The Pariah v Grevensteiner

Book: The Pariah
Author: Anthony Ryan
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2021

I received this book as an e-arc, though my review be true and pure.

This book is marmite. Those who like it will love it and those who don’t will hate it I think. It has the potential to be a series that gets debated and discussed a lot, with what I envisage to be near religious zeal. I hope the former will outweigh the latter though as I personally loved it.

I wasn’t sure at first which way I was falling. Part 1 of 3 is a very slow burning beginning through which we’re introduced to the MC, Alwyn Scribe, during the latter days of his life as an outlaw in the band of the infamous Deckin Scarl. I enjoyed this section but was a little frustrated at times by what I felt was a lack of plot progression.

The ending to part 1 and then from part 2 onwards however was worth the wait. By this point we know Alwyn quite well so his choices and the events he’s plunged into all become so much more believable and relatable. He presents himself as wanting people to believe he is entirely amoral and roguish but the narrative voice frequently betrays clues to a present where he has eschewed this mantle somewhat.

The basis of the plot feels at once very familiar for anyone with a passing knowledge of British medieval history. Civil war is fermenting, religious zealotry is rife and the common churls are bearing the brunt of the hardship. It’s the previously alluded to style of first person narrative that gives us our hook as to why we want to read about these things. Every so often narrator Alwyn will through in a line or two about an event shaped his future (the narrator’s present). They are teasers that I am desperate to learn the payoff of.

Can’t wait for the next installment.

Beer: Grevensteiner Original NaturtrĂ¼bes Landbier
Brewery: Brauerei VELTINS
Style: Kellerbier/Zwickelbier
Strength: 5.2%

Quite light on the hops, this is a delicious traditionally brewed German Lager. It’s been made to celebrate a century of brewing.

Doesn’t taste anything like as strong as it is which could be lethal. If you close your eyes, smell it and then take a big swig you can almost imagine it’s 100-200 years ago and you’re in a cellar somewhere in Bavaria.

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