The Man With the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green (2007): Book Review

The Man With the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green (2007): Book ReviewAuthor: Simon R. Green
Title: The Man with the Golden Torc
Series: Secret Histories #1
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 393
Release Date: 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Deathstalker and Nightside series comes a new kind of hero in an old kind of war. All those things you hear about as a kid? The boogeyman under the bed? The creature in the closet? They're for real, people. Eddie Drood knows they're for real. His family has kept humanity safe from the things that go bump in the night. For ages, they've held back the nightmares, locked the doors, barred the gates, and put righteous boot to monster arse on a nightly basis. But now Eddie's in trouble. One of his own has convinced the rest of the family that Eddie's become a menace, and that humanity needs to be protected from him. So he's on the run, using every trick in the book, magical and otherwise, hoping he lives long enough to prove his innocence. And he knows how dangerous the Droods can be-because he's one of them
Format: Paperback
Also by this author: Something from the Nightside, Tales of the Hidden World
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four-half-stars

The Man With the Golden Torc is about Eddie Drood, field agent for the powerful Drood family, who is falsely accused of being a traitor.

Eddie is declared rogue, an enemy to the family. His own grandmother launches a massive attack against him. He barely survives.

With nowhere else to turn, he looks to his old enemies for support and answers.

He doesn’t know what he did wrong; he hopes someone will be able to give him the information he needs to survive. Unfortunately, Drood secrets are hard to uncover.

As he delves further into uncovering the truth about himself, he finds out more than he wanted to know about his family. They are not the protectors of the world he believed them to be. His entire belief system is shaken. All he can do know is try to survive long enough to expose the truth and bring down his family.

His old enemy, Molly, becomes his greatest ally. Together, they get the answers he needs and take on the most feared organization on the planet.

My thoughts:

This book is like a genre smoothie–fantasy, science fiction, espionage thriller, horror, and romance come together to create a wild, imaginative adventure. A page doesn’t pass without the reader having to envision something beyond belief. All doubt has to be checked at the door (or cover, to be more accurate). You have to put a lot of trust in Simon R. Green’s world to be what he says it is.

Imagine 007 with magical weapons fighting robots, aliens, and vampires. That’s way too simplistic of a comparison, but it gives you a little bit of an idea of what to expect with this book. Personally, I liked it a lot, but I can see how not everyone would.

Other than a few times where I felt opportunities for Eddie to get the answers he needed were passed over for the sake of keeping the story going, I don’ t have any complaints about this book. There was a lot I liked about it, especially once Molly came into the story.

The relationship between Molly and Eddie was an opportunity for Green to lighten the mood. They tease one another, both uncertain of what is developing between them. Without these little breaks, this book might have been too intense. It’s hard to go from action scene to action scene without any moment to take a breath. Molly provided those moments.

I also liked how Green gave the reader a good picture of England. Normally I don’t pay much attention to setting details because they tend to get dragged out, but Green does a great job at giving that information without slowing down the story.

About Simon R. Green

Simon was born in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England (where he still resides), in 1955. He has obtained an M.A. in Modern English and American Literature from Leicester University and he also studied history and has a combined Humanities degree. His writing career started in 1973, when he was a student in London. His first actual sale was a story titled Manslayer, back in 1976, but it didn’t appear till much later; Awake, Awake…. was his first sale to a professional editor, in 1979. Furthermore he sold some six or seven stories to semi-pro magazines before that market disappeared practically overnight.
After years of publishers’ rejection letters, he sold an incredible seven novels in 1988, just two days after he started working at Bilbo’s bookshop in Bath (this after three and a half years of being unemployed!). This was followed in 1989 by two more, and a commission to write the bestselling novelization of the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which has sold more than 370.000 copies.

(bio from his website, photo from Goodreads)

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