The Path of Anger
Tom Clegg, trans.
paperback L14.99 UK
$11.38 US (pre-order, pub. date Aug 14, 2014)
The Path of Anger is an impressive debut. Antoine Rouaud has created an enthralling novel in which the things you think you know aren’t necessarily so.
The Empire has fallen. In its place the Republic has risen. This doesn’t sit well with everyone. For instance, the Fangolin monks don’t like it since people are choosing not to follow their teachings anymore. One of those beliefs is that the destiny of mankind has been recorded in a book, a book that has been lost for centuries. The very concept of free will is frowned upon.
Dun-Cadal Daermon was a general in the Imperial army, some would say the greatest of his generation, who devoted his life to defending the Empire and his Fangolin faith.. Now he spends his time in taverns getting drunk in the southern city of Masalia where he mourns the fall of the Empire and the death of his apprentice, waiting to die. He was rumored to have stolen the Emperor’s sword when the Empire fell. From time to time he sends treasure hunters to the eastern parts of the kingdom, telling him that’s where he’s hidden it.
The book opens with an attractive young historian from the capital finding him. She’s also interested in the sword. But her interest goes far beyond treasure hunting. At first Dun-Cadal tries to brush her off.
There’s a major holiday coming up, though, and this year all the representatives are meeting in Masalia. Dun-Cadal realizes he knows many of them. They were once the generals and nobles who fought alongside him trying to preserve the Empire. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Mostly.
No sooner do the representatives begin arriving than they start dying. Someone dressed as the late Emperor’s personal assassin is targeting them. The post of assassin was one Dun-Cadal held before being promoted to general.
Now Dun-Cadal finds himself being drawn back into battle. He may get his death wish sooner than he thought. Continue reading