book reviews, books, fiction, reading, Uncategorized

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumoured healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again – but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realisation about a horrifying future.

What I liked

Lots of provocative and clever ideas but nothing at the expense of the story

Well-realised history and back story

Different time periods don’t jar the flow of narrative

Comic book energy and invention.

Exciting and considered extrapolation of Nigeria in 2066.

What I didn’t like

Nothing.

It’s a heady cocktail of ideas, poured over a careful story. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Uncategorized

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creative writing, work, writing

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blogging, books, creative writing, editing, writing

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creative writing, fairy stories, fiction, short fiction

Thorne – Origin

Thorne is my Dungeons and Dragons character, as I will be, after a long period, playing again. I thought I would share what I’ve written, and also it will serve as a record of the game itself, which I am looking forward to. I’m into the things I like without shame and role playing games are incredible ways to interact with others. 

 

The mornings were my favourite time of day. Wine coloured skies and air so clean its taste is still fresh in my mind.

 

Lilandra, my wife rose with me and we broke fast. We lived without fear of the future, clothed in the promise of children together. She carried our child inside her, and each morning, my lips pressed against the curve of her stomach before my work took me to the woods.

 

My hunt took me all over, and sometimes it would be dusk before my return home. The hunt had been plentiful and my pockets were full with coins from the meat sold at Syngorn but it was dark before home fell into my vision.

 

Beneath the darkness came my doom.

 

Crinamorte.

 

A clan of vampires, and undead allies, travelling south and wreaking havoc along the way. At the time, such news had not reached our part of the world, but my education began with Lilandra’s screams from our home tree.

 

She was bound at the wrists and ankles, whilst they waited for my return. A pair, male and female, clad in ragged finery and teeth shining with blood. They moved, too fast to be seen and dashed me to the ground.

 

When my senses returned, Lilandra was drained of blood and one of them took a knife to her belly. She looked up, and there was a shred of something pink at the corner of her mouth.

 

My mind broke at that point. They left me, insensible and wounded and set fire to my house. As they left, between broken and bleeding lips, my question amused them.

 

‘Why?’

 

The male, with his bald, pale head smiled and cocked his head, revealing his dripping, sharp fangs.

 

‘You were home.’

 

They left me to the flames.

 

I crawled away and fell to the forest floor, watched my house and wife burn. I laid there for days, waiting to die until a pair of travellers gave me aid and healing. My burnt and broken flesh renewed, but my mind?

 

No, not all of it healed.

 

In Syngorn, my remaining time was set to the task of drinking myself to death. Someone heard my oft-repeated tale and took pity on a soul-sick wood elf, which was how Ulrich found me.

 

He hunted monsters, and the undead were his most hated foe. He listened to me, swathed in a fur cloak with a mastiff bitch at his feet whilst he poured me wine to keep me talking. When my story ended, he offered to take up my cause. In a moment of terrible clarity, I decided a revenge delegated was a revenge denied. I asked him to teach me his ways and he looked at me with disdain.

 

Two shots with a borrowed shortbow into a wine butt convinced him of my utility. He clapped my shoulder and laughed with surprise. His tutelage was unsparing and cruel but my rage and grief drove me to excel. My expertise as a hunter and woodsman put me in good stead to absorb his lessons.

 

My first kill was good but it did not ease the call for vengeance which howled in my bones. Vampires were powerful, and so Ulrich taught me the strategies to kill the undead. Before long, Ulrich’s eyes saw less and he walked slower than before. After a long night helping Grimm, his bitch mastiff give birth to a litter of puppies, he fell asleep and did not awake. All but one of the pups died, and Grimm never recovered, and so after burying them all, I returned to Syngorn.

 

I paid for information on the Crinamorte from the Sparrows. It was not good news, they had power and influence in addition to their undead curse. The undead were growing bolder, and now I had burdened myself with a debt to a guild of thieves.

 

A boat awaits, and the first opportunity to repay this debt. It will take resources and planning to take them down, allies too, if such can be found.  

 

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