Book Review: The Sheriff by Simon Fairbanks

the sheriffThe Sheriffs wander the clouds to keep the peace across Nephos. Sheriff Denebola is recruited by young Toby to help rid his village of a winged demon. The demon has tormented the people of Angel’s Keep every night for the past week so Denebola vows to capture the creature. However, the demon is not the only shadow cast over Angel’s Keep. There is the strict priest, Father Osmond, who detests all magic. There is Gideon, a man with wings, claiming to be an angel sent by the Lord. And there is also the matter of the Red Witch, who threatened the village five years before the demon’s arrival. Denebola soon finds himself caught up in a mystery where angels, demons, heroes and villains are not all that they seem.

From the Author in exchange for a review.

Denebola is a Sheriff (but most definitely NOT a lion) is returning home to see The Maverick, after intervening between the humans and their noisy Witch neighbours. The latter have been keeping everyone up at night whilst they keep setting of lightening bolts and it needed a Sheriff to intervene, but it resulted in Denebola with one all mighty hangover.

He gets waylaid by Toby, one of the inhabitants of a neighbouring cloud – called Angel’s Keep – with a request that he helps protect the cloud from a demon who has been causing mayhem for the last week.   As a Sheriff he cant really say no, so finds the cloud has not only humans but Angels, Demons and Witches, which all make for an interesting few days. The presence of the Angel (who Deneobla recognises as one of the more lazy and unfit members of the Featherfolk and not an Angel really), has stirred up belief in the Old Religion and caused fear in the rather small community. It also means that people are unwilling to reveal their “gifts” – that little bit of magic that meant the original people were chosen by The Clown to inhabit Nepos.

I wont say more due to potential spoilers. As you can tell from the synopsis above – this is a story about another world, which has been set up decently, with no resorting to the overwrought world building some writers adopt.  The writing style has a light, humorous tone and isn’t overcomplicated, which means that this book is also appropriate to younger readers, with Toby being a suitable young hero who shows bravery and nerve to become the Sheriff’s Deputy.  Nephos has been set up to be big and complicated enough to have more stories to be told without the fear of future stories being shoe-horned in.

About this author

Simon Fairbanks studied MA English Literature at the University of Birmingham. He has been a member of the Birmingham Writers’ Group since 2011 and acts as the committee member responsible for new membership enquiries. Simon’s first novel, The Sheriff, was released in March 2014. The following month, The Sheriff was chosen to participate in the One Big Book Launch organised by CompletelyNovel and Literally PR. Simon’s debut short story collection, Breadcrumbs, was released in October 2014. It contains twenty-one short stories, including a new adventure starring the characters of The Sheriff. Simon was one of ten writers who participated in the Ten To One project. Their collaborative efforts resulted in the novel Circ which was launched in November 2014. Simon’s character, Mungo the Clown, was voted the winner of Ten To One. Not only have I reviewed Circ previously but there is also a further author spotlight on Simon here.

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