Review for The Ways of the Stygia—Banner
Author: Donny Swords

An explosive read that will be sure to antagonize
mythological ‘purists’ and those with strong religious sentiments based on the
Jehovah faiths.

A powerful description of the horrors of Purgatory and what
awaits the damned, not unlike Dante’s work.
Not for those who prefer romance-based or light fantasy.

Yet at the base of it is the age old question of nature vs.
nurture when reason is added. Can a soul, birthed in darkness and raised where
all is horror, feel an antipathy to what is occurring around him, rejecting his
‘father’, or is he doomed to follow a pre-ordained path? Banner does not succumb to the horrors around
him, does not become part of the atrocities, but flees it and receives aid from
powerful allies, who, unlike the Mad God, perhaps value a being that can think
for himself. They are cold, driven and capable of inflicting carnage of an epic
scale, yet they also can be fair, though I suppose one in his right mind would
trust them as much, say, a warlord one hears about on the news nowadays.

As a novella it worked well in that it left me wanting to read
the books in the series to find out more of the characters and the events
Banner alludes to, as he skims over a lot, dropping little nuggets of
information here and there. Highly recommended (though I would suggest getting the
series rather than reading Banner as a standalone piece).