An alternative Hundred Years War set in a world where God takes a direct interest in his creation, Son Of The Morning is a smart, gripping historical fantasy. Here angels dwell in cathedrals and fight for their kings. But Mark Alder’s is not a kindly God, but an unforgiving, Old Testament smiter who relishes sacrifice and casts people into Hell for the least of sins.
Alder (actually Mark Barrowcliffe, AKA MD Lachlan, author of the historical fantasy series Wolfsangel) has taken the Luciferian heresy as the starting point: God usurped Lucifer, the true creator, and imprisoned him and his followers in Hell. Lucifer came to Earth as Jesus, and God took all the credit. God then did a savage PR job on the fallen angel, and the rest, as they say, is history. Lucifer and his demons have taken control of part of Hell, throwing back Satan’s devils. This war spills onto Earth with the advent of the “antichrist”.
Despite first appearances, the book is not a Christian-bashing polemic, but a sharp attack on inequality as applicable to the wild inequities of today’s super-capitalism as it is to Feudalism’s self-justification through Christianity. If that sounds a bit heavy, trust us, it isn’t. There’s a good deal of humour, well-observed characters, glorious occult and historical detail, plenty of intrigue, and some great battles. Alder's depiction of the crucial one at Crécy, with both sides supported by angels and devils, is particularly enjoyable.
Guy Haley twitter.com/GuyHaley
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