I love when an author gives me the ability to feel intense empathy for an inanimate object. This doesn't happen often. I can feel an object is important. I can desire an object. But actively wanting to make an object happy?
Yeah... that's rare.
|Cover art by Ioan Dumitrescu|
I want to introduce you to Shadowcursed, by Gelo R. Fleisher, the fantasy novella that did exactly that.
So what's it about?
Bolen has been a thief for most of his life, and he's a good one. He's now 42 now, though, which is rather old for his field. Recognizing this, he doesn't want to just step into the sidelines. Rather, he wants to do something great - create a lasting memory to look back on. He accepts a job that requires him to gain access to the Mad Lord's vault and bring back a wealth of riches. Most thieves wouldn't stand a chance, and failure would mean death. Naturally, Bolen can't turn it down.
While inside the vault, Bolen discovers a unique statue...
Well, darn it. I left you with a cliffhanger. I'm so mean.
The thing is, that statue came alive for me. I kept inexplicably yearning for everything to turn out perfectly for the statue. Not the characters. Not the city.
I use the word inexplicably, because it was obvious that my desire was futile and irrational... but the feeling was strong, anyway. I couldn't control it... and I didn't want to.
And that was exactly, I believe, what Fleisher wanted me to feel.
It wasn't just the statue that produced such strong emotion, of course. I cared about every character I met. Well, except one... but he was a total scumbag, and only spoke about four or five lines, so I don't think he counts. Everyone else, though, regardless of their background, touched me in some way.
Even the scumbag touched me. Not in a sweet, happy, I-love-this-guy-even-though-he's-a-callous-jerk way, of course, but in a I-hate-this-man-and-can't-believe-anyone-could-be-so-vile-I-want-to-throttle-him sort of way.
Yeah, the emotions were a bit thick...
And because of this intensity, because of the fact that my heart is still hammering as I examine these emotions, I've elected to proclaim this one
Yep. It was that good.
I want to read even more. I yearn to go back into this world and see where else it leads me.
Shadowcursed includes a struggle between light and darkness that grips the reader, making them turn each page with abandon. This is not a novella that will allow you to easily take a break. Plan to read this one when you won't be interrupted for a while. Perhaps after everyone else has gone to sleep.
Why? Let me give you an example:
I recommend that you read Shadowcursed. It's something I would easily choose to read again. Fleisher has a great talent for drawing a reader's emotions to the surface, making a person evaluate their own actions in life, just as the characters did.
I mean, seriously... how many people do you know that can cause you to feel empathy toward a statue?
Shadowcursed can be found on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and Scribd.