Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

SpecMusicMuse Review—Philistine by Steven Shrewsbury

PhilistineCoverSteven Shrewsbury breathes life into an iconic Biblical character in his new sword & sorcery novel, Philistine. Shrews paints Goliath as something more than the two dimensional villain as he’s portrayed by the Israelites. To the Philistines, he was their champion, their hero. And something more.

From Goliath’s Nephilum heritage to the macabre portrayal of the Mesopotamian magic systems and cults, it’s clear that Shrews has done his homework in his quest to show the giant as a product of his culture and time period. He bathes the ancient world in blood in ways that only a supernatural sociopath can, yet at the same time proves to have a soft side when it comes to children. While caught up in the political intrigue of kings, cultists, and magicians, he proves time and again that he’s more than just a big final-chamber-webstack of muscles as he outwits his foes as often as he caves in their skulls.

Despite Goliath’s crass brutality, I actually found myself wanting to like him. More antihero than hero, I cheered him on as he battled monstrous beasts and villains so vile they’d make Hannibal Lector seem like a harmless kitten in comparison. This was a Sword & Sorcery tale that would’ve made Robert E. Howard proud.

This is not a novel for weak stomachs, but if you’re a fan of sword & sorcery then this is one novel you’ll want to have clutched in your cold dead hands.

Best to read while listening to: Slayer, Helloween, Iron Maiden, the heavier the better.

March 3, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , | Leave a comment