A Merchant in Oria, by David Wiley

5_21_17 Merchant in Oria

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Poor little Firion. All he wanted to do was establish himself in the markets of Oria. Once he gets there, he winds up embroiled in something of a mystery. And the receiving end of a fist.

 

This was a cute little novella. In such a short amount of time, the author manages to convey enough information that the world doesn’t feel flat. To be perfectly honest, the way it was set up made it read like a side quest in Skyrim. That helped with envisioning the setting. There was some interesting character development to be had. Some of it ended up entangled in the romantic subplot, but that honestly made it better.

 

I liked the steady progression of things. Characters felt alive and well. Description wasn’t exactly lacking, but it wasn’t heavy. It was a weird equilibrium where the reader can fill in the blanks. The writing style changed according to what was happening. It was long and fantastical for exposition. Short and sweet for everything else. Dialogue didn’t feel clunky.

 

A quick and easy fantasy read. It was cute, funny, and tied things up at the end. Characters and story were both engaging. It was a well-written, fairly original storyline.

 

 

Buy it here!

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Review of Elizabeth Einspanier’s ‘Sheep’s Clothing’

Elizabeth Einspanier’s tale Sheep’s Clothing is a short, concise, and to-the-point representation of vampires in the Old West. Oh, and there’s a skinwalker, fighting to free a love lost to him.

I’m not normally a big vampire reader (I wasn’t much into them before and, I’m sorry, but Twilight absolutely ruined any desire I had to read/watch something with vampires or werewolves), but I was very happy to see that the bloodsuckers in Sheep’s Clothing were the more traditional ones: they sleep in coffins, are weak to crucifixes and other holy items, stake through the heart, ect… Elizabeth clearly did her research on vampiric legends of old.

And, instead of bringing in a traditional werewolf, she drew upon tales of skinwalkers that can take the form of any animal—only the protagonist in this one is a half-breed, so a wolf is his only form.

Weird Western is most certainly an apt category for this story. A frontier doctor, recently taken up residence in the small town of Salvation provides a rather delightful setting for the weird happenings about to take place.

The one major problem I had with the way things unfolded was how receptive, understanding, and easily people believed in the tales and legends of vampires being real. It boiled down to the doctor being able to walk up to anyone, say ‘there’s a vampire running amok,’ and get the response ‘oh, okay. What do you need?’ It made things too easy and created very little struggle for the doctor and his companions to save Salvation from the claws of this unholy terror and it made Sheep’s Clothing fall short of the epicness it could have contained.

Buy Sheep’s Clothing on Amazon