Saturday 29 November 2008

Fidelis: Birthpangs Book 1 by: A.R. Horvath

Birthpangs Book 1
A.R. Horvath
ISBN 9780979127618 Softcover
ISBN 9780979127601
Suzeteo Enterprises

Fidelis is the best speculative fiction I have read since the early 80's. Reminiscent of Heinlein's writings with the skills of a master wordsmith, A.R. Horvath has created an amazing world and looks to a possible future that is dark and brooding. He
creates a world in which the United States has entered a second dark ages after a military defeat. The writing is superb, the characters believable and engaging. As you read you become transported into the events by Horvath's skill with the pen for he draws you in and captivates you. His storytelling is masterful.
We follow Fides as he goes from being a young man trying to look after his family and working as a skilled laborer to being a warrior serving a cause greater than any he could have imagined. As he journeys across the remnants of America he journeys into a faith he never dreamed of nor wanted. The book deals with big questions: faith, doubt, manhood, integrity, purpose in life, bravery and above all else, truth. It does so in a futuristic setting, however is written in such a way that the characters as they struggle with these issues seem to be real, not just a story for entertainment but a story to help us learn to ask the right questions in life.This book has been compared to Stephen King's The Dark Tower, or as a cross between it and the Left Behind books by LeHaye and Jenkins. However, to me it is more similar to C.S. Lewis's The Dark Tower or a darker version of Lewis's space trilogy. It also reads much like James Axler's Deathlands yet with more depth. Reading Horvath is like reading science fiction by Asimov, Bester or Heinlein, with the narrative power and creativity of C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien. It also contains strong military themes like those found in Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant, Orson Scott Card's Ender Series or Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books. This book is an amazing work of fiction. Both the writing style, and story itself will captivate and enthrall. This book is moving to my all time favorites list and it will take something pretty awesome to knock it down a notch on that list. So pick up the book and join Fides on his journey, both across a continent and into faith, and you too may be challenged to look inside and find the strength to struggle with faith and to ask yourself the tough questions. I for one eagerly anticipate the rest of the books to come in this new series.

(Note: a review of book 2 soon to follow.)

Books by A.R. Horvath:
Birthpangs Series

The Annals of Myrtle and the Blood King Series
The Warden-Watch

Books as Anthony Horvath:
Chronos and Old Facts
The Golden Rule of Epistemology and other essays
We Choose Life
Polite Company and Other Stories
The Knight in Black Tuzedo
Mordecai's Dilemma
For No Reason at All
Roots and Fruits
Author Profile and Interview with Anthony Horvath

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