Author: Michael-Israel Jarvis
Page Count/Review Word Count: 414
Gravedigger was written by a good friend of mine, Mr. Michael-Israel Jarvis – in fact, I’ve already interviewed him about his work over on the blog. He was one of the first authors that we spoke to, and Gravedigger featured prominently in the questions and his responses.
The book is in the vein of an epic fantasy adventure, but with a twist – the protagonist, Perin, defies the norm and steps away from tradition, a gravedigger who uses his shovel as a weapon. He’s pretty epic, as heroes go – a hero that we can all relate to, and that we could all very easily be if we found ourselves in his world.
I’m going to avoid touching the story-line here, because I don’t want to ruin it and because it gets kind of complicated at times – it’s also a long book, and lots happens. It’ll wear me out if I try to get through everything! Suffice to say though, that Jarvis has a gift for fantasy writing, and that his style is perfectly matched to his subject matter. Jarvis also has an eye for detail, which is just what you want if you’re creating an entirely new world of your own.
It’s also been well edited, and there’s nary a typo in sight – that’s made even more impressive by the sheer size of the book, and the amount of work it must’ve taken. You really can call Gravedigger an epic, in the fine tradition of Tolkien – he’s clearly been an influence on Jarvis, but his work is more like a hotpot of Tolkien, Pratchett, Hemingway and Asimov, a sort of (dare I say superior?) mix of styles which is pleasing on the mind.
If I was to criticise the book at all, which I should because Izzy is my friend, I would warn you that it’s a tiring read because of its length, and the cover art could do with some work. Can’t fault it anywhere else!
You do need a passing interest in the fantasy genre to really appreciate the nuances of what Jarvis is doing, though – as for me, fantasy isn’t exactly my favourite genre, but I like it enough to dip in and out of it now and then. This book is perfect for you if you do the same, and who knows? It might even turn you in to a bigger fan of fantasy!