Friday, December 16, 2016

Judgment at Verdant Court

Judgment at Verdant Court 
by M.C. Planck
 Pyr, 2016, 343 pages, Fantasy,

 The story of Christopher Sinclair, a man lost in an alternate dimension, continues in the strongest entry yet. Christopher, ever gathering allies and vassals through the innocence of his worldview, faces the challenge of hunting his old champion and friend for committing a terrible crime. On top of this, he is charged with clearing his section of the frontier, a merciless swamp filled with sapient wolves and dinosaurs, of all monsters. The path forward is fraught with dangers both seen and unseen, with the nobility he serves marking the chiefest danger.

I would almost consider the World of Prime series clean reads; there’s no swearing (none in Earth’s idiom, anyways), no sex, but there are moments of brutality that are heartbreaking in their inhumanity. This is one of the stronger points of Planck’s writing; without being graphic he paints a picture of despair and conjures revulsion in his audience when desired, but tempers it with the continual hope of the main character. Christopher's wrestling with the overarching plot point of "Dungeons and Dragons as implemented in life" continues to develop in complexity and depth, while the actual world building going on in the background strengthens the plot and characters considerably. The World of Prime series just keeps getting better.


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