The Corpse-Rat King

The Corpse-Rat King

3.28 (552 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Marius dos Hellespont and his apprentice, Gerd, are professional looters of battlefields. When they stumble upon the corpse of the King of Scorby and Gerd is killed, Marius is mistaken for the monarch by one of the dead soldiers, is transported down to the Kingdom of the Dead. The dead need a King--the King is God's representative, and someone needs to remind God where they are. Marius is banished to the surface with one message: if he wants to recover his life he must find the dead a King. Which he fully intends to do. Just as soon as he stops running.

File Under: Fantasy [ Royal Prospect - Loot - Keep Running - Living Dead ]
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 108.71 x 176.28 x 37.08mm | 204.12g
  • Angry Robot
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Original
  • 0857662872
  • 9780857662873
  • 259,677

Review quote

"The line between the dead and the living is a very thin one in Battersby's original macabre debut. Marius Helles and his apprentice, Gerd, are looting bodies on a battlefield when they come upon the prize of a lifetime--the body of the King of Scorby. Marius steals his crown, but in short order Gerd is killed by soldiers, and Marius is dragged to the land of the dead by a talking corpse. It seems that the deceased are in need of a new monarch, and since Marius is holding the dead king's crown, they assume he must be the rightful ruler. Marius is desperate to relinquish the throne, but his lifeless subjects will release him only if he secures for them a new king. Unsure whether he's alive or dead, Marius sets out corpse-robbing and cardsharping his way across the land to secure a sovereign before it's too late. With an undead Gerd as his guide, Marius befriends the skeleton of a mad king, gets marooned on a tropical island, and terrifies old friends and enemies with his occasional...deadness. Wry, absurdist, and pleasantly cynical, Battersby's debut will appeal to fans of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora and Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. (Aug.)" - Publishers Weekly Starred Review "A stunning debut novel, well-crafted and grotesquely inventive. With its madcap story, unforgettable characters and fine balance between humour and pathos, The Corpse-Rat King ticks all the boxes. Fans of Joe Abercrombie will love this."
- Juliet Marillier, award-winning author of the Sevenwaters series and Bridei's Chronicles
show more

About Lee Battersby

Lee Battersby was born in Nottingham, UK, in 1970 and moved to Australia at the age of 5, bringing his parents with him for protection. A multiple award-winning author of over 70 short stories in Australia, the US and Europe, He writes across a wide range of forms, including poetry, reviews, stand-up comedy and film, and has taught writing for both Clarion South and the Australian Writers Marketplace. He lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby, and a brood of increasingly weird children. His long-running weblog, the Battersblog, is archived by Australia's National Library as an electronic source of log-term research value, which amuses him greatly.
show more

Rating details

552 ratings
3.28 out of 5 stars
5 12% (68)
4 31% (171)
3 34% (188)
2 18% (98)
1 5% (27)

Our customer reviews

[Marius].."stepped away from the hull and found a small rise where he could lay back and knit his hands behind his head, and pretend he was lying in a field somewhere to rest off a particularly good drink, instead of waiting at the bottom of the ocean for an insane centaur with delusions of grandeur to finish beating up a ship full of nothing." p 276 I had been waiting patiently for this book to land on my shelf for a good long while, having pre-ordered it well before the publication date based on the intriguing title alone. The corpse-rat of the title refers to one Marius don Hellespont, who makes his living by trawling corpses found on battlefields and relieving them of valuables that have become superfluous to their owner's current station. It is on one of these sojourns that Marius is mistaken for a corpse and accompanied to the land of the dead, where he is promptly tasked with finding a dead king to rule over the domain of the dear departed. Cue death, disaster and finally, destiny, as Marius does his level best to escape both the pesky dead and their pesky task while his body passes through varying states of decomposition. I must admit that I took a while to warm to this book, as the character of Marius is not altogether a likeable fellow - at least early on. The further I ventured with him though, the more he grew on me and by the halfway point, I found myself snatching snippets of time to plunge back into the story. The book did not carry the tone that I imagined it might on reading the blurb. I was expecting something along the lines of Yahtzee Croshaw's "Mogworld", which also contains an undead hero, initially out for number one, whose only aim is to escape his current predicament by either (a) dying properly, or (b) returning to life. The Corpse-Rat King, however, was not, for the most part, light-hearted and the humour was far less flippant than in Croshaw's tome. This I initially considered to be a negative aspect, but after finishing it, I am of the opinion that this book contains a much deeper story than Croshaw's, and one which has been well-crafted to engage the reader beyond the amusing premise promised by the blurb. Certainly by the halfway point, the tone has lightened and the final chapters are replete with the cheerful calamity that one would expect of a group of protagonists that include two people in various states of undeath and a 7-foot tall royal skeleton. The Corpse-Rat King is definitely worth a look in my opinion, not least because it is published by Angry Robot Books, who are fast becoming one of my "go-to" publishers when I am in need of a fresh take on sci-fi or fantasy.show more
by thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress.com
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X