Entwined by Tara A. Devlin will be a hit with fans of fantasy and “other worlds” construction. Not a genre I usually read, I found this a very pleasant reading experience. The story has four parts; The Mother, The Father, The Son, and Beginnings. In that order. Notice how “Beginnings” is last. It is a nicely wrapped gift package for those not keeping up. It also has the novella’s best line: “It was so hard to find good heirs these days.” (Kindle Locations 524-525). Be sure to look at the small group of phrases below the title for each part; they contribute to early understanding.
What do “The Black Scourge,” “The one-armed Merc,” and “The Apprentice” have in common? Whether the reader comes up with the solution early or late, this story is interesting. There is a lot of creativity in the descriptions of types of monsters. There is the Sniffer, the Mauler, a Deamhan Ineach, a Dubhar, Oni, and the King Slayer. All of these have unique descriptions, powers, and, of course, flaws. Scourge and Merc fight demons, Apprentice uses demons, and there is an expert puppeteer known as the Silver Knight. Knight might control everyone and everything else or it might be the Shadow directing everything. Readers must decide who or what the Shadow is. Maybe the Shadow does not exist as one entity but is in the minds of each character. This would make the Shadow something that exists in multiple manifestations since each character would affect its own Shadow and vice versa.
I gave this 74-page short story four plus Amazon stars because it was a refreshing journey into the fantasy world that satisfied me by letting me make some assumptions. I felt engaged with the story. The Apprentice’s future moves are in doubt. Is the One-armed Merc a hero or a coward? What is the goal of the Silver Knight?
This short story was fun.