Book Review: The Builders

The Builders by Daniel Polansky

A missing eye.
A broken wing.
A stolen country.

The last job didn't end well.

Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the Captain's company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the Captain's whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score.


The information given in the synopsis is not a lot to go on. The same counts from the reviews on goodreads, the thing they have in common is the mention of Redwall. This book is unfamilair with me but now I know that it is a book about animals. Now with the cover art things do start to fall into place. Welcome to Daniel Polansky's newest hit. The Builders an Dark Epic Fantasy story featuring animals, they are furry but far from the cuddly kind. 

So The Builders. Meet the Captain, a mouse. He was defeated a long time ago and since then, his old company was disbanded and they all chose to try to live normal lives. But some things you just can bury, you just cannot let them go and this is precisely what the Captain is facing. He was defeated, but needs revenge and this is what he will get, no matter the cost. In order to get his revenge he needs to assemble the old gang back together. This is the introduction of the story as you get introduced to every old crew member of the Captain. Though the Captain is a mouse, his old company aren't all mouses as well, you have a badger, an owl, a salamander, a mole and much more. Each of these creatures excels in something or another, all with the same goal and ending, killing. Some of the Captain's crew aren't that delighted to see him calling on them but well. Once a killer always a killer. And thus they set out to get the Captains revenge. 

I read Those Above earlier this year and was surprised by what Daniel Polansky put down, it was totally different than the Low Town series. With The Builders he once again goes into a new direction, granted it is Epic Fantasy but then again with a definite unique feeling to it. Let's call it Polanskynization. Daniel Polansky is one of those authors that does daring things in a brilliant way. His works have a distinct feeling to it. The way that the story is written is diverse. There are scenes where everything is presented in a straightforward way but when you look at the bigger picture like the framework of The Builders it is different. 

Take for example the introductions. The Captain is sitting in the bar and as each of his crew members are introduced there is first a scene taking place some days prior to it. Showing the encounter between the Captain and the individual in question. Even more so it the effect that the Captain tells his company what they are going to do offscreen if this doesn't pique your interest I don't know what will. 

Great story telling the ending is even more brilliant. Precisely what I would have imagined with the Captain. 

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