- File Size: 630 KB
- Print Length: 51 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: J. Ellington Ashton Press (June 9, 2015)
- Publication Date: June 9, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ZDPCNQ6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,494,445 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$8.99|
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The Scarlett Curse: The Sacred Blade of Profanity Book 1 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The power of the Blade is sustained by being immersed in the blood of the profane, meaning that its chosen victims are steeped in evil themselves. In the case of intended victim Joshua Melkerin, he has kidnapped three young children and is holding them prisoner in his house, intending to sell them to an evil and mysterious criminal gang. Joshua has no qualms about murdering one of the children who is ill, and burying him in his garden. Joshua surely deserves the fate that appears to be hanging over him.
The Blade has an insatiable hunger for blood. Not long after sacrificing a victim through the hand of Scarlett, it prompts her to go out and hunt Joshua down,to finish the job. The incidental blood that it tasted in the killing of the sergeant of the guard at the market stall does not satisfy its craving for long. We find that if Scarlett fails in her mission, the blade plunges itself into a non-lethal part of her body to partake in the sweetest blood-immersion of all. But the Blade realizes that this is not a sustainable treat: it can ill afford to kill its beautiful and effective death agent.
Things get extremely interesting when Scarlett collides so jarringly on the path with eleven year old Dera who is walking home with her mother to her cottage, that she blacks out. Dera, a pretty mute girl, becomes subjugated by the Blade while Scarlett is unconscious and is made to commit a hideous crime. When she awakens, Scarlett takes Dera under her protection and flees with her through the forest. The Blade switches its control back to Scarlett, the more seasoned, preferred instrument of death. Scarlett finds herself having to fight to resist the Blade's growing promptings to kill young Dera.
Meanwhile, back in the town of Mills Wall, Joshua needs to replace the sickly child that he murdered with another one in order to fulfill the order of his criminal clients. He recollects seeing Dera in the market stalls with her mother, and decides that she would make a suitable replacement for the dead boy. He goes off to seek out and kidnap Dera.
As these people with various ties to the Blade converge, the presence of other powerful forces and entities begin to make their presence known. Dera's mind is the host of three prii, or fairies that direct her actions. Astra Kiiltth, a seer, senses that things are going awry with the Sacred Blade of Profanity in ways that could throw the very fabric of existence out of balance.
Author Toneye Eyenot uses a rich, evocative style, and skillfully brings to life his pseudo-medieval village of Mills Wall. I found myself caring quite a bit for both Scarlett and Dera, the helpless thralls of powers greater than themselves.They are compelled by irresistible outside forces to commit acts of extreme violence, and cannot be held responsible. The truly odious characters are the kidnapper/murderer Joshua Melkerin,and the lethal Sacred Blade of Profanity itself.
Toney Eyenot is off to a very promising start with his Sacred Blade of Profanity series, and I very much look forward to future installments!
Part of the problem is that fantasy novels, even the dark ones, tend to be weighty tomes, that require an intense buy-in to even figure out if you'll like it or not. Thankfully, Toneye Eyenot has managed to solve that issue here. Using a 50-page novella to kickstart the story was a gamble, but it's one that paid off in spades.
Scarlett weilds the Sacred Blade of Profanity, an semi-intelligent weapon that took me back to both games of Dungeons and Dragons with a good Dungeonmaster and the tales of Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, and his blade Stormbringer. Both are filled with bloodlust, but unlike Stormbringer's craving for any intelligent soul, Scarlett's blade wants those who have committed some sort of profanity, hence it's name. Like any intelligent weapon, though, it's bearer requires an almost inhuman force of will to resist its urges, and when 11 year old Dera finds herself in possession of it, the results are appropriately horrific.
All in all, the story is a beautiful sampling of the larger world Toneye has created, with a hero that is as flawed as the villain, if in different ways. And what a villain we have, appropriately creepy and menacing, with a "profanity" that is well-deserving of the fate the blade has in store for him, but who also comes across as nothing more than a cog in a much larger machine who seeks only to survive one more day. That he has to do horrible things to manage that survival isn't really a cause for sympathy, mind you, but it gives a glimpse into his psyche that makes it impossible to tell what he's going to do next.
If you're looking to sample dark fantasy, I can't think of a better place to start than The Scarlett Curse.