by Lincoln Farish
Review by Barry Boy
I was given this book, Junior Inquisitor, which was an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day, in exchange for an honest review.
The Junior Inquisitor is a fantasy novel in the style of a first-person narrative by the protagonist, a monastic Brother by the name of Sebastian. The story starts with Sebastian travelling to the city of Providence on a mission, which is not clear at the outset.
However, fairly early on, the reader is introduced to some of the other main creatures in the story called Muscle. Muscle can hardly be called characters, because they are the characterless henchmen of witches. From this point on, the reader is left in no doubt as to the genre of Junior Inquisitor.
For most of the novel, Sebastian is fighting his enemies alone, although he does receive some help from a Catholic priest. The main enemies are witches (two varieties) and their abettors the Muscle, Ogres and Werewolves, who are trying to cause as much disruption, havoc, mayhem and distress to human beings as possible.
It is the job of the Inquisitors, and the super-inquisitors, called Hammers, to reduce the damage caused, mainly by killing their opponents. Several orders of monks are mentioned, although it is pointed out that the Inquisitors are not required to be celibate, although many might choose to be so, so as not to put their loved ones in danger (of being taken hostage or worse).
Sebastian’s chief opponent is a warlock and his servant, a renegade Inquisitor, and Sebastian is certainly put through his paces. Towards the end of the novel, we meet more of Sebastian’s monastic friends and colleagues, which pulled the whole story together for me.
I found the dialogue about the differences between the monastic Orders interesting, but I have no way of knowing whether the descriptions are true or not. It is also quite plain to see that the story has a Catholic slant, which detracts from it for me. I am not anti-Catholic, but I feel that there was no need for a religious bias at all.
The cover is excellent and fitting for the novel, which I don’t think was professionally edited because of the mistakes, which mostly consisted of missing words. Obviously, a spelling-checker cannot cope with this.
You can find out more about Junior Inquisitor on this website: http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelves/book.php?id=70015