The Black God’s War (novella) by Moses Siregar III

Rating 8.5/10
This novella is an introduction to what I think will be a great novel.

"King Vieri’s war against the lands of Pawelon rages into its tenth year, and with the kingdom’s holy saviour, his son Caio, en route to the fighting in the storied canyon, victory ought to come soon. Feeling abandoned by his god, King Vieri forces young Caio to lead his army to victory.

The Black One, Lord Danato, tortures Lucia with nightly visions promising another ten years of bloodshed. She can no longer tell the difference between the waking world and Danato's nightmares. Lucia knows the black god too well; he entered her bed and dreams when she was ten.

As the epic battles rage, Lucia struggles to understand the messages of The Black One, while Caio wrestles with his conscience: Can someone who only wants to heal the world bring himself to kill another man?" Summary provided by Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Gods-War-Novella-Introducing/dp/B003Z0D2HK)

Something that I find very interesting is how technology is changing not only the way we read books, but is also changing the way in which books are published. There has been a dramatic increase in aspiring authors entering the market through "indie" publishing houses or even through self-publishing, while well established authors and publishing houses are also taking advantage of technology through the wide dissemination of free sample chapters aimed to increase anticipation leading up to release of their latest books.

The Black God's War novella by Moses Siregar III is a 15 chapter introduction to The Black God's War novel planned for release in May 2011. The novella is available for free from a number of online book stores and provides a great example for how aspiring authors with great stories to tell should be using technology to increase the visibility of their work. In this novella we are introduced to the main characters, we are provided with a brief history of the world, we get to see a unique and imaginative magic system, and we get to see the combination of all these aforementioned elements into a brilliant action scene that has left me hungry for more.

For such a short piece of work, it is surprising just how much complexity Siregar managed to fit into this novella. The war between Rezzia and Pawelon is the focal point for this story around which a rich history of religious and political intrigue has been built. Just who started the war and the reasons for why they are fighting all remains unclear for the duration of the story, and while this can be a little confusing at first I think it ends up being a great story driver as you realise that the characters don't really know why they are still fighting each other.The characters themselves are unique and interesting, they interact with each other naturally, they are well versed in the religious and political issues that define the story, and they are packed full of the inner turmoil and conflicts that come from ten years of fighting. The only thing that bothers me is that there is probably a little too much going on here. The characters have a lot of complex relationship with a lot of different people, there is almost too much inner turmoil and conflict, and there is a love story that just slows the pace of the book and feels out of place in this novella. These are only minor issues and I am sure that if I get to consider them in context with the full novel I will find them to be hardly issues at all.

The writing in this story is great, especially considering that this is Siregar's first novel/novella. The writing is fluid, the prose is beautiful without being overly verbose, and the style just sucked me in and kept me turning page after page. The frequent viewpoint changes between Rezzia and Pawelon characters at the start of the story can be quite confusing, but the content in each of these viewpoints is fantastic and gives you a unique view at both sides of the war. This is a problem that I think needs to be addressed, do you keep the content as it is at the risk of confusing the reader, or do you modify the content to make a more streamlined story at the risk of the novel losing some of its identity? Its a tough question and I will be interested to see the solution that Siregar comes up with in the full novel.

This novella is an introduction to what I think will be a great novel. The story is unique, the characters are interesting, and Siregar has shown that he has the capability to become a solid writer with the style and flair to become a brilliant writer. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this novella now.

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