3 of 5 stars
I picked up this novella during a free promotion. I was curious to see how the novella was presented because it is being advertised as an introduction to the novel that will be published in the Spring of 2011.
The story opens up with a powerful scene seen through 10-year-old Lucia’s eyes. Her mother has just given birth to a son, but the child is no ordinary child. This child, Caio, is the long-awaited savior, “Haissem,” for the people of Rezzia. While her father presents the child to the faithful, Lucia is first overjoyed, but when she tries to join them on the balcony, her father pushes her aside and the cold reality of his rejection hits her hard. Compounding the sting of rejection, Lucia witnesses a terrifying event involving her mother. When she calls out to her father for help, he continues to ignore her and an event that will change Lucia forever plays out. In this short scene, the author paints a vivid picture of the turmoil and suffering that Lucia endures – her conflicting feelings for her brother and her heartache over her father’s rejection – and I was a little disappointed when the next chapter unfolded 19 years later.
The rest of the novella is Caio’s story from his ascension to the “Dux Spiritus” to his taking over as commander of the Rezzia army in their battle against their mortal enemies, the Pawelons. We are introduced to his personal guard, Ilario, who secretly loves Lucia, but their difference in class makes a union between them impossible. This surprised me because there is no back-story to let the reader know this fact so the full impact of their forbidden love is lost. However, the author unfolds a masterful story of Caio’s hopes, dreams and his own inner demons about living up to his own legend and doing the right thing.
Mr. Siregar has given us a taste of the epic novel to come with this novella. If you want to read a talented new author with a flair for storytelling, you should definitely pick up this story. I for one am looking forward to reading the full story when it’s published next year.