Mercy for the Fallen is a classic fantasy quest epic. Reluctant hero brought out of retirement to save his country, villain thought dead comes back for revenge and warring tribes determined to destroy each other. Whilst this genre is massively oversubscribed, Thomas Childress manages to bring something new. Throughout the book there is a good mixture of outright heroics, quiet time and a generous helping of mystery.
Our ragged band of heroes survives a massacre and sets out for revenge, with the assistance of a mysterious stranger. Childress manages an interesting mix of mythology blending Samurai, Chinese and even a touch of the Old West and in lesser hands this could have turned into a terrible muddle yet here the reader is drawn smoothly from the familiar time and again with barely a pause in the action.
Clearly a fan of the sword arts we have many fine action scenes featuring clashing blades and the Samurai Katana seeming to be his weapon of choice. The clever balance of action, dialogue and exposition is peppered with a cast of heroes and villains, all clearly defined.
All in all, a fantastic read from a first time author who looks set to challenge the thrones of some of the greats in the business.