The Ways of Khrem

                       The Ways of Khrem
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The Ways of Khrem returns us to the type of fantasy setting we enjoyed when prowling the streets of Lankhmar and Sanctuary as readers. The city of Khrem is a vast, epic metropolis of grand statues, lofty spires, dark streets, and darker secrets. Our guide through this fantastical urban labyrinth is a retired master thief, now living a quiet life as Cargill the Bookseller.

Cargills peaceful retirement comes to an end when he is confronted by Wilhelm Drayton, an idealistic young captain of the City Watch, who “recruits” the bookseller into helping him solve murders in the teeming city. This is not just a Sherlock Holmes and Watson story, as the action soon erupts when Cargill unmasks an inhuman terror stalking across the rooftops of the city. Cargill finds himself putting his old skills back into play as he throws the rules out the window in battles with death dealing gods of vengeance, subterranean monsters, and the psychopath who murdered the one true love of his youth. Some of these encounters are truly frightening, and not for the faint of heart.

The strength of this book is the setting and the characters. Cargill and Drayton are both intelligent men with their own agendas. Captain Drayton is an idealistic and determined man, who demonstrates real depth when dealing with forces both powerful and malignant. He manages to be somewhat rigid, yet still likeable.

Cargill as a character is alternately cowardly, brave, vengeful, scheming, hilarious, and tragic. He is a most human of heroes struggling to deal with situations much larger than he is, and finding ways to survive. He brings the reader down into the world of Khrem, letting them see it through his eyes, and allowing them to share his sorrows and triumphs.

The two operate with a rich supporting cast including Grabel, Cargills insufferable yet indispensible manservant; Heinryk and Poole, Drayton’s loyal watchmen; and Keris, Cargills deadly ex-partner from his youth. And finally there is Khrem itself…as much a character in this story as the rest. Khrem is brought to life in both its day to day rituals and routines of its common citizens…and its darkest of places with cavernous streets, giant statues, tunnel-like alleys, and finally the deadly Undercity beneath the streets.