Two sons, one an embarrassment, the other prophesied to rule the world. Two armies, facing each other for nine years of war. A tortured princess. A bodyguard torn between duty and love. Moses Siregar III's "The Black God's War" novella has all the right ingredients and his prose lives up to the challenge--an exciting new epic fantasy is soon to arrive.
It's taken me far too long to read this tale, and I am reading an older draft, but I'm so glad I waited until I had the focus to properly appreciate it. It's been a while since a novella so captured me that I read it almost straight through--70 pages in the first sitting. But Siregar's novella, 15 chapters culled from 85 of his upcoming novel, just has that effect on you. His characters are as passionate as his descriptive prose. The pacing is perfect. There are a few spots where editing might tighten things up, but as I said, this is an older draft and I know he's been polishing a lot since then.
"The Black God's War" is the tale of two countries at war on a distant planet. The sons of their two leaders each take their role in battle. One, Caio, is the legendary Haissem, born to rule the world. The religious ceremony handing him his father's power takes place and the army awaits his arrival and their imminent victory. The other, Rao, hardly knows his father and is mocked by his men. Meanwhile, Caio's sister Lucia is leading the army as they await him. Each side calls on their gods and each expects to win.
The novella has elements of mythology reflective of Siregar's years spent studying religions and philosophies. It has a Greek or Roman feel to it at times, yet it remains clearly in the epic fantasy mold, despite being set on a distant planet.
Siregar handles the battle scenes well, using dialogue richly to both build his characters and his world. And the novella introduces many of his major characters well, wetting the reader's appetite and leaving him wanting more.
I'm anxious to know the rest of the story and you will be, too. This is a novella epic fantasy fans don't want to miss. Avaialble as an ebook right now through Kindle and other sites. The novel should follow in Spring 2011. Siregar is an exciting new talent to look forward to.
For what it's worth...