Child of a Mad God is an ideal entry point for the curious. You really don’t need to know anything about the setting or the events of the other books in order to enjoy this one. What you will need is a bit of nerve, because Corona is far from gentle, and the story he spins here goes to its darkest corners ... There is gruesome, bloody action here that will provoke even the most hardened grimdark fan, but there’s real storytelling purpose behind all of it. For longtime fans, it’s an excellent entry in a popular universe. For newcomers, it’s a perfect opportunity to find out what all the fuss is about.
Child of a Mad God is very much about the convergence of cultures, and the way that socioeconomic, and religious elements affect the way that societies view each other. As an outsider, [the character] Talmadge provides the reader with a somewhat objective view of the various tribes, including the Usgar ... you can tell that Salvatore has intentionally constructed his story, characters, and world in a way that is meant to be progressive and appeal to the movement towards feminist and female-friendly speculative fiction. He succeeds, mostly. Unfortunately, midway through the novel, he uses one of my least favourite tools in a writer’s repertoire: rape as a plot device ... One of my favourite aspects of Child of a Mad God is how Salvatore plays with the rules for magic he established in the DemonWars Saga ... Fans will get a kick out of seeing the way Salvatore further explores the outer boundaries of the Corona, and the way the series’ trademark magical stones are utilized by less developed societies, but Aoleyn and Talmadge’s story is billed as the start of a new series and it’s exactly that. It makes reference to the previous series, but has ambitions of being something entirely new.
It’s a harsh setting, but Aoleyn, the fiery and engaging female lead of R.A. Salvatore’s Child of a Mad God, makes each moment spent in this world a treasure ... When her immense magical powers manifest in her 18th year, she finally discovers a way to break free of the tribe’s iron grip and confront the evil presence infecting her homeland ... This is fantasy refreshed, with familiar concepts reconfigured for a new arc. Luckily, we’ll have a wonderful heroine to pull us along for the ride.