit to some amusement that bands of adventurers have to register and pay fees to go out adventuring. The plot is fairly simple, but well executed and the characters stay fairly true to themselves through the course of the tale.

I will be honest I did roll my eyes when the party was introduced, but this faded with the strong, down-to-earth, storytelling that left me curious to see where the tale went. I didn't see anything in the way of grammar of spelling mistakes and the book was well laid out. In general it was a joy to read and rose well above my expectations from what I had expected it to be. I hope that they continue to show more of what they can do in future novels.

This one is for fans of the genre looking for something succinct, without the overarching worldbuilding and lore. While there is some there, it plays second fiddle to the story itself.

Rating: 4



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