By Chris Willrich
Pyr, 290 pages, $15.95
The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich is a fantasy story about Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone, two thieves who are trying to start a family and find themselves suddenly hunted by a deadly pair of assassins. When suggestions and rumors imply that their child will be a major player in things to come, Gaunt and Bone’s daily existence becomes a struggle against all forces, and heavily pregnant Gaunt must try and find a safe place for her child. While Gaunt and Bone are only looking to settle down and start a family, they are rapidly drawn into events beyond their comprehension.
While the world in which this adventure takes place is supposed to be an original creation, it borrows too deeply from existing countries. The Scroll of Years is heavily influenced by Chinese mythology, although unfortunately, not in an original way. Readers may also find the names of characters to be extremely distracting, as several of them verge on the ridiculous. The rules of magic in this world are not clearly laid out, and weakens the impact of these encounters. Aspects of the adventure are engaging, but The Scroll of Years is not for everyone.
Reviewed by Whitney Smyth