The Relic Guild by Edward Cox

by Edward Cox
Format: Ebook

The Relic Guild is a fantasy novel set in an interesting world, where humans are essentially trapped in a city which is both on the border of everywhere, and cut off from everywhere else at the same time. Labrys Town is a tightly controlled world, where magic is outlawed, and citizens live in fear of what might escape from the Great Labyrinth, a hangover from a time when trade between the humans, and the Aelfir was still possible. While this definitely falls into the Fantasy category for me, there is an interesting mix of magic and technology in the world.

The main protagonists are members of The Relic Guild, a group of magic-wielding agents who live and work in the shadows at the behest of the Resident, a sort of city governor who runs a sort of 1984-esque surveillance state from The Nightshade, a sort of Genius Locii. When an ancient … okay… relatively recent… foe returns to kidnap one of their number, they must engage new allies to discover the truth.

This is a novel told in two halves – one storyline is set in the present day, and the other set 40 years before. It was interesting to see the characters who were in both time periods, and how they had evolved, or their relationships had changed in that time. I was, however, somewhat perturbed by the way that time passes extremely slowly in the present – at least the first half of the novel passes in less than a single day.

I found the characters really interesting, although some of the antagonists were particularly mysterious at the beginning, the author worked his way into them by the end. I understand that this is Cox’s first novel, and it really felt like that.

The author borrows heavily from christian mythology, with obvious analogs of angels, and demons, God and Satan, however these do not distract from the actual story. There were a lot of plot holes, particularly regarding time travel, which Рfrom reading the second book in the series Рare addressed to some degree later.

The Relic Guild is an engaging and intriguing first novel, set in a bizarre and unusual world.

Rating Report
Overall: three-half-stars

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