Book Review : Celadonian Tales Vol 1: Blood and Brass
Book by Walter Shuler
Review by S. Dewar
I just finished this book a day or two ago and couldn’t wait to review it. If you don’t know who Walter Shuler is you can check out an interview I conducted with him a few weeks ago.
Celadonian Tales is a collection of 3 short stories based around the in the city of Celadon, interspersed with a small story of two travellers, one telling the tales to the other. Basically this a narrative device which allows the stories to seem as though they’re being regaled upon you as you wait by the campfire on your way to the city of Celadon. I actually really liked the irascible brogue of the narrator between stories and it immediately hooked me. I had a feeling from the start that I was going to love the book.
Book looked great on Kindle app on my PC but not so great on my Kobo. For some reason when playing the EPUB file on my Kobo the new stories didn’t start on new pages but just seemed to just appear wherever the last story finished, whether it was mid-page or not.
This is obviously going to be a challenge for self publishing authors who have to format files for multiple devices etc and for the life of my I can’t see whether or not it was an issue with my Kobo or the EPUB file. Either way it didn’t detract from the reading so it wasn’t a huge issue.
- The Clockwork Men
Basically this is a story about enchanted Gollum type machines created by an alchemist and the politics and ethics around it. Once you see where this particularly story is going, it is slightly predictable but there’s not much that could’ve prevented that given that it’s short story. Despite that, the story is well written and well executed and you don’t feel cheated if you’ve worked out where its headed and there is a pretty good fight scene in there to boot.
I particularly liked the protagonist of this story and felt that his thoughts and concerns regarding events surrounding him were well written and had a very genuine ring to them.
- Behind the Red Door
This is basically a “Thief who got more than he bargained for” type story. I noticed one little annoying thing in this story. The author seemed to say the main character’s name a lot during the story, even when there were no other characters “on screen”. It seemed a bit redundant and I feel it served to remove you further from the character in what should’ve been quite a suspenseful part of the story (e.g breaking into a house.). This was just my impression and it may not be something that was overly noticeable or would’ve phased other readers.
That small niggling issue aside, this story was actually totally kickass. The fight scene was “on the edge of your seat” action with an element of horror that was really well written. Hooray for tentacles! It really left you thinking “How is the main character gonna get out of this??”, which is EXACTLY what you want in any book.
- Beneath the Stone
The third story was also a solid addition to the set and is a story of betrayal by family, regicide and evil magic. I enjoyed this story and it was a great accompaniment to other tales and added to the atmosphere and the story of the city of Celadon.
Basically it’s a really solid book that kept me thoroughly enjoyed for a couple of hours with 3 intriguing tales.
I’m not sure how regular my book reviews are going to be or what rating system I’m going to use but if I had to give this a 4/5 or 8/10.
It was a ripping read and thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to more short stories from the author plus seeing what he can do with the longer novel format.