Book Reviews, Reviews by Ariel

Fantasy Review | Snakewood by Adrian Selby | 3 Controllers

I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Fantasy Review | Snakewood by Adrian Selby | 3 ControllersSnakewood by Adrian Selby
Published by: Orbit on March 17th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley

View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon

Review Score:
About the Book:

Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning, alchemical brews, and cold steel. Whoever met their price won.

Now, their glory days behind them, scattered to the wind, and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated one by one. A lifetime of enemies has its own price.

Adrian Selby brings us into an unforgettable new world filled with magic, mystery, intrigue, bloodshed and betrayal.





Review gold new 2-min

Snakewood is the debut novel from author Adrian Selby.  Debut novels are always an interesting experience, and Snakewood is no exception.  A novel filled with intrigue and deception, I enjoyed Selby’s novel.


Snakewood tells the tale of Kailen’s Twenty, a group of mercenaries who has long been disbanded.  Now, someone has been going around killing members of the group.  Those who are still alive work to remain so, as well as finding other members of the Twenty and warning them that there’s a killer running about.


I was super excited when I read the premise of this book.  Someone going around killing a group of mercenaries?  Heck yes!  I was ready for a novel full of action and bloodshed and while it did have those things, it just wasn’t exactly what I expected.  The story is told through a scholar who has gathered up journals from members of the Twenty and is now recounting what exactly happened.  This would have been ok, but the way in which everything was gathered together and organized was extremely jumbled and there was a lot of jumping back and forth between characters.  In order for certain things to “make sense,” we were sometimes told one character’s account of an event, followed by a different character’s account of an event that took place before the first event.  It just seemed really disjointed to me, and it made it difficult to get attached to some of the characters.


Which isn’t to say I didn’t get attached to them, just not super emotionally.  Some of the events are told through the perspective of Kailen, leader of the mercenary group Kailen’s Twenty.  Kailen was probably one of the most distinctive voices in the story just because he does have a very calm, cool, collected, leader way of speaking and telling his side of the story.  We don’t get a ton from Kailen (which was a little surprising as I was reading) but I did enjoy the perspectives we got from him.  Most of the other accounts are told through Gant and Shale, two members of the Twenty; Galathia, a woman who believes the Twenty to be responsible for her lot in life; and Sand, a man who cannot remember his past.  Aside from Kailen, I found Sand and Galathia’s accounts to be the most interesting.  Gant and Shale honestly sounded really similar to me, so there were times where I forgot whose account I was reading.


Honestly, I think the thing that kept me from really sinking my teeth into this story was the lack of world building.  There’s a map at the beginning of the book, which is a little helpful, but there are just so many things that I wanted explained to me.  Some of the terminology, which only exists in this particular universe, the way that the government works in different parts of the world, things like that, which are really necessary to understanding the way a particular universe is set up and operates.


Despite having those two issues with the book, I honestly did enjoy it.  It had a good story and a good plot line, if a little jumbled.  There were different parts of the book where I felt myself getting totally sucked in, I just wish I would have felt that way throughout the whole novel.  I give Snakewood 3 out of 5 controllers.



My Rating

New Rate 3.0 Controllers-min

Ariel New Sig 2-min