The Golem of Wazca is an interesting concept. I like the idea of golems, created by Jewish magic, though the magician here is Christian, or at nominally. Religion doesn’t play a big part, except as something forbidden by the Emperor, and one character’s mania.
The Emperor sends his soldiers through the peasant villages, raping, looting and kidnapping children to be trained as soldiers. Five people in Wazca, not exactly friends, but people who share a hate, decide to ask a hermit for help. The result is the golem, a stone being with no soul and no remorse, who much be controlled by a human. It destroys progressively larger forces set against it, while sparking new growth and defiance in the human population.
The book promises to be the opening of an epic fantasy, and as one would expect, a large part of it is setting the scene. This doesn’t mean there is no action or plot, but all of it serves the purpose of setting up the greater conflict to come. The characters are a mixed bag, some are complex and layered while others remain the usual tropes. Space is left for those people to grow in future books.
I enjoyed the story, and watching the pieces move into place. Personally, I found the need to stop for a detailed description of each new character a bit annoying, but not enough to spoil the read. It is written in Third Person Omniscient and does a good job of it for the most part. A little stronger feel for the narrator would help smooth it out.
My major complaint I can’t say much about as I don’t want to spoil anything for the reader, but the ending left me disappointed. I look for a conclusion in books, even those which are part of larger series. Like many, this story ends somewhat arbitrarily as if the author had reached his word count and stopped. I’ll admit to being old-fashioned in this regard, and those who are used to long series with no intermediate conclusions will have no trouble with the ending, other than needing to wait for the next book.
I would recommend the book to those who like epic fantasy, and especially look for a different culture as a base. For more information on the book and to read a sample, check here.