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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

This book starts with a group of men heading out on a fishing vessel, wistful of escaping from under the oppressive thumb of the Empire. The decision to board a frigate floating dead in the water, its presence given away by the smoke rising from it,  results in the two friends Nisiris and Vared being taken prisoner and forced to fight each other to the death in a sacrificial duel or both be sold as slaves. One will escape.

The story, however, follows another man, Koth, in a humble village far removed from the influence of the Empire, out hunting with his twin brother.

Koth seems an unlikely and imperfect hero, my favorite kind of hero. Not identical twins, he is the lesser of the two brothers in all ways. He knows nothing of the world beyond his small village realm and doesn’t seem to be a very good hunter. His fellow villagers don’t seem to think he’s good at much of anything.

Koth and his brother, Bizen, do have a special ability. They can communicate telepathically with each other. But of the two, only Koth has the ability to heal others.

Koth’s life was decided for him since before he was born, for his ability to heal wounds by touch is rare even among his people. When an attempted kidnapping turns to sacrificial murder, he embraces vengeance and the sword. As he journeys far from his small, isolated village in the north, he learns the truth as to why his bloodline is targeted by strange magic, in a world still rebuilding from a time when dark sorcerers didn’t bother with secrecy.

Koth thinks his quest is straightforward enough: find the men responsible and kill them—and any who aid them. He will soon learn that those who have both privilege and power, there are few things they lack—and in the pursuit of godhood, their allies can prove even more sinister as mere mortals seek to advent empires and dynasties.

Witchslayer’s Scion by L. T. Getty is a third person narrative of events that befall our imperfect hero, Koth, after the murder of his brother and attempted kidnapping of Bizen’s betrothed.

Travelling with his aunt, Una, in the name of vengeance, he will discover the world is much larger and stranger than he imagined, and that revenge isn’t always what you imagine.

While every chapter does not focus on our hero, as new characters emerge to take the center stage, Getty does a good job of using a variety of characters to drive the story forward and introduce new revelations about this world, leading back to Koth’s story.

 For me, Koth’s imperfections and naive failings make him all the more likable as a character.

 If you are into swords and sorcery that lies heavier on the storyline and less focused on the magic itself, you will enjoy L. T. Getty’s Witchslayer’s Scion. This book does not distract from the characters and events of the story with overemphasis on the magic, keeping your attention and focus where it belongs, within this imaginary world.

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via Episode 1 (Butterflies in the Garden): Danger Above by Vivian Munnoch

Episode 1:

Butterflies In The Garden

Danger Above

by Vivian Munnoch

 

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Photo by Jessa Crisp on Unsplash (edited by Vivian Munnoch)

The dully gleaming ebony feathers of the crow seemed to absorb the daylight into its black mass. The motionless bird stared unblinkingly at the motion below from its perch in a tree, looking more like its deceased and stuffed counterpart than a living creature.

Below him the little butterfly flitted weightlessly, bobbing on its wings over the flowers in the garden, oblivious to the danger above.

The crow blinked just once, the thin membrane moving across its cold emotionless eye a heartbeat behind the eyelid in a slightly off double motion. The bird tilted his head.

Spindly legs reaching, the little butterfly landed on a flower. Its wings moved slowly to some soundless rhythm. It tasted the air with its antennae, picking up only the sweet pollen of the flowers.

Feeling safe, the butterfly stilled its wings, letting them soak in the delightful warmth of the sun.

With slow languid motion, the crow spread his wings and took flight, his shadow passing on the ground below.

The fleeting shade was a cooling pulse across the insect’s back, the warmth returned as quickly. Only its antennae moved in response.

Landing soundlessly on a wooden post closer to the flowers, the crow ruffled his feathers and settled to watch the little butterfly.

 

More…  Episode 1 (Butterflies in the Garden): Danger Above by Vivian Munnoch

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What you learn about this narcissistic vampire … you have to read L. T. Getty’s lovely story.

 

 

Marie is a loner and something of a self described self-exiled outcast who, centuries later, is still mourning the loss of the love of her life. The story doesn’t tell the why and how of this. That is a story set before this one. Was she always like this? Or was she driven to it? Her one friend, Rosa, follows her through the events shaping her, always at her side in her own shallow personality as the, ‘Let’s party and have fun,’ girl.

 

One question in my mind through this book was whether all the vampires are truly as vain, shallow, and self-centered as Marie says they are, or is that a construct of her own depths of those attributes which she must deflect on others in her need to feel she fits in.

 

I had reservations about the cover at first, it gave me a strong ‘romance’ vibe, but found it surprisingly suiting to the main character.

 

 

Dreams of Mariposa by L. T. Getty is a first person account of a vampire telling her story.

Taken unwillingly from her plans to relocate when Raoul shows up to tell her she is summoned by the Council with no option to refuse, Marie is thrust into their scheme without knowing the depth of their intentions.

 

As a vampire who is so ancient and powerful that even the sun cannot touch her, allowing her to walk in daylight, and who easily fits into the social circles of mortals, the Council needs her help in uncovering a mystery hiding powers possibly much older than their own order’s beginnings.

 

The events after that can best be described as leading her down into the madness in the darkness of her vampiric soul and which she chose to be blind to because perfection is to be sane and adored by all. As her world unravels at the end of her narrative, the truth of some of her tale is revealed, and the lies she told herself to keep her shield of perfection in place.

 

I found the main character, Marie, to be entirely unlikable. That doesn’t mean you won’t like her, only that I failed to see any redeeming qualities in her personality. I rather liked L. T. Getty’s portrayal of Marie as being flawed by her own perfection. It gives Marie more personality than if she were simply evilly and immortally perfect. Her view of the world she lives in revolves around her need for everyone including herself to be fully immersed in the glory of her self-perceived flawlessness. As I read, I hoped more than once that she would be staked.

 

As a vampire, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to character development. If anything, it made her more real to me. This narcissistic view of herself is entirely fitting, considering she is immortal on an almost godlike level compared even to her nearly immortal brethren. Centuries of seeing yourself as being superior far above all mortal, and even most immortal, creatures would turn more than a few to narcissism, I would think.

 

Marie sees the other senior vampires as being similarly shallow and self-absorbed narcissists incapable of caring for anyone. Is that merely a reflection of herself? You will need to read L. T. Getty’s lovely story and decide for yourself.

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