I received this submission from the author and read it quickly between other books. As it is a short story being used promote the larger series (self-published), I can not give it a proper review. I will however give a quick overview of my thoughts.
The story follows Draven, former mercenary trying to make a new life, and is exactly as long as one small adventure. While working through a mundane job of chopping trees in the village he is offered an escort job, which he takes despite his promise of staying away from violence.
What I liked:
Draven had a nice internal monologue going through the book, and for the most part it was fairly intriguing. I also enjoyed an early scene in which the imagery is one of war, while the action is as mundane as chopping down a tree. It provided a nice image of where Draven's head really is, and what kind of character to expect from him. It is hard to talk about pacing in something so short, but for what it is worth the book did move at a decent clip.
What I didn't like:
As much as I dug Draven's internal monolog, the external dialog of the book was awkward. The writing needs some cleaning up too. "Draven looked to his wife, to the chest, to his wife, and back again an hundred times or more." Hard to read, and doesn't really pass the logic test. The third person narrator using the word "fellers" caught me off guard a few times as well. And lastly, the small battle near the end wasn't convincing to me, especially after a standoff when a character calls attack first and then takes the time to give more vocal instructions.
Will I read more?
No, I won't be reading any more of the series. It is not trash by any means, but it requires a strong editor to clean up the awkward writing.
No star rating will be given, the story is just too short. At time of review the short story was free on Amazon.