Son of the wood god, son of a mortal woman, Myrddin has lived a carefree life for sixty years. Now, with his mother dead, the wilderness that has sustained him is an overflowing well of powers he can no longer control. Sent by his father to seek someone who can help him, the one Myrddin finds is a nameless stranger, whom he calls Kas.
Kas, so named, is still what his nature demands he be. He is Death, its essence and its king…its master, and its open gate. Since the first death that came into this world, he has been alone, essential and solitary – until Myrddin. For his sake, Kas aids in building the Rite of Spring, and in the process learns love…and loneliness.
Between life and death, want and need, there is just enough space for a new beginning. The question is how it continues – and whether it ends.
Publisher's Note: This book is linked to the Eight Kingdoms series.
This story was beautiful in it’s descriptive text. The author did a fabulous job of showing me this fantasy world.
From the beginning, the landscape was captivating and rich. Full of colour, sounds, and smells.
The whisper rose through the wood until it was a roar among the leaves, a howl in the throats of wolves. The Sudden baying of stags mingled with a thousand fluted melodies as the birds scattered from the trees, and the trees bowed, bent, rolled their shoulders and tossed their heads with no need for the wind.”
The text follows this flow throughout the story, and gave me a complete sensory experience. From the taste of wildberries, to the sounds of the woods, the smell of the earth, to the texture of flesh, this was a powerfully written story that captivated me from the first page until the last.
Myrddin is looking for someone to help him control his immortal power. Now that his mortal mother is gone, his powers are building and he is unable to sleep through the winter months as he has done for the last sixty years, producing too much spring energy for the world to sleep under the snow. His immortal father, god of the woods, has commanded him to journey out of his small tribe to find that link he needs to spill his excess power. His journey brings him to Kas, whom is Death, the being without words.
Kas was something special. A solitary individual due to the nature of his being, encountering Myrddin is like an awakening for him. And once he’s had a taste of companionship he can no longer go back to his lonely existence. Only he doesn’t have the words to communicate effectively with Myrddin, and has no choice but to let him go.
Together these two immortals are intoxicating. Their connection is all consuming. Kas’ possessiveness was delicious and scary. It was powerful, and addictive to read. I loved the way he spoke. Few words, because he doesn’t have them, but the words he uses are direct and sure.
Like Spring, Myrddin is full of life and energy, laughter, and flirtation. But once he’s had his fill, he is off to do other things. I found that his personality was slightly inconsistent with what I learn in the beginning. He is loyal, but that loyalty only seemed to stretch as far as his mother. That wasn’t the feeling I got from him in the beginning of the story, but by about halfway, it seemed that he was dismissive and flighty. It may have been a transition from grief, but if that was the case it didn’t translate well from one scene to the next. I enjoyed him, but I felt like I was getting mixed messages.
The world building was good, if a little incomplete. But it didn’t slow my enjoyment of the story. It gave me a feeling of being out in the wild, and the landscape translated like a complete memory for me. Picture perfect.
I’m very interested in reading the series this is linked to. I imagine a full length novel would give me that little bit more I was looking for.
Recommended for those who enjoy high fantasy, suggestions of mythology, and paranormal stories. This short was very satisfying but did take concentration. It was not light reading, but it was worth my undivided attention.
A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
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