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Malice, by John Gwynne – Book Review

Reviewing Malice by John Gwynne.

Brilliant Looking Cover.

Below you will find my first ever book review. (Un)Fortunately for the author, John Gwynne’s Malice is my first subject. Mwahaha…

Hope you enjoy. Many, many more to follow in the future…

jackprobynbooks rating (JPB Rating): 5/10 To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.



  • The general overview of Malice, without giving too much away, is a battle of good vs evil. The Good are still living, while the Evil have been extinguished for some time. Until there are bizarre signs across the land that the two deities are returning. The Good features humans, while the Evil features giants, mythical creatures, and there are also a few angels thrown into the mix as well.
  • In order to defeat the enemy, the Good must work together and rise against the Evil. Classic. But there a political activities going on that divide the land and the many different kingdoms which add layers to the plot.


  • In terms of plot, I thought it was pretty standard. Good vs Evil, which features very heavily as a theme throughout the book, starting from the protagonist, Corban’s, feud with an older boy, through to the overarching premise.


  • Now, this is an interesting point for me. Personally, I am of the opinion there are too many characters. While I understand that since the incredible success of A Song of Ice and Fire, a lot of authors have attempted to recreate this multiple character plotline in a series/novel, but for me, it wasn’t working here. I felt that some of the characters were 2D, there wasn’t any real depth to them. For the majority of the time, I actually had forgotten who they were. I feel that during the novel it is important to make the chapters frequent from the last time we saw Character A till we see them again a few hundred pages down the line.
  • This does not, however, mean to say that I did not like the characters. Some of them were quite likeable and well laid out. The protagonist, I agreed with and felt sympathy for, along with the secondary characters who directly impacted the events of the protagonist. Likewise, I also felt an emotion of anger when one of the nemeses to the protagonist did something bad to the protagonist. So, kudos on that point.
  • One thing I was not familiar with, was the secondary characters. There were too many names thrown into the mixer when these characters are introduced and I got too confused early on which set me up for the rest of the novel.
  • Furthermore to my point regarding the breadth of characters, many of them reminded me of Game of Thrones characters in more ways than one. But I fear that this is going to happen from now on. Every book in the fantasy genre may constantly be compared to George RR Martins’ series because it is the most mainstream source of fantasy for many.


  • Another interesting point. After reading the first fifty pages the writing style seemed a little disjointed and short. A little too concise, as if John Gwynne was actively trying to cut the word count down by a lot. But, after having persevered, I got accustomed to the writing style, and in a while, it helped to speed the process of reading; it allowed me to skip through some of it, taking out the most important parts of the information and move on to the next paragraph/chapter etc.
  • There is some really good use of metaphor and imagery in there, however, sometimes it can be repetitive, I would say it is to be expected from a novel of this size.


  • As I picked this up in the shop, I’ll be honest with you, the cover design did influence my decision. I am a huge fan of weapons and them possessing different powers, so for a large blade, with an image of a battle in the background, on the front of the book was going to grab my attention. However, it must be said the sword on the cover bears very little resemblance to a sword in the story…
  • The typography has been chosen well, too.


  • Less than a week if you devote some serious time to it, even if it is a 600-page whopper.


  • While I did not loathe the book, I would be happy to read the remainder of the series to see how it all pans out for Corban and co.


Hope you enjoyed the review, and that it was informative without giving too much away. The layout of these may alter slightly as I get used to doing them as frequently as I can read!

Happy reading.


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