Ballas is a drunk and a vagrant. In his eyes there is only greed, and in his heart only bitterness. Such a man is not suited to legend, he is fit only for an unmarked grave. And there are people who seek to hasten his journey there.
When a young priest saves him from a beating in the street, Ballas soon finds a way to pay him back - he steals from him.
What Ballas chooses to take can easily be hidden under a cloak, but it is no trinket to be sold in the market for a bowl of soup. It is known as the Monument. And the power it contains will bring a god of chaos and destruction into the world. Now Ballas has that power . . .
MONUMENT is a masterpiece of storytelling - a new classic of fantasy fiction, now in ebook for the first time.
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Eschewing the predictably chivalrous caricatures of much mainstream fantasy, British author Graham's fiercely energetic debut novel of dark destinies, treachery and tragic self-awareness focuses on morally corrupt characters in a bleak, amoral world of oppressive religious systems and explosive violence. Ballas, a drunk whose soul is as deformed as his busted face, repays a priest's act of kindness by stealing from his religious order a black iron disk with magical properties. Visited by the vision of a Lectivin, a member of the legendary "Pale Race," Ballas forcefully enlists the aid of Lugen Crask, a cowardly eel hunter, and his likable daughter, Heresh, to help locate the fabled "Land Beyond the Mountains," to which Ballas is drawn. Sentenced to death by church Wardens and pursued by a deadly Lectivin, Ballas is a nasty character study of degraded self-interest and anguish. A lack of sentimentality lends this intelligent story an authentic, subversive air of philosophical harshness. Minds and hearts are battered just as often as flesh, and the antihero commands the reader's reluctant respect for his steadfastness. While this existential epic probably won't please fans of C.S. Lewis or Tolkien, those seeking gritty realism in imaginative fiction will welcome it as a bitter feast.