A Quick Trip Down the Road
While not going to thrill many, The Warrior Within is a competent novel. It's short, but rarely strays from its compact plot, while still developing a world and characters in it. Karsman gets the most focus and is distinctly a reluctant hero. While shaping Karsman's voice, his other personalities, named by function like Warrior, Diplomat, and Strategist, likewise have their own aims and tone. Karsman and his personalities easily double the cast of characters, with the rest functional but a little flat. In particular, the villains of the story don't really have much going on beyond menacing.
There's no indication that this novel is setting up a series, but it could. It takes place on a backwaters world in a larger universe, and hints at what could be beyond this small town, its benevolent autocracy, and the people scraping by. If anything, The Warrior Within did a better job of setting up future works than telling this story, but it's by no means bad.
Baseline Assessment: 7/10
Bonuses: +1 doesn't waste much time
Penalties: -1 ... except for an overly long wall climbing chapter
Nerd Coefficient: 7/10 (an enjoyable experience, but not without its flaws)
POSTED BY: brian, sci-fi/fantasy/video game dork and contributor since 2014
Reference: McIntyre, Angus. The Warrior Within [Tor, 2018]