The Cracked Altar
I took a deep interest in this book from the title and the cover; the idea of a cracked altar certainly leans towards a religious theme—myself being devoutly Christian, I’m always hungry for more faith-based writing. In fact, this book was presented to me as ‘thinly veiled Christian fantasy’ after doing a bit of reading, I’m sad to say it is not very Christian at all. There are slight hints at Christianity, but certainly not enough to call this Christian fantasy. Maybe there are others who feel this book was screaming the name of Jesus from cover to cover, but I respectfully disagree and found myself feeling a bit misled and, therefore, a bit disappointed.
Despite the bad start I had going into this novel; I will admit that it was not bad at all! The writing was done very well, and the world building was honestly amazing! I love fantasy; discovering new worlds, battling mythical creatures, going on worldwide adventures—its probably the peak of human creativity. But this book took me back to old school fantasy; magic, knights, and good versus evil. I’ll be honest and say it was a little dark for my taste—not a huge fan of witchcraft or sorcery at all, but it was enjoyable for those who’ve got a little more grit than I do.
Aside from my initial complaint, I have to say I didn’t really enjoy one of the main characters. I found Sir Gilkrist very unlikeable and rude. His attitude was truly difficult to overlook, and I could not get myself to enjoy him as a protagonist. BUT this is a complaint based purely on personal taste, this is not a crack at the writing or even at the story itself. I wish I could have enjoyed Sir Gilkrist more, I wish I could have related to the main characters more in general. But I did not dislike the story or the cast as a whole.
I hit a few bumps going into this book but overall, I’d say it is certainly a book I would recommend to others. Now that I’m familiar with the plot, the characters, and the use of darker sorts of magic and witches, I’ll admit this is not something I would personally pick up but I’d be surprised if it didn’t make it onto the favorites list of many readers in the future.
The Cracked Altar is a well-paced read for fantasy audiences, but it can easily be enjoyed by those with an interest in magic and adventure. If you’ve got a thing for terrible villains and suspenseful endings, I would highly suggest cracking this open—I promise its well worth a read.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*