Note – The Author Visits received a copy of Shadowcursed in exchange for an honest review.
Bolen is a thief, plying his trade under the spires of an ancient and sprawling city. Worried that he's growing too old, Bolen has lined up a risky job, just to prove that he can still pull one off.
Tonight, he's going to break into a nobleman's vault and help himself to its contents. What he doesn't know is that inside is the key to a secret as old as the city itself.
Kings have killed for it, demons have coveted it, priests have prayed for it, and in a few moments it will be in his hands. And when it is, the adventure of his life will begin.
Shadowcursed by Gelo R. Fleisher is a well-written novella that reads swiftly despite being pint-sized. But do not let that fool you, the story of Bolen is well-rounded, shrouded by mystery that unravels with controlled pacing to reveal an unique storyline – centered around a precious statue.
Bolen is a thief, aimless with few prospects. With no real skills save thieving, he realizes there is little value in the life he’s led. That is until an opportunity to steal from the Mad King presents itself. Bolen robs the crazy Falasade but the thing he’s stolen profoundly impact his life. The statue he’s taken is far more precious than the cost of the rubies from which it is created.
Bolen is called upon a withered old man named Markus who demands the thief bring him the already stolen statue otherwise face death.
As the remainder of the story unfolds, the nature of the statue, the implication the statue has for both Falasade and Markus and the aftermath of the Bolen’s failure to deliver the statue to the vile man is divulged and whatever notion I had of the ending isn’t exact which adds to the enjoyment of reading Shadowcursed.
The catalyst for Bolen’s self-realization and self-rectification is the statue. However, his decision to make amends comes both from counsel and a sheer desire to redefine his life’s purpose.
Shadowcursed is a distinct story. Well-structured and paced, Fleisher is adept with the organization of plot and the usage of fluid language, drawing imagery that transfixes the reader, luring them into Bolen’s brittle world overruled by Falasade’s ferociousness.
Shadowcursed has paranormal elements entwined with a slant of spiritualism which I definitely appreciated adding to the noteworthiness of Bolen’s story.
My rating? A five-star must read. Bolen’s transformation from flawed to redeemed, regardless of reason makes Shadowcursed an effortless read.