We’ve seen it a thousand times. Our hero prince “Fill-in-the-blank” is mighty handy with a sword, all the tavern wenches love him, and he rides a mighty warhorse into battle while wearing gleaming plate mail. And commits genocide against all sorts of interesting creatures because they aren’t like him. Yawn. Well I’ve got some good news. If you take a look at the cover you’ll instantly discover that this isn’t a book about some hair net wearing prince.
No, Gorgon tells the tale of Nayda a young woman who just happens to be… wait for it… a Gorgon! Remember the vile snake woman Medusa who Perseus kills in Clash of the Titans and then uses the decapitated head to turn the Kraken to stone?
Yes that’s a Gorgon. But Nayda is actually kind of pretty, a girl with snake hair… mmm. Where was I. Oh yes just like Medusa she can turn people to stone with just her gaze. But it horrifies her. She’s not a vicious monster; no she just wants to be left alone to live on her little island.
Do you think she gets her wish? This is an epic fantasy, so of course she doesn’t! No, Nayda is kidnapped… err gorgonnapped by some nefarious folks and sold to the Imperial army. It seems the a girl who can turn your enemies to stone if they look at her is worth a pretty penny. The human army knows those elves won’t know what hit them!
But those tricky elves make good cannons and matchlock weapons. Yes this fantasy actually has some guns in it! You know since the first firearms were developed around 1100 AD it’s strange that there aren’t more fantasy novels with firearms in them.
So pick up Gorgon by Zachary Hill, you won’t be disappointed.