Glenn Thater's HARBINGER OF DOOM series kicks off with GATEWAY, the tale of Brother Claradon Eotrus as he endeavors to find out what happened to his father, Lord Aradon, after he mysteriously vanishes along with his men while investigating an unearthly fog.
Drawing from Medieval, Nordic and Greek mythology, the world of Thater's Midgard feels as if set in a forgotten era of the Dark Ages, full of elves, dwarves, gnomes, wizards and heroes of a rich yet shaded past. The Foreword to the book proper contains a very convincing excursus on the author's "research" of the legendary figure Lord Angle Theta. Joining Claradon on his quest is the hero Gabriel Garn, the House Wizard of Dor Eotrus Par Tanch, and a delightfully persnickety gnome named Ob, as well as the mysterious Theta and his manservant Dolan.
The plot moves along at a satisfying pace, with the more expository parts of the tale executed very well that gives the reader a time, place and in-world precedent for the events transpiring in the story. What starts out as a mere rescue mission quickly becomes one of vengeance and darkness, and without spoiling any future readers, the tale becomes delightfully gory as it reaches its climax. I found myself wanting to know more about Lord Theta and his origins, and I was sad that one of the more important characters got the shaft before being fully fleshed out but what makes this story great is the great distinction between all the characters, and the bond that grows between them at the end.
Some of the dialogue gets a little arduous, and has a distinct older English folktale flavor to it, and some of the descriptions are a little vague and out there, but in spite all that GATEWAY is a solid work of fantasy that was a real treat to read. I'm sure it only gets better from here, as I've already begun reading volume 2, FALLEN ANGLE.
GATEWAY is available on Amazon Kindle, and comes highly recommended.