I was given a free ARC copy of this book by the author. Stolen Sun is a Mesopotamian fantasy novella just under 20,000 words.
It is a lightless world.
The sun goddess, Atthar, has long-since been deposed, her light stripped from her by a tyrant and held aloft above his dying city.
Eking out a meager existence there is Nasir and his ailing mother, Atthar’s former high priestess, who hold secret ceremonies and face routine beatings from the city guards.
Nasir prays when his mother asks, but his faith is anything but alive. Until a voice calls out to him from the dark.
Guided to the sun goddess herself, Nasir is called upon to restore Atthar to the skies and rebalance the world. As his prize, Atthar promises to heal his mother’s rapidly worsening health, an offer he cannot turn down.
But, can he trust this wily goddess? Can he evade her usurpers long enough to keep from being killed? And ultimately, can he protect his mother from threats on all sides?
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As a lover of fantasy, I was intrigued by the idea of a Mesopotamian fantasy story and the blurb for this novella drew me in.
The story is in first person, present tense. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of present tense and in the past have found stories in that tense lacked the flow I find with past tense. Despite my reservations, I continued reading and I’m glad I did.
The story follows young Nasir who cares for his mother, a high priestess to the usurped sun goddess.
We see through his eyes the hardship of life in this lightless land, where the people struggle to survive and the constant threat that hangs over any who continue their prayers to the fallen goddess.
As the story progresses we learn about how the sun goddess was overthrown and what happened to those who served her.
The introduction of Atthar added a great layer to this story, as suddenly a boy with little faith is chosen to assist a goddess. I also thought Atthar was written so well, with her fiery personality and arrogance.
The author created good pacing to this story and built the tension well. I ended up reading it in one sitting because I needed to know what was going to happen next.
I got a strong sense of what the landscape looked like through the description that was threaded throughout without being excessive. I loved the way Atthar was described and it painted a very vivid picture. I didn’t get the same for most of the characters but it didn’t detract from the story.
What I really enjoyed was how the author explained the concept of the goddess losing her light and how it was now being used by those in power who had stolen it. A clever idea that is written very well.
Author: Eli Hinze (website)
Genre: Mesopotamian fantasy novella
Length: 61 pages
Publisher: Regale Press; 1 edition
Availability: Release date 19th March. Available on pre-order at Amazon
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You may have noticed a distinct lack of post yesterday. There’s a lot going on with the family so I never got a solid block of time to actually do any writing for this blog. I am hoping, by April, to get back into the flow and routine. Thanks for your patience.