Gargoyles and the Goatlord

The Underworld Book 2

Fiction - Fantasy - General
505 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Gargoyles and the Goatlord by Penn Fawn is set in an underworld populated by gargoyles, where the discovery of the remnants of a human city prompts Ghast and Drakun on an expedition, disguised with a necromancer's mask. They encounter Hespatia and Eve, raising concerns and triggering an exploration of the surrounding forest. Meanwhile, Rue awakens in the mysterious realm marked by immortality and forbidden love. Hespatia conducts séances in the forest, forewarning of impending danger. Drakun forms an alliance with the goatlords to unite against hostile humans. Ghast warns Eve and Hespatia about their community's imminent danger, but they choose to confront the challenges together. With Drakun's guidance, the goatlords and the gargoyles prepare for battle against the humans. Panic erupts as the humans see them approaching, and a dramatic showdown unfolds as the gargoyles and goatlords initiate a coordinated attack, leaving the fate of all hanging in the balance.

I absolutely love the point of view that Penn Fawn employs in this second book of The Underworld series. The genre has a tendency to take readers through a story via human eyes, but in a clever and deeply immersive swap, Fawn sets us up with the chimeric characters. I've got to admit that, as difficult as it is to do so, there were moments when I was rooting for my non-human team. Call me a turncoat and see if I care. Fawn makes it fun. Gargoyles and the Goatlord reads perfectly well as a standalone. The prose is crafted in a wonderfully visual style so from caverns to forests to thunderous ocean storms, the worlds and all who inhabit them come to life. Well, they come to the afterlife. Fawn's social hierarchy and the pyramid scheme of trophic energy mean the predators at the top, namely, the gargoyles and the goatlords, prey on the human species that are lower down on the scale. I enjoyed the insertion of witchcraft and Fawn's nature versus nurture design, and when we piece everything together, what we get is an exciting, fast-moving, and cinematic read. Very highly recommended.