Kindle Edition, 74 pages
Published: March 23, 2015 by Reid Publishing
Setting: Fictional Universe
Alila, a young woman of noble birth, and Mokom, son of commoners, are training for knighthood. If they persevere and rise above the competition, they’ll have the opportunity to join the Knight’s Defendant. Alila faces a daunting challenge: it’s unprecedented for a woman to become a knight. And to complicate matters further, she and Mokom develop a tender and difficult relationship.
In the years to come they’ll experience adventure, heroism, and devastating grief, culminating in a time paradox that threatens their survival.
Sorry … that’s all you get. I’m trying hard to avoid spoilers. 🙂
The first thing an author needs to do, to win my heart, is draw me into the characters’ world in some way and make me care. Time’s Prison accomplished that immediately. The two protagonists are lightly drawn but engaging and easy to love.
The worldbuilding also absorbed me. The author has a strong eye for descriptive detail and a knack for creating a unique, believable world without too much explanation. The realm in Time’s Prison is based on a philosophy of symmetry. (Notice that the characters’ names are anagrams. Call me out on my nerdery if you will, but I thought that was cool.) This belief system and culture, which reflect shades of Eastern thought, are lightly drawn in a way that is fascinating and believable. And the climax, with the time paradox, is clever.
My only complaint, which has more to do with the novella form than the author’s work, is that I was left wanting the deeper character and story development a full-length novel would have provided.
This exceptionally imaginative fairy tale and fantasy novella won me over. I recommend it to fans of high fantasy, especially those who enjoy novellas. And I’ll definitely take a look at this author’s other writing, especially his longer work.