Friday, August 5, 2011

Weapon of Flesh

Weapon of FleshWeapon of Flesh by Chris A. Jackson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the city of Twailin a power struggle has been heating up for years. The fate of the city hangs in the balance as the Duke, others of the noble families, and factions of the Guilds ruthlessly vie for supremacy. The chessboard is cluttered with numerous pawns, but one very special pawn might sway the battle. But who will control this pawn?

Per the exacting instructions of the mysterious Grandfather, a weapon is fashioned. Through the painstaking labor of the wizard, Corillian, a perfect killing machine is created. Over the span of years, an innocent babe is transformed into a flawless, nameless assassin. He is simply “the weapon.” As a result of the wizard’s magic, the weapon has no emotion, feels no pain, moves silently, leaves no traces of his passing, and enjoys enhanced senses, agility, and strength. Grievous wounds knit and heal in moments. The weapon is trained by masters of the various martial arts in all forms of combat, armed and unarmed. His training does not include the clutter of social skills or human emotions. He has but one purpose: to kill.

This weapon is readied for delivery to a new master who will wield it to his advantage. But Corillian fails to deliver the weapon to this new owner, and a nameless young man, who knows nothing of the world and thousands of ways to end a human life, finds he must find his destiny on his own.

Based on his first brief encounters with society, the weapon makes the assumption that his name must be Lad. He thrills in his newfound autonomy, but Lad is unaware that the Grandfather’s hunters track him, intent on locating and capturing him alive—at any cost—by any means. After nearly two decades of waiting, the Grandfather is impatient to try out his new weapon. The Grandfather’s agenda remains a secret, even to his closest underlings, but there is no doubt that Lad, the weapon of flesh, is integral to the plan’s success.

Lad, through the controlled process of his creation, is like no other young man this, or any other, world has known. This fact was not lost on the author, who offers his readers the stark realities of a world rife with magic, intrigue, assassins, and death. This is not a tale for children, nor is it for those of meek demeanor. It is an often-dark exploration of man’s emotions, desires, hopes and downfalls. It is a clash of a wizard’s arcane spells and the magic of love, a battle of innocence against soul-consuming evil. The author’s treatment of the book’s characters is both consistent and insightful, allowing one to easily empathize with the heroes and loathe the villains. Some of Jackson’s characters fit neatly into one of those categories. Others, however, occupy that grey area between, adding spice to this tale as we struggle to sort them out. Weapon of Flesh is a fabulous tale of medieval fantasy that will leave readers begging for more from author Chris A Jackson.

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