The Fantasy Review’s Spoiler-Free Review of The Keep Within by J. L. Worrad.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a review copy of this book in return for an honest review.
The Keep Within is a horrifically underrated grimdark fantasy novel that MUST be picked up by all fans of the genre. Do you want political intrigue and potting? Got it. A dark, awesome mystery? Got it. Characters you can absolutely adore and prose that is just a joy to consume? GOT IT!
The characters felt so real, vivid and unique, and the world is lived in rather than an empty shell of a background for our main characters to idly pass through. It’s like reading something by Robert Jordan, but Worrad can achieve that sense of place without using several pages to describe a pair of curtains (hyperbole – calm down).
This book is viciously violent, but juggles that well with Harry and Carmotta’s personalities. You don’t get too bogged down in misery, rather the darker elements create an atmospheric fog for the narrative to be told within.
Overall, I have no idea why this book hasn’t got more than 16 reviews on Goodreads (this is 17th, I suppose). Please go and pick this up!