It was the character of Calthus, as described in the blurb, that caused me to request POWER’S WRATH from Netgalley. There were some strong elements of Arthurian myth in this character and some of the others from the story. However, Shortall’s writing style made the first few chapters a bit dull and had a wordy and plodding style throughout the book.
The overall scope and direction of the book is broader and more original than I had expected and the better qualities of the work became apparent with each chapter. While echoing some of the familiar tropes of high fantasy, overall the complexity and aesthetic of the world building is unusual in its quality. The story has some echoes of Tolkien in setting up cycles of existence with the schemes of very long lived beings intersecting at critical moments with the heroics of mortal champions and the women they love.
Ultimately, I felt that my sympathy for the characters was limited and the “type” of fantasy heroes set up by this opening volume do not interest me to continue with the story. Readers more fond of male fantasy archetypes and taking a leisurely pace through even the most incidental of scenes may feel differently.