Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
Dead or alive. Good or evil. Hero or fugitive.
Valo needs a specific solution to a grave problem. The human Claimfold and prigon Torzsi draw apart. War is promised in the West. Worst of all, the magi of Nagyevo are meddling with the dead.
Perin is an apprentice Gravedigger: uneducated, unwanted, unsure. He may be the answer Valo needs, if he doesn't get killed before he works out what's going on. But of course there's the chance that fate hasn't called him after all. The gods are nameless and silent and the best laid plans have a way of going badly wrong.
Enter the spade and sorcery world of Valo.
Gravedigger subverts the expectations of that oldest of foes in fantasy, the dead that walk, in a fast-paced adventure through a world of culture, intrigue, magic and blood.
Michael-Israel Jarvis was born in Cambridge, brought up in Bishop's Stortford and moved to Great Yarmouth in his teens. He got his degree in Creative Writing at the University of Northampton and returned to Great Yarmouth with his wife, Katie.
Michael-Israel writes principally for Young Adults, which is what he intends to be until he's very, very old. Further explorations of the genres he prefers to write in throw up fantasy, adventure, coming of age stories and more. If possible, he prefers to write in a way that bends the distinction between different genres. Why shouldn't the superhero trope take place within a fantasy novel? And however serious a book is, shouldn't humour weave its way in?
Michael-Israel chose to go the route of Independent Publishing after observing the increase in sales of eBooks and a move towards indie expression in general culture. Creatives were achieving their goals and engaging their audiences through communities on Youtube, deviantArt and other online realms. While still having genuine respect for the traditional world of publishing, Michael-Israel made a calculated decision to join the revolution.
This freedom allows him to work with artists and other writers as and when he chooses. There is an open invitation for visual artists to depict images inspired by Gravedigger, in return for exposure of their own talents. Michael-Israel Jarvis does not believe in making it on his own.
I have a soft spot for fantasy stories, and this one was no exception. A believable world, engaging characters and a hero's journey complete with a mentoring guide, this book has them all. Jarvis also kept my attention with a fast pace, for the most part. I like the action to be fast and plentiful and this story is filled with heart-pumping fights. But this book also has depth and the main character, who though he may be a grave digger is certainly not inclined to create new business, given a choice, undertakes (pun intended, sorry) some soul-searching quests.
This is not high-fantasy with the hero tripping over dragons and elves. Javis has instead created a unique and fanciful world that seems the perfect setting for his unique protagonist, a grave digger apprentice turned hero who takes his master's wizened perceptions to heart and incorporates them into his life-altering, world-at-stake decisions. This is a keeper and the author's other and future works belong on your to-be-read pile. It didn't quite rate a full five stars because there were a few places the actions waned a bit too long for me, and there were a couple times I felt information was dumped in a pile that served to confuse and distract rather than inform.
Book Bling gives this 4 shining stars!
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