The debut novel The Inferior by author Peadar O'Guilin is probably one of the best, yet unfortunately unnoticed adventure/fantasy books of the last year. There is almost nothing negative to say about the plot, technique or characters of this wonderful story, which manages to remain an easy read despite the rather philosophical ideas it presents.
Set in a barbaric world where daily life is a continuous struggle for survival, The Inferior introduces Stopmouth and his clan of hunters. Everyday the humans have to fight rival species for meat or trade some of their own people for food. However, everything changes when a mysterious woman lands from the sky and reveals the world as Stopmouth know it is nothing more than an intricate illusion. Trapped between conflicting feelings for his brother and this mysterious stranger Stopmouth decides to go on what could very well prove to be the most dangerous journey of his life.
This intricate plot has several unexpected twists and turns and there are many moments when the reader is left wondering who the true barbarians are. Also the author presents an interesting take on civilization and what justice truly is. However, despite these moral questions the story remains extremely fast paced as danger lurks around every corner and the reader is always left wondering if the characters will survive. Furthermore, the many alien races are fascinating and very well described, a true treat for any SF or fantasy buff.
With an original plot, well developed characters and a convincing alien world The Inferior is superior literature that should be read by anyone interested in fantasy or adventure stories. A great debut!