Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Headlock of Destiny’ by Samuel Gately organised by Storytellers on Tour, this is the first book in The Titan Wars series.
I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review, all views are my own.’*
Some say titans are descended from giants. Others say they are risen from men. But there’s never any debate about where to find them. They will be in the center of a roaring crowd, beating the hell out of each other. From contenders like the Savage and Scott Flawless to pretenders like Richard the Living Portrait and Troll-Blooded Thom, a titan’s lot in life is the same: To wrestle for dominion and glory in the squared circle.
Van, a quiet titan from the brewery town of Headwaters, wants no part in this. He’d prefer to be left alone with a beer. But destiny has him in a headlock, and it is prepared to drag him into battles that will shake the land and change his world forever.
Step into the ring with this one-of-a-kind novel, brewed special for fans of epic fantasy, fans of professional wrestling from the Golden Era and beyond, or simply fans of a good tale.
CW: Alcohol, Bullying, Physical Abuse, Poisoning, Police Brutality, Racism, Violence.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to be getting into with The Headlock of Destiny. I loved the cover – there is something about that striking image, and the combination of colours that hooked me, and I was intrigued by the idea of combing wrestling and fantasy even if I couldn’t quite get my head around how that would work, and I’m glad that I picked it up.
This book is pure entertainment.
Whatever, I might have conjured up for how this would work was nothing like what I found in this book and I’m glad because this book took me by surprise in all the best ways. It’s a unique concept (and one that speaks to the part of my heart that loves sports anime) and not only do it a way that makes that concept sparkle, but does it with surprising depth and with a cast of fantastically written, and well-developed characters.
This is not necessarily the book for you if you’re looking for a deep plot, but there was a lot more happening beneath the surface than you might expect based on the concept. I would have liked to have seen a little more detail about how the wrestling world was tied in with the politics, but it certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book. It’s fast-paced, plays cleverly with the use of wrestling in a world where it is an integral part of the world – and the action was fantastic, and although there were perhaps a couple of repeated ideas, the author does an excellent job of keeping the wrestling scenes different and gripping and it gave the book a very punchy feeling.
Another area where The Headlock of Destiny shines is with its characters. With concepts like the one for this book, it would be easy for them to be overwhelmed, but Gately has created a colourful, memorable cast of characters. Each one was an individual, with their own goals and personalities, which was another reason why the different wrestling matches really came alive – because the characters add so much vibrancy to everything they touch. Van is our main character, I loved him from the moment that we met him and the whole story had a mixed feeling of being a coming of age story, as well as the tale of a loveable misfit and I think it is impossible not to root for him. He’s the star of the show – even when he’s the underdog, but the side characters shine just as brightly and are clearly more than just a sideshow. This is a fun story, that plays on chaos and comedy, and yet there were also deeper moments of connection and emotion and a feeling that there is more than meets the eye and it’s that paired with the world-building and characters that lifts this to the ‘epic’.
The Headlock of Destiny is proof that it’s great to venture off the beaten path. A fabulous read for anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced read with lots of action and great characters. It doesn’t matter if you know nothing about wrestling – I certainly don’t – Gately pulls you into his story and world, and dazzles you and l’m looking forward to the next book.
About the Author:
Samuel Gately is a writer of novels and short stories in the fantasy genre. Most have spies in them. Samuel lives in Oak Park just outside Chicago with his wife, daughters, and terrifyingly fluffy dogs.
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.