Each of my previous “Influences” blog posts have included excerpts/quotes by the author I’m showcasing on that day. I’ve been able to find those pretty easily online before, especially at websites like Goodreads. However, when doing a Google search for Paul Kearney, I only came up with one.
“I have found that there are two ways of dealing with men. Either you treat them with respect, or you kill them. Anything in between merely breeds resentment and the desire for revenge.” ― Paul Kearney

Sadly, this result sums up Kearney’s career thus far. His books are critically acclaimed, yet he isn’t well known and that’s a shame. His most recent Macht Trilogy as well as the re-release of his Monarchies of God series has helped some with public awareness. However, Kearney is definitely someone who has suffered from a lack of a marketing push by his publisher. In fact, many people, like myself, heard about him through Steven Erikson who touted Kearney’s virtues as an author. And since I’m a big Erikson fan, I had to give Kearney a shot.

Here are some of the reasons why Kearney stands out to me.

  • Within the fantasy genre, I’ve yet to read anyone who handles war and the ravages of battle as well as Kearney does. Both at a personal level and from an outsider looking in, you can actually believe the fighting is happening as you read it.
  • Sea battles - Some may argue that there are others who’ve written better battle scenes, but I challenge anyone to compare the sea battles and sailing sequences in Kearney’s books to any other piece of fantasy literature.
  • No one sets such a vivid scene in so few words. In epic fantasy, where book lengths seem to constantly be growing in size, Kearney has found a way to build a believable world, likeable characters, and an interesting plot in half as many words as everyone else. Amazing.
  • Emotionally charged scenes. There are two scenes in Kearney’s Monarchies of God series that tore at my heart like no other I’ve ever read. Now, I didn’t cry, but I’ll admit that I came awfully close. Anyone who knows me, should understand how significant that admission is.
  • Cord, from the Monarchies of God series is one of my top 5-10 characters of all time.
  • Like many of my favorite authors, Kearney embraces tragedy and handles it masterfully.

Now, back to the excerpt/quote issue. I was going to link this blog post to his website so anyone could read a portion of his books there, but when I clicked on the link, it redirected me to his Amazon author page. This only reinforces my concern for his lack of public awareness.

Do yourself a favor and pick up any one of his books. My personal opinion is The Ten Thousand would be the best place to start.


5 Responses so far.

  1. Mike says:

    "Now, I didn’t cry, but I’ll admit that I came awfully close. Anyone who knows me, should understand how significant that admission is."

    Hilarious. Yes, that is a very significant admission. No doubt.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mike, you're an asshole.

    Joshua, I'd be intrigued to know what the two scenes in Monarchies are. I've read them too...

  3. Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. Ha.

    I'll disagree with you about Mike's comment. It might not be obvious, but he was simply agreeing with me about a comment where I was poking a bit of fun at myself. He's also a good friend so he knows it was a big admission.

    Anyway, the two scenes are (spoilers):

    1. There is a pretty vivid POV of a woman being brutally raped, told from her point of view. That scene itself and especially the aftermath when the army came in and ran off the enemy with tears down their cheeks as they passed by and touched all the women that had been abused was well done.

    2. The one that was really rough happened when Cord finally met his wife. The fact that he kept her identity a secret, only kissing her hand, all for the benefit of a country was gut wrenching. Not something I could have done.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The same scenes worked for me - sorry about the comment on your friend Mike! I thought he was a troll. The name is Corfe, not Cord btw. Good site!

  5. No worries.

    And you're right. I knew that looked wrong. I guess that's what I get for being too lazy to look it up.


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