fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review John Marco The Eyes of GodThe Eyes of God by John Marco

The Eyes of God is a sprawling, medieval fantasy novel. The seed for the next book (The Devil’s Armor) is planted well in the first, and I hope more of the good than the bad from the first book carries over.

The Eyes of God consists of three parts. (And before that, a beautiful cover — one of its very best features.) The first is basically a rehashing of Camelot’s love triangle. The book does open very well indeed with excellent, fresh introductions of the scholarly King Akeela the Good; his handsome champion, Lukien the Bronze Knight; and his new bride, Cassandra, the beautiful seal on a peace treaty. However, even with the twist of Cassandra’s mysterious illness and Lukien’s quest to heal her, the first part fails to escape Camelot’s shadow — it simply starts too squarely within it.

The second part begins sixteen years after the first, depicting how the consequences of the first have transformed Akeela the Good into the drunken, insane Akeela the Ghost. A crippled boy, Gilwyn, born in the first part, takes center stage and finds himself drawn into the tragic current of the past, which is sweeping the kingdom and a peaceful, foreign land into an even more destructive future. This theme continues in the third part, which introduces a hidden sanctuary of “Inhumans,” persons born or made deformed, and the mysterious woman and spirits who lead and assist them.

John Marco’s main strengths are his no-nonsense writing style and ability to describe large battles. However, these are often hindered, and in places overcome, by some very poor dialogue and questionable plotting. At times, the noble/successful/intelligent characters make utterly capricious decisions that, in retrospect, seem to have been made just so that the plot could follow a fixed outline. (A minor quibble/example: over a period of years, wouldn’t even the most inept husband be able to make love in total darkness to his wife? A strange question, I know, but the book’s answer — for the plot’s sake — is apparently not.) Sporadic grammatical errors (and some typos) also distract from what could have been so much more.

The Eyes of God is a big, beefy page-turner that’s sadly on the too-raw side. Recommended as a library loan or used-paperback buy. However, John Marco does have a “feel” for storytelling that makes him one to watch.

The Eyes of God — (2001-2013) Publisher: Akeela was the king of Liiria. Young and idealistic, he was determined to bring peace to his kingdom — a land that had been plagued by war with the neighboring kingdom of Reec for decades. Beloved by his people and called “Akeela the Good,” he revered knowledge as well as peace, and vowed to make Liiria a haven of learning the like of which the world had never known. Now, he had come to parley in Hes, capital city of Reec, with gifts from his subjects to their age-old enemy, King Karis. For protection, Akeela brought his Royal Chargers, Liiria’s elite fighting corps, led by the infamous Bronze Knight, a man as feared as the young king was loved…

John Marco The Eyes of God (Lukien): The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, The Sword of AngelsJohn Marco The Eyes of God (Lukien): The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, The Sword of AngelsJohn Marco The Eyes of God (Lukien): The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, The Sword of AngelsJohn Marco The Eyes of God (Lukien): The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, The Sword of Angels 4. The Forever Knight