Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Review of "Beneath a Vengeful Sun," short story by Ron Leighton
The concubine Ránača, despairing over her dead family and status, agonizes when Mother Volhuxa, oldest of Master Hergesto's bed-slaves, informs her that they will be sent out of the main house to live with the other slaves. Ránača fears what this will mean--and wonders whether she wants to live at all.
Over the past years that I've done reviews on this blog I've read several stories by Leighton. In this particular piece I couldn't help but notice how much the author's writing voice has matured. The characters are deeper and the story concept more powerful.
As with past works, however, my main issue with Leighton's work is the grandiose idea crammed into the confines of a short story. While this story definitely feels more streamlined than others (fewer characters, more direct plot), it goes on just a little too long. It's a short story, not a novel.
But it doesn't change the fact that this is a very enjoyable read. The loose fantasy style makes for a nice backdrop for what is, essentially, a nod to America's slave history. But don't let the fantasy elements fool you. This story is more geared toward the history buff than the LARPing expert. Still, it's worth picking up a copy.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.