Piers Anthony reviews Roads of Madness

Posted on December 4, 2012 (Subscribe to Blog)

As usual, I sent my latest Island of Fog book to Piers Anthony, author of bestselling fantasy such as the Magic of Xanth series as well as numerous sci-fi novels. And as usual he reviewed it in his monthly website newsletter (see the third paragraph):

I read Roads of Madness by Keith Robinson, www.UnearthlyTales.com. This is the fifth novel in the Island of Fog series, featuring shapeshifting twelve year old children. This time four of them, Hal (dragon), Abigail (faerie), Robbie (ogre), and Emily (naga) have been stranded off the island, without their magic. That means that they can't assume their fantasy forms; they are stuck as they are. Worse, Emily is deathly ill. Worse yet, there are people in the vicinity who have been reduced to zombie-like savagery they call scrags. A deadly virus has crippled those it did not kill. The four are desperate to get back to the Island of Fog, where they may recover their magic and be safe, but how can they get there when hunger, thirst, and a helpless girl prevent them from even walking there, let alone getting across the water to it? They try their best, managing to more or less hijack a supply truck, until the scrags get the truck and burn it. The scrags have a teenage prisoner, Ryan, who is immune to the virus, therefore worth something in trade for experiments. Hal foolishly risks himself to free Ryan, who later joins their party and is a considerable help. The five plow on together, but somehow it just keeps getting worse. This is a tough, harsh, brutal story, compelling in its ugliness; nothing is easy here. It is nevertheless well worth reading, as are all the novels in this series. I think there is one more to go. I hope that an intriguing character, the lovely evil Queen Bee, turns out not to be dead; more needs to be known about her.

Hehe. No, I'm pretty sure Queen Bee snuffed it. However, that's not to say she won't show up in some form in a separate prequel later. The series provides no end of possibilities for spin-off novels!

Comment by BRIAN B on Tuesday, December 4, 2012...

Well done Keith. Those who read Anthony's blog will know that he doesn't hand out compliments easily! Have you been watching the Walking Dead series on AMC? Maybe you could plug RoM on its boards?

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Tuesday, December 4, 2012...

Thanks! Yes, I've been watching The Walking Dead and am sad to have to wait until the new season starts in February. As for plugging my book on their boards... I don't know if mine is anywhere near gory enough for those kinds of fans! But I'll check them out in case there's a niche there somewhere for "mild zombie mayhem" and such. :-)

Comment by BRIAN CLOPPER on Tuesday, December 4, 2012...

Great review! I really think Roads would appeal to the fans of The Mazerunner series.

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