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Another mystic fantasy from Suleski

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Nov 25, 2010: Sarah Suleski’s previous web serial Alysiad and its continuing sequel, Queen of Seven, were highly acclaimed by many readers, who will be excited to check out her latest work.

It seems to take place in an paralell universe, because instead of the Rom (gypsies) we have the Brom. They also live on the outskirts of mainstream society and are little understood by those around them, but the Brom are associated with a mysteriously dangerous place of origin, Old Bromia, which they may be in exile from. The main character, a teenage girl called Sidonie (love that name!), grew up in mainstream society, but when she becomes an orphan a secret is revealed about her own origins.

Sidonie is an odd duck. She seems very cold and detached emotionally, although sympathetic to others when she thinks of it. As the story opens she has just suffered a major tragedy, and is probably in shock; one wonders if the emotional impact has hit her yet, as she seems very casual in her thought processes. Previously she also seems to have been a stranger in her own life, brushing off schoolwork and apparently not having any close friends.

I trust this is a deliberate characterization (mild autism?) rather than a lack of the author to describe emotion. It makes it a little harder to relate to Sidonie, but it only really bothers me when she deliberately does a foolish and dangerous thing for no apparent reason, which I always find annoying in stories. Sure, people do strange and reckless things all the time, but it usually makes perfect sense to them at the time. If it’s a plot device in order to get something to happen, there should be some sort of rationale so it flows naturally for the reader.

The story line is unfolding quite slowly. So far the most interesting parts are the colourful characters that have been introduced, and a mystery that is starting to develop around a murdered boy. Dan, the Brom leader, is held in great respect by the other Brom but Sidonie does not seem very impressed by him. It will be interesting to see how his character plays out. I was sorry to get to the end of the posts to date. Unfortunately updates are fairly few and far between . . . but there’s a substantial bit to read so far.

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