September is Self-Published Fantasy Month dedicated to spotlighting indie authors. You can check out @selfpubfanmonth for more on indie fantasy authors all throughout the month. I am new to the scene and I thought now would be a good time to pick something up and see if I my next favorite read will be by an indie author. Turns out it was!
Hell is a place of one’s own making. If you continue down this path, you’ll not come out alive.
Guilt will always call you back…
Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jémoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all.
You are a lie…
Varésh Lúm-talé is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.
This novella can be confusing at times. You’re thrown into scenes where characters make references to events or other characters but as you go along the pieces of the puzzle start to fill in. Until there’s a whole other puzzle you have to put together with another character. For some it can be frustrating but have patience. The puzzle will come together in a satisfying way, at least it did for me.
There are layers to this book. Past events, dreams sequences? or was that a vision? Is this the present or the past? Go with it and all will be revealed. I can imagine writing something like this is not easily done but the author pulled it off and with style.
Perception is fickle, dangerously so. Often times we see things as we wish they were; we see ourselves as something we are not. We dream to run from what we fear-but the truth is never far behind. The guilt will always call you back.
There are strong emotions of guilt and the desire to do the right thing that leads down a terrible path. These are powerful motivators for our characters all throughout the book and what might start off as a straight forward story takes you down a rabbit hole of betrayal you never saw coming.
This book ticks a lot of boxes for me. I didn’t want to read a long book: the kindle version of this novella is 115 pages. For a book this size it packs a punch and I’m left stunned at how much actually happened in only 100+pages. There are strong emotions in this book, unreliable (and queer) characters and played out against an apocalyptic world. If this sounds good to you then pick this up!
I’m giving this a stunning 5 out of 5!
This is a prequel novella so I will continue to read Luke Tarzian’s other books set in this world.