Kaschar’s Quarter (The Default King Book 1) by David Gowey
Matthieu Sartonné thinks he knows precisely where life will take him. However, like the rest of the world, he is not prepared for what will come next. Decades of fear and hatred have spilled over from the nearby city of Cyrnne. The armies of the Evangelical Brethren march under the sign of the falling star, destroying all in their path and bringing with them a deadly sickness, unlike anything the world has ever seen. Heilicon, the cradle of Matthieu’s every ambition, is the first city to fall. It will not be the last, but if Matthieu is to see any conclusion to this war, he must escape by any means he can.
He sets out into a larger world that owes him nothing and will never let him stay in one place for long. But he is not alone in his yearning for a better world. Along the way, he meets plunderers, refugees, islanders, sailors, zealots, a reluctant prophet, and a family he never knew he had. Will one of these be able to give him the peace he seeks, or are they merely imperfect men like himself? Are they even real?
All he knows anymore is that some power wants him to stay alive; only time will tell if that power is God or simply his own will to survive.
Tinker Books Publishing Review: 4-Stars
Part One of “The Default King” begins with the king of Qepperdan relating the history of how he became the ‘Emperor of the known world, to a page, Jarun Hichame.
Mathieu Sartonné’s return home from the university in Leganne turns out to be rather unpleasant. Upon his arrival home, he has a disagreement with his father over religious beliefs. Much like our own history, the general belief is that the universe revolves around Earth, a belief that is being challenged by the scientists. Religious fanaticism abounds as the religious cult, the Mentites begin a war to eliminate all other beliefs through extermination, similar to the Christian crusades against the Muslims, which gives this tale its title, Kaschar’s Quarter, which is a reference to another ancient war in which Kaschar gives no ‘quarter’ to the victims of his aggression, killing all and burning cities to the ground. Which is exactly what the Mentites do in this the first installment of the serial.
Yes, I consider this a serial rather than a series, because the main premise of the story is barely touched on, the plot being concerned with the Emperor Mathieu’s adventures after his stint in university. Loaded with action and interesting similarities to real-life history, Mathieu’s adventures are reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman times, when city-states warred against each other and fact was based on faith rather than science, and religious oppression of science was abundant. The human proclivity of destruction of other societies through the ‘education’ of conqueror peoples and forced indoctrination into religious beliefs of the conquerors upon the conquered, is touched on as well.
Technically this work is well done, with relatable characters and a gripping story, with aspects of our own history of religious wars and oppression being somewhat similar in nature. Although some references are rather vague I found no actual plot holes, grammar and spelling are excellent with few if any typos. However the geography, both physical and political is rather vague. However, the ending leaves the reader hanging at the beginning of the next episode of the serial, which I have the impression consists of four books. Good marketing tactics but something that irritates me endlessly, when it is sold as a series rather than as a serial. A series being books that can stand alone, and be read in any order.
This however does not have the remainder of the story available as yet, which will leave many readers eagerly awaiting the next installment, and others so disappointed in the lack of the ending, that they will put this author at the bottom of their favorites, or remove him completely.
Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.6-Stars
I find the cover intriguing because I love historical fiction. The cover for Kaschar’s Quarter is right up my alley and tells me exactly what I’m going to read. Love the layout and formatting. The story starts with a letter from the main character, then a prologue that belongs and is done well.
If you like to read very descriptive writing that flows together like a melody with a slow-paced style, Kaschar’s Quarter is the right book for you. Each sentence flows into the next beautifully with well thought out words and descriptions.
The historical aspects of the story are wonderful, and I felt like I was immersed in the story. I very much enjoyed the writing style of David Gowey.
My only real “complaint” is this book is not a stand-alone and the author does not have the next installment published. This can be a problem if the rest of the series isn’t finished or doesn’t get finished.
Overall, this is a great read.
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