Imagine the TV show ‘Supernatural’ mated with ‘The Game of Thrones’. Don’t work too hard at it. Just read Scourge by Gail Z. Martin. It feels medieval, but could be some far-off, dystopian future. And frankly, it doesn’t matter to me which it is. It is definitely epic fantasy. And some of its best.
Three brothers inherit the family business (so far so good), in this case, undertakers, who battle ghosts, monsters and other demons. Part of their tasks are to summon the spirits, hear their confessions, and then send them to The After, using iron, salt, wards, & other semi-magical methods. The brothers hunt monsters nearly as much as they quarrel amongst themselves, while constantly concerned over each others’ safety. In other words, a real family. (Sound familiar?)
What Scourge lacks in Game of Thrones-like intrigue and political manipulation (although there is plenty of that), it makes up for in action, world-building, and … monsters. GOT keeps the dragons far offstage, while Scourge brings its supernatural aspects to the forefront, second only to the brothers loyalty and affection for each other.
Intertwined with the brothers’ story is the scheming and maneuvering of the Lord Mayor, as he seeks to retain and garner more power, both political and otherwise.
The characters are very human, well-thought-out, and perfectly flawed in the development. The plot lines between the brothers’ story and the Lord Mayor parallel each other and then tie in seamlessly. Scourge is a fast read and you will easily get caught up in the world that surrounds the characters.
Scourge is a good read for teens and beyond (I am waaaay ‘beyond’.). It does contain violence, some gruesome monsters, but to my recollection, no swearing (certainly nothing worse than what they would hear in middle school), no flagrant sex scenes, and Martin handles the more graphical scenes well, understating them, allowing the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks.
If you are into sword and sorcery epics, I heavily recommend adding Scourge to your Must Read list.
About Paul K. Metheney, the Author: Paul...
- was the featured author for dozens of sports magazine articles,
- has had four short stories published in recent anthologies,
- is contracted for a collection of his own short stories, and
- is working on a much-delayed novel or two.
Paul has nearly three decades working in advertising design, print, and graphic design. For the last twenty-five years or so, he has been working in the web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and marketing fields, including writing marketing copy for his client's blogs and social media on various subjects. Oh, yeah. He teaches those subjects as well at the local community college.
Despite a multifaceted nature, Paul is definitely 'what you see is what you get'. No hidden agendas. No having to guess what’s on his mind. He is wide open. Usually TOO wide open if you ask his wife, Melinda. Paul is happily married to his one-time, high school sweetheart, loves riding his Can-Am Spyder motorcycle, sporadically smokes a good cigar, and is an avid poker enthusiast. Paul is owned and cared for by two small Shitzus.
To learn more, visit his web site, dedicated to writing, teaching, poker, reviews, all things politically incorrect, and posts revealing genuine stupidity in the world: PaulMetheney.com or email him at