Mark Chadbourn: World’s End
World’s End – Age of Misrule #1
by Mark Chadbourn
World’s End was an adventure for me from the start. It started with the adventure of actually getting the book. Published in the UK but not the US, it took several recommendations and a book swap to get the book to my house. And then, once the book had arrived and I got to read it, I had to start a series of “help me learn English” questions to translate the British slang into something an American could understand. (There really wasn’t that much that I had trouble understanding, but there was enough to make me stop in places to decipher terms.)
The story itself is an adventure as well. It is the tale of a group of five Brothers and Sisters of Dragons who are all that stand between the world as we know it and a new, much darker, age. The individual characters were an odd blend of traditional prototypes and modern people, but the mix worked well for the theme. My biggest complaint was that while the characters’ past was delved into a bit, the degree of emotion behind the action was not on a par with the other books I’ve recently read. (Perhaps this is a genre idiosyncrasy?)
My favorite aspect of the story was the depth to which Mr. Chadbourn created the creatures and weapons of myth. He used the original Celtic myths and legends (which I researched independently for something else), and found ways to make them fit his needs. The sheer amount of real myth he managed to put into his book was amazing. He did tweak the myths to suit his own needs, but he altered the real myths rather than creating his own – and this lent a feeling of reality to his book (even though it’s a fantasy).