Bookshelf: First Chosen

51kVF8W9+ML._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Julianna is a Duchess in her own right, an orphan raised by her aunt and uncle, a marriageable young lady, and the child of fate.  Gods and goddesses watch her path, some protecting her and some seeking her destruction, and one — Grandfather Shadow, the forbidden ancestral god of her people — choosing her as his high priestess and liberator.

I’m a sucker for blackpowder (or “flintlock”) fantasy, and First Chosen is a fun one.  It’s also a dark fantasy, about the coming of the promised redeemer for worshippers of Shadow, where the forces of both Sun and Night are oppressors.  This is the beginning of a (nearly completed) epic series, Tears of Rage.

M. Todd Gallowglas is an oral storyteller by day and a latter-day wandering minstrel, appearing at multiple renaissance faires, comic cons, and similar events to tell tales.  That background shows itself here: First Chosen is brisk and story-focused, driving from one event to the next with a pace that doesn’t flag and populating each scene with vivid characters in high (and sometimes comic) conflict.

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