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Myth and Story

By Sonja Nitschke, editor

Jul 15, 2008: Just a brief note before I continue – A Northern Heart is a serialized novel still being updated. This review is subject to change as the story grows.

I won’t lie—I had a difficult time getting past the first few chapters of A Northern Heart. It wasn’t that the writing was poor, but because nothing really happened, even when Allen woke up in a different place. To me, the story lacked drive, meandering along until it found its stride around chapter six—even so, I think that some of the prose could use a little tightening.

Once there, the narrative provides tantalizing glimpses of the world, as well as bits and pieces of its mythology. Allen continues to grow as a character, and we learn even more about the world’s gods and goddesses. The world is beautifully described and we are given glimpses of their political structure, military, and religion without it being “info-dumped.”

The author notes that chapters one through twelve are his earlier works which are not really up to par with the later chapters, and advises that we might want to begin reading at chapter thirteen. This I found largely to be true and I hope the author will have time to rework the early chapters some day.

Though I found the characters to be strong, I was a bit puzzled as I neared the end of the archives. Throughout the first chapters of the story, Allen refers to his drawing fairly often – sometimes fantasizing how he would like to draw this or that. Yet, somewhere in the middle, all such references to his art simply vanished. I wonder if, in his new life, he simply does not have the time or the desire, or what happened to that part of him.

Ok, now that the negative parts are out of the way —

The writing is beautiful. Sometimes it’s poetic, sometimes its epic, sometimes it’s elegantly simple, but it is never bland.

The myths are beautiful, and I hope that further aspects of their gods and goddesses will be revealed as the story progresses.

When I finished the archives, I found myself wanting more. And that, to me, is always a good sign.

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