Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (Kindle Single) (Cosmere) Kindle Edition
|Length: 89 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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This book is peopled by those whose backgrounds seem to have a bit of the Puritan settlers in their background with the primary character being Silence, a woman who owns and operates a "Waystation" which borders the Forests of Hell. When the story begins, there's some talk among two individuals at the Waystation about the mysterious "White Fox" - apparently an infamous bounty hunter.
As the storyline progresses, the reader realizes just how dark and difficult living near the Forests are for Silence and her family. There's more to Silence than meets the eye, however, and we get to tag along to see how she operates and provides for her family within this place on the edge of "hell." This novella gives the reader a glimpse of the brilliant mind of Sanderson and is a great example of the types of worlds and environments that are birthed within his ingenius imagination.
But trust me: Shadows is one of his best, yet. As an added bonus, it’s one of Sanderson’s few works that weighs in at less than the weight of a small child (okay, so it’s an ebook, which means it’s electronic and so the weight is negligible…but you get my point: it’s only novella in length). As with all of his stories, Sanderson lays out rules for a system of magic, or supernatural power, and then proceeds to put his characters into a conflict wherein each of the rules will be necessary to the outcome. Because Shadows is shorter than is typical for Sanderson–except for his juvenile fiction–the language tight, the setting more narrow, the plot quick to unfold.
The world of Silence Montane is peopled by what seems reminiscent of 16th century Protestants, from the names to the kinds of weapons that the characters rely upon. Silence is an innkeeper with a secret, alone in the world, but somehow managing to stay independent in a dangerous world. When a dangerous criminal passes through her inn, an opportunity, and a threat, emerges. But any who cross Silence underestimate her at their peril.
Sanderson is adept at setting up and introducing elements that will emerge later as a twist at the story’s end, and Shadows is no exception. More, the story is replete with twists as Sanderson takes his characters through one conflict after another, piling them up, before finally resolving each with satisfying and redemptive completeness.
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is only available as an ebook. I recommend it to any of Sanderson’s fans for a quick and satisfying read, as well as to anyone looking to experience Sanderson for the first time.
What he was able to do is tell the story of Silence. I woman raised to be hard and an assassin but who has decided that she will not raise her own children in that way. However when you are an assassin they tend to pick up things on their own and this time Silence needs her daughters help.
-- “You remember when Harold’s hound went mad last spring?” Silence asked. “Do you remember that look in the hound’s eyes? No recognition? Eyes that lusted for the kill? Well, that’s what these men are, William Ann. Rabid. They need to be put down, same as that hound. They won’t see you as a person. They’ll see you as meat. Do you understand?”
The men they are hunting though are just a small part of the danger. There are rules in the forest if you want to survive through the night. There are laws to follow and Silence knows them all very well. She has lost many people she loved to them.
-- I believe in the God Beyond,” Silence said, after they reached the other side.
“I don’t worship,” Silence said, “but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe. The old books, they called this land the home of the damned. I doubt that worshiping does any good if you’re already damned. That’s all.”
I liked Silence and this world. I could definitely spend a little more time here and have it more fleshed out. But it was missing Sanderson normal sense of humor and that slightly bigger twist at the end that I have grown to expect from him.
Still a decent short story to get you by but not necessary to the rest of the Cosmere. I would recommend The Emperor’s Soul if you are looking for a good novella by Sanderson first.
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