Author: Colin Heintze
Date of Publication: 26th September 2016
Synopsis: The nobility of Ingerval become ghosts when they die, destined to continue to advise the living. A prince is thrown into the middle of a scandal when his Father, the King, dies…and doesn’t come back.
This was given to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. My thanks go to Colin Heintze, Curiosity Quills Press and Netgalley for the opportunity.
If you’re looking for a fresh take on the fantasy genre, then I would definitely recommend you give Funeral Games a go. I’m sure that elements of this concept has been done before, but Heintze’s writing makes it feel very fresh. This is in part due to the fascinating world he builds, and partly down to the character of Syphax.
First, the world. Ingerval is both a common and uncommon fantasy realm. There have been worlds in which Kings have multiple wives, political intrigue, warring factions etc before – however the introduction of some of the players being dead really adds a new layer to the old tropes. There is a great deal of very serious, gruesome, sad stuff but there is also a touch of gallows humour running throughout, adding brevity where it is sorely needed with a light and talented touch.
Syphax is perfect for this slightly ironic land – he isn’t a fighter or particularly suave with the ladies, he isn’t ridiculously handsome or impossibly strong. He likes books, is a bit socially awkward and happens to be just the hero that Ingerval needs. His interactions with those around him elevate the plot (which is standard conspiracy / mystery fare) and be warned – the maudlin humour of Heintze means that you might not get all the neatly tied loose ends you’re hoping for.
Overall a great, fast, fun read that definitely achieves finding something new in the fantasy genre – a feat within itself.