The Dwarves by Markus Heitz is the first installment in the epic fantasy series. The book is the English translation of the original German.
This is the only book my darling husband has read in the last decade. It has been on my shelf awaiting me since he finished the novel. I picked it up when the video game came out and I played the first hour or so. Despite a new puppy, being the sole adult in the house while he traveled for a week, all I wanted to do was read this novel.
To say it is brilliant undermines the genuine complexity and joy of this novel. Usual in epic fantasy fiction, Dwarves are not the main protagonists and are very rarely the hero of the story. That is not true in this series. It is dwarves that save the world, dwarves that build bridges between races, dwarves the sense the danger and spur others to action, and dwarves that fall in love.
The book is beautifully written and translated. The characters are incredibly well written and have depth and growth as the novel progresses. There are no shallow, vapid waste of space characters filling the pages of the novel. Each character serves a purpose, progresses the story, and adds to the overall immersion of the reader. The hero of the story is the most unlikely of Dwarves, Tungdil. He was raised by humans and has never seen, let alone met, another dwarf. Yet he is suddenly he is out in the world on an errand for his mentor when his whole life changes. Not only does he met another dwarf, he is suddenly a viable candidate to be high king of the dwarven clans. What follows is a pure epic adventure of love, loss, betrayal, growth, and discovery.
Five stars out of five stars for a truly epic work of fantasy fiction that left me eager for the next installment.