Kato Vorsok is a man deserted by his god. A failed hero living in exile, he wants nothing to do with his old life.
Until the night he encounters a wounded mourning cloak—a demon that can walk through walls, dissolve into mist, and spear a man’s heart with a fingernail.
She calls him by name. She knows his past. She needs his help.
And she is his key to redemption.
Mourning Cloak is a fantasy novella.
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
5 out of 5 stars
I have never had so much fun at a car dealership. I read this in the waiting room and I was hooked. I love novellas, I love sci-fi/fantasy, and I love redemption stories. It was the perfect storm and I’m so thankful I took a book recommendation for once. There is an incredible degree of world-building done in this novella. Ms. Gale manages to convey so much in such a short space without the info-dump prevalent in fantasy. I’m using this book as a reference for writing settings in the future.
The thing I love about novellas is they’re too short to be long winded. The Mourning Cloak never has an unnecessary chapter, scene, or line of dialogue. The story takes us along quickly and surely and then BAM! Plot twist. It was very well done and I was definitely impressed.
Kato is a war hero who didn’t win the war. Living with the ghosts of loss and failure, he was a complex and layered, bitter, but still with a desire to help people. That is what ultimately drives him to help a monster. His development and healing over the course of the story was beautiful.
It was pretty obvious who the Mourning Cloak had been…and then it wasn’t and then it was. I was thrilled by the plot twist and also her POV sections. It was heartrending to see how becoming a Mourning Cloak had damaged her psyche and all the ways she continued to suffer.
But there was redemption for them both with complex interactions between them and all the other characters. IT WAS AMAZING.
In other words, I have a new author to watch and have downloaded Ironhand to my Kindle. I definitely recommend!