Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Review - Blood Soup (Novella) by Kelly A. Harmon
Amazon / EternalPress / Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Received for review from the author
Summary: A tale of murder, betrayal and comeuppance.
King Theodicar of Borgund needed an heir. When his wife, Queen Piacenza, became pregnant, he’d hoped for a boy. His wife, along with her nurse, Salvagia, had other plans. With each cast of the runes, Salvagia’s trusted divination tools yielded the same message: “A girl child must rule or the kingdom will fall to ruin.” As such, the women were convinced that the child would be a girl.
When the queen finally gives birth, the nurse and the king are equally surprised. The king is faced with a terrible choice, and his decision will determine the fate of his kingdom. Will he choose wisely, or will he doom Borgund to ruin?
Thoughts: Blood Soup is an absorbing novella of sinister high fantasy.
Writing a good novella is no easy task. Authors have to establish characters, location and develop a plot in a very short peroid of time - and to top it all off, they have to make you care. It's no easy feat! Honestly, some authors just can't pull it off. But Kelly Harmon? She can.
Blood Soup starts out bloody and brutal - pretty much framing the tone of the morbidly magical kingdom. I loved the setting, plot and the social commentary. I was also seriously impressed by Harmon's ability to create full 3D characters in the span of only a few sentences. Blood Soup spans decades and half a dozen POVs, but didn't feel rushed. All the joy of a full-length novel in under an hour.
I only wish Blood Soup had been written as a full-length novel! A few of the characters - Fabrizia in particular - I would have loved to have read more about. I will certainly get my hands on whatever work Harmon comes out with next.