Jamie Marriage is an Australian science fiction writer who lives Sydney. He has a keen interest in the cyberpunk genre and Japan.
Centered around Rawk — a classic-styled hero resisting both retirement and death, which has taken so many of his competition — who is living the life of a legend but with little to do when word spreads of new threats to his community. Creatures long thought banished or extinct have returned, and as the last living hero in the land it naturally falls to Rawk to slay them. So despite aching back and limbs, feelings of irrelevance, and constant reminders of his advanced years, Rawk proceeds to the forest edge to face another in a long life of challenges, unaware of greater threats ahead.
Robinson does well to diverge from the traditional sword and sorcery of classic fantasy. Rawk is deeply flawed with decades of prejudice and insecurities exposed though action and inaction, bringing forth a depth of character seldom seen in the genre.
While not an overly long read, The Age of Heroes manages to engage in plenty of action, and create strong characters and a compelling narrative. Settings are detailed without being dense, and dialogue does well to convey the feelings of bit-players without the usual dramatic boasting of most bare-chested barbarians.
The Age of Heroes is a great, quick read by a talented author. Well worth picking up if you like your classic fantasy with a little extra depth.
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