Imagine a zombie Jack Sparrow trapped in Wonderland, with the wits of Locke Lamora and the vulgar mouth of a dirty sailor. You might get an idea of Marius Don Hellespont. The Marching Dead is the sequel to 2012’s excellent The Corpse Rat King by Aussie-Author Lee Battersby. While I didn’t post my thoughts on The Corpse Rat King here on the blog I will quickly note that I was thoroughly impressed and became an instant fan of Mr. Battersby.
The sequel picks up after the events of The Corpse Rat King, and once again Marius is on the run, this time in search of his beloved Keth. New characters include Marius’ parents, some ninja-nuns, (no typo there, you read correctly… ninja nuns!) zombie sailors, a busty pirate wench, and a warrior who wields armor made of card-board. It might sound crazy, but it just kind of works! The novel has a sense of whimsy and doesn’t take itself too seriously. You don’t really question the world, or how the physics work, you just hold on and go for the ride.
Marius Don Hellespont is a rising star in the fantasy genre and in my opinion, he deserves a bit more attention. Lee Battersby hasn’t written the next Name of the Wind, but he has written a fun novel that fans of cloak and dagger fantasy should enjoy. I haven’t seen any of the big book bloggers talking about Battersby yet, which comes as a surprise due to the fact that he is published by the increasingly popular Angry Robot. Check him out for yourself if any of the above sounds intriguing, it’s a quick read and was certainly entertaining. Marius Don Hellespont, I hope we meet again!