“If I had to compare Robert Hood’s [Fragments of a Broken Land:] Valarl Undead to another novel I guess I would go with Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer; there’s the same elusiveness to the prose that requires careful reading and interpretation.”
“Robert Hood seems well aware of the genre he is working in but chooses a path less travelled and takes the Fantasy novel up a notch in the process. This is not a novel aimed at dreamy tween chicks with sparkling vampire posters on their walls, this is a blood and guts tale aimed at the adult reader. Was I ready to read something like that? Oh hell yeah, Robert Hood had me at page two and I was reading like a banshee till the final paragraph, assuming here banshees read real fast, of course.”
Jeff Ritchie celebrates the “adult” and darker aspects of Fragments in his review on the Scary Minds website — a site that focuses on the darker shades of fantasy.
But he also give due acknowledgement to a side of the novel that remains important for me — its metaphysical underpinings:
“But just when you think Robert Hood may be simply dwelling on the human plan[e] the novel takes a sort of metaphysical journey into other more surreal realms. There’s a rich texture to the novel that will keep you engrossed in the differing worlds the Author expertly and apparently effortlessly creates. While it can be an achievement to create a single alien environment and culture to set your novel in, it’s a real achievement when you create multiple worlds, as Robert Hood does here. Now I’m not going to say this will appeal to every Fantasy fan, but serious fans and gosh darn it readers with Adult levels of interpretation are going to rock out to Robert Hood’s flights of fancy here.”
“Full recommendation, best Fantasy novel release this year for mine; you want a serious read then dial F for Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead.”
Read full review.