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The Blessed & The Damned: A Novelette Paperback – September 5, 2012
About the Author
A.R. Williams lives in Virginia Beach, VA. He developed a love for reading at a very young age and in the fourth grade, when an assignment to write their own works of fiction was given, it occurred to him that he too could have the ability to craft tales for others to enjoy. A.R. Williams’ short fiction has appeared in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Three Crow Press, and Every Day Fiction.
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The story begins with some fantastic, eerie ambience. It progresses to a well-drawn city, where the setting itself becomes like a character. Then the mystery unfolds as new characters are introduced. We get a sword fight, followed by a great scene that explores a psychic confrontation. And this leads to a haunting ending that is appropriate to the tone of the entire piece.
Though I loved the story's pacing, I would've liked a little more fleshing out of the major characters, though that's more of a nit-pick than a real criticism. Williams' characters are distinctive and interesting. One other possible nit is that while the major character is some sort of paladin who serves a goddess (though that paladin element is in the background of this story), that aspect of the character doesn't ultimately play a major role.
After reading this, I'd love to read a longer work from this author. My sense is that he'd do an amazing job with a larger story. I found no major element of this story lacking, and the author did a great job with the elements of suspense, mystery, pacing, and setting. I'm really looking forward to more from him.
This is a Kindle only edition and is a 242 Kb download (about 45 pages). The price was $0.99.
Lorna Jasson, a paladin, has come back to Kuwar city in search of her kidnapped daughter. Her quest leads her through ominously foggy streets, encounters with sleezy denizens and eventually to a mysterious temple...and here she finds much more than she was looking for.
This is a dark, eerie tale, but I must admit I had to reread a couple areas to try to get an better understanding of what was actually happening, especially in some of the later passages. While I could easily follow the journey through the city and the reason for it, I was confused with some of the dialogue and the changes of circumstance that occured towards the conclusion. However all became more clear (well, more or less) as this story ended.
An interesting dark story with a surprise ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this short work. 4 1/2 Stars.
This small work reminded me of the short stories by Steven Erikson involving the tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach...also dark, unpredictable and intriguing, but without the subtle humor that Erikson had.
Thanks to Moses Siregar III for bringing this title to my attention.
It could well be expanded into a larger work, but as is, it plays out very satisfyingly.
It is the story of a woman's search for her daughter. The search takes her into a dark, magical land fraught with danger at every turn. There is no one to be trusted, yet a mother does what she must do.
Mr. Williams sets the scene and atmosphere so well you feel as if you are lost in the fog with the search party.
He sets your senses to full alert. If someone had walked up behind me as I was reading I would have wished to have a dagger myself.
I look forward to reading more by A.R. Williams.