Talus and the Frozen King is a good old-fashioned murder mystery set in the Neolithic Age. It is a short novel, written in a simple, straight forward style where every word counts for something, and if it reminds you of a traditional mystery in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, you are not alone, since that seems to be a consensus of most reviews. However, where that similarity might be a negative for some novels, Graham Edwards does a good job of using the historical setting to make this more than just another mystery novel.
The story itself takes place on the small island of Creyak, where King Hashath is found dead and frozen in the village commons on the very same morning that two wanders appear in town. Naturally, these two strangers are our protagonists throughout the book: Sherlock Holmes and Watson – sorry, I mean, Talus the bard and Bran the fisherman. These two immediately are suspected in the bizarre fate of the island’s ruler, but Talus – ever quick-witted, silver-tongued, and gifted with an eye toward solving riddles – convinces the king’s eldest son and heir to allow him to undertake an investigation into the identity of the real murderer.
No mystery is ever simple, however, and neither is the king’s strange demise in this peaceful locale. Soon, Talus and Bran find themselves delving into the strange world of isolated Creyak and its island people. Old enemies of the king materialize. Family secrets rear their ugly heads into the light of day. And very quickly, all clues begin to point toward one of the king’s own sons being the killer. A situation that promises nothing but imminent danger and possible death for Talus and Bran!
All in all, Mr. Edwards delivered a very enjoyable murder mystery with Talus and the Frozen King. It is a fast paced, intense whodunit mystery that starts out slowly but gains steam as Talus and Bran grow closer to the big revelation of the true murderer of Creyak’s king. While it has little, if any, fantasy elements that I could personally see, it is still well worth a quick read by any book lover!
I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank both of them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.