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EARTHCAST

Read this if you like your fantasy stories mysterious and a little dark.

By lifesharpener, author of Man of Last Millennium

Jul 6, 2015: Earthcast is a phenomenal piece of writing, with a fascinating intertwining of fantasy elements from various sources, predominantly Eastern European folklore (Romanian), Hebrew mysticism, and some more modern fantasy themes that I have seen before in Japanese culture (but am unsure of their origin).

A manufactured clay golem (female) with free will and a strigoi (female) that gave it to her, Earthcast switches constantly between the perspectives of these two female leads.

The reader follows the BFG (Big Friendly Golem) and her journey to save her first outside acquaintance, the strigoi. What begins as a business deal evolves into a friendship, and together they travel the region, tackling trials and challenges step by step.

"A strigoi is traditionally a more classical style of vampire, (think Bram Stoker’s Dracula), but the author puts on her own spin, painting the strigoi as more of a normal being(with magical properties and a thirst for blood) that is predominantly preoccupied with her own survival than anything else. (although she is already technically dead)"

This story has so many different story elements that are well done: A thriving ecosystem of mythological creatures. Power/Territory struggles between reclusive witches. Anti-Semitic villagers. Friendship with questionable loyalties. ancient magic with ancient rules. Mysterious whimsical entities.

There’s a lot going on, and sometimes that makes you feel like you’re watching Lost. Lots of things are introduced, and there aren’t too many answers. Unless you are already familiar with aspects of Slavic folklore, it may be a lot to take in. The author puts an intriguing twist on existing stories in folklore, but it’s hard to appreciate her creativity without foreknowledge.

But perhaps this just adds to the rich plot, giving it a cultural depth that you get in a well researched fiction work. It is familiar, yet new at the same time.

In any case, it keeps you reading breathlessly.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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