A Quiet Vengeance (Samarak Tales #1), by Tim Hardie - A Review by Charles Cavendish

The Book

A Quiet Vengeance
Series: Samarak Tales
Pages: 371
Age Group: Adult
Published on 4/15/2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Available on:


Nimsah is an abandoned child living on the streets of Bengarath, surviving on her wits as part of a criminal gang in the City of Tents, home to the dispossessed. Dojan is the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Fujareen, enjoying a life of luxury in Bengarath Palace. Their lives are brought together as the threat of war looms in the neighbouring city state of Kandarah. However, Dojan and Nimsah share a secret, one that will set in motion a chain of events leading to vengeance.

My Review (5 out of 5 )

This was my first time reading one of Tim’s books, safe to say if won’t be my last!

A Quiet Vengeance is set within a Middle Eastern / North African-inspired world. The brilliant writing and engaging story sucked me from the start whilst the language and imagery of the book transported me to the hot, dusty streets and markets of Bengarath as well as the rich opulence of the ruling elites' palaces. You really feel immersed within the respective worlds, as we learn about their customs, food, social & military hierarchies.

The world that Tim has created is rich and extravagant on one hand and then ruthless and visceral on the other. We see both extremes of society from the wealthy ruling elite down to the struggling poor underclass. And it's from these two extremes that our two main characters emerge, Dojan the foppish prince, and Nimsah the street-smart gang member. Much of the story focuses on their respect POV, both in the present and in the past. As we learn more about their respective histories it really drives the story forward in the present.

The dual timeline approach is executed superbly and kept me engaged throughout. Through this we see both Nimsah & Dojan develop far beyond where we first meet them. These are flawed characters but those flaws and how the characters grow throughout the story were a major reason why I enjoyed the book so much.

This is very much a character-driven story with well-developed characters to get your teeth stuck into, as aside from our main protagonists there is a raft of intriguing secondary characters from merchants, soldiers, street gang members, and government functionaries. That doesn't mean that there isn’t any action, there certainly is and without giving away any spoilers the significant battle towards the end of the book had me on tenterhooks.

I really enjoyed the political intrigue that’s woven into the story, we find a world that has been racked by war, and in the aftermath, there are several groups & individuals looking to advance their positions (not least a certain all-powerful bank). It will be particularly interesting to see how these develop in (fingers crossed) subsequent books.

I have greatly enjoyed dipping my toe into the world of Amuran. I’m keen to explore it further and have already bought Tim’s Hall of Bones series which is set in the same world.

* * * * *

About the reviewer


Hey I’m Charlie!

I’m old enough to have seen the original Star Wars trilogy at the cinema (let's leave it at that). I currently live in Sydney (Australia) with my wife, three teenage children, and two pugs. I have spent about half my life in the UK and the balance in Australia so tend to have a strong English sense of humour.

I’ve always loved books and reading but stumbled into the world of indie authors/self-publishing after making the “brave” leap onto Twitter in 2022. This proved to be a revelation and I have been getting involved in the community ever since, with my main focus being on indie SFF books.

I’m keen to help promote indie authors and so thought I’d try my hand at writing a few reviews, its very much a work in progress!

Outside of reading and the book community, I love running, my pugs, and my family (not in that order).

The Author/s

Tim Hardie

Tim Hardie

I grew up in the seaside town of Southport in the north west of England during the 1970s and 1980s. This was before anyone had even heard of the internet and Dungeons & Dragons was cutting edge. Living in a house where every available wall was given over to bookshelves, I discovered fantasy writers like JRR Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Ursula Le Guin, Alan Garner, Stephen Donaldson and Susan Cooper. Those stories led me into the science fiction worlds created by Frank Herbert, Philip K Dick, Arthur C Clarke and HP Lovecraft.

After training to become a lawyer I lived in London for three years before moving to Yorkshire in 1999, where I’ve worked ever since in a variety of legal, commercial, financial and management roles. My writing began as a hobby in my early twenties and has gradually grown into my second career. I write epic fantasy that will appeal to fans of Joe Abercrombie, John Gwynne and Robin Hobb. 

I currently live in Derbyshire with my patient wife and two teenage children.