The Wrack by John Bierce review

Hello and welcome to the latest review on my bog.  Westu hal to you and I hope that you are staying safe and reading something awesome.  I have a review today for you of one of the best examples of character driven fantasy I have recently read, an almost episodic look at a fantasy world dealing with the outbreak of a horrendous disease.

Firstly, a big thank you to Storytellers on Tour for featuring me on this tour!  Justine and Timy are doing an amazing job to promote self published fantasy, check out the rest of the tour via this link.

Now the premise

Plague has come to the continent of Teringia.

As the Wrack makes its slow, relentless march southwards, it will humble kings and healers, seers and merchants, priests and warriors. Behind, it leaves only screams and suffering, and before it, spreads only fear.

Lothain, the birthplace of the Wrack, desperately tries to hold itself together as the plague burns across it and its neighbors circle like vultures. The Moonsworn healers would fight the Wrack, but must navigate distrust and violence from the peoples of Teringia. Proud Galicanta readies itself for war, as the Sunsworn Empire watches and waits for the Wrack to bring its rival low.

And the Wrack advances, utterly unconcerned with the plans of men.

This is one of the best examples of a character driven fantasy I have read recently, this is partially down to how the story is being told.  The story is divided in to episodic stories, showing a different part of Lothain being affected by the Wrack. This allows the story to be very character driven, the world is built up over the various episodes and with John’s excellent writing style a world emerges that was excellent to be a part of.

This was also a topical and well written story. The internal conflicts that reign are skilfully done, also the religious aspect was well handled.  The Moonsworn healers face distrust despite being skilled at healing, sworn to a distrusted religion but being accepted that they may be the only solution was handled by the author.  Religious distrust is not something I have come across often in my reading, but it was well handled by John, it certainly adds a real edge to the story.  The detail and thought that has been put into the impact of the disease was well handled, John has a nice flowing writing style.

Other aspects that impressed me in the story were the class and racial discrimination, as well as the wholly orginal magic system as well.  Healers can see into the spirit realm with the aid of jewels and a replacement eyeball, I won’t say too much else because I want you to discover this for yourself.  It’s wonderful to read with an original and well thought out magic system, a hard magic system with rules are my favourites and this was one of the more interesting ones I have read this year.

I am really proud of John for being able to produce a story so close to the current world situation, big kudos for the coincidence and going with it.  This is an enjoyable story, with an excellent episodic story, fantastic world building, a unique magic system and a flowing enjoyable writing style.  I could not ask for more in a story,  10/10 from me!

I have also learned that this is an entrant in this year’s SPFBO, I wish it every success.

That’s all from me, I hope that my review has inspired you to pick this book up.  Westu hal to you, stay safe and enjoy your current reading.

Just before I go, there is a competition running while the book is on tour.  Enter via this link to win a copy of The Wrack, think how good it will look on your bookshelf.  It is US only I am afraid but it is free as well.  Wishing you good luck.

About John

John Bierce is a history buff, fantasy and science fiction lover, and fan of talking about himself in the third person. He also has a background in the earth sciences, and has been caught licking rocks before. For science.

Ways to connect with John further





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