The Revelations of Zang by John R. Fultz

From the book description:

A collection of dark fantasy tales with a metaphysical edge, full of grotesque wonders and weird splendor. Artifice the Quill flees from tyrant sorcerers into a world of strange magic, ancient gods, and exotic kingdoms. The exiled author joins a traveling troupe of performers known as the Glimmer Faire, where he learns the magical power of art and the art of magical power. These Twelve Tales of the Continent alternate between the exploits of Artifice and the adventures of Taizo the Rogue, a master of skullduggery who sparks a rebellion in the name of bloody vengeance. The Lost Gods of Narr were displaced a century ago by the Sorcerer Kings, a council of dictators who rule the Golden City with necromancy, alchemy, and terror. The mysterious folk of the Red Isle foster dissension in Narr by smuggling their enchanted goods into the city, while the ancient Zang Forest expands itself across the lands of men, devouring farms and towns as it reaches to smother the wicked city. Now that the Lost Gods are returning to destroy the world, only Artifice, Taizo, and a small band of rebels have any hope of preventing the apocalypse. Seven of these interrelated stories are previously unpublished, including the 16,000-word novelette “Spilling the Blood of the World,” which brings the entire Zang Cycle to a staggering finale.

The Revelations of Zang reviewed by James Drummond

zangcoverThe strength of these stories is in the amazing world Mr. John R. Fultz has created. An impressive imagination is on display here, as we are introduced to Ghothian merchants and their elephantine arachnids, an ever-growing forest that contains a wide variety of fascinating creatures, cadavers turned warlocks that hide their secret behind silver masks, and a colorful, traveling troupe of performers whose plays have potent effects on this world’s people and places.

The author gives us well-rounded, engaging characters to venture through his world with. We meet the talented storyteller Artifice, who becomes the book’s main hero. A sly thief name Taizo, who plays Solo to Artifice’s Skywalker. Skilled sorceresses Andomina and Santha round out the main group of good guys, along with the wily Mordeau. Their successes and struggles play out compellingly and come to a spectacular conclusion as they do battle with the Sorcerer Kings.

My only criticism of this book was that sorcery was sometimes used as too convenient of a solution to get our heroes out of some perilous situations. Spells that produced magnificent results occasionally seemed a little too easy to conjure. Overall though, this was a very enjoyable read.

Review by John Drummond author of The One You Feed.

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