“It takes quite a long time for the relevance of the first chapter (hunter versus beast) to be made clear. At first, I wasn’t sure if the story was part of Pious’ injury induced hallucinations or if he was simply remembering something he forgot earlier. His later conversation with one of the monsters he’s fighting indicates it’s a memory. The whole chapter amused me but didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the story for a long time. After all, this novel mostly chronicles the adventures of Pious, a professional soldier whose suffering some mental problems as the result of earlier events. He starts out investigating some odd things that are going on in his hometown prior to the start of a local festival. The situation quickly escalates into something more.
This book has some good points, including the characters and their well-developed world. It’s nonetheless hard to follow at times because of all the different concepts (religions, military orders, time frames, castes, traditional practices, and so forth) that pop up without much explanation. There is an extensive index in the back, which certainly helps, but it still gets to a point that it’s overwhelming. Exhumation reads like the second or third book in a series, where there’s plenty of stuff the readers doesn’t know about simply because they came in late to the party. However, as the first book in the series, it could use some prologue information or something so that you don’t spend the whole book trying to sort things out in your mind rather than enjoying the story.”