E.J. Wenstrom knows ways to structure her stories around potent, raw emotions. No matter how elating or painful, they wrench your insides, deeply, intimately, in an earthy, down-to-earth and realistic way.
Rain (Chronicles of the Third Realm #0.5) by E.J. Wenstrom In the Beginning, everything was perfect, but something in the middle realm of Terath has gone terribly wrong. After Nia’s father dies from a mysterious illness that even the gods’ First Creatures cannot stop, she grows in isolation amidst the fear and suspicion from her village. So when an impulsive moment leads to a passionate romance with an angel, Nia will stop at nothing to keep them together, even defy direct orders from the gods themselves. Meanwhile, the middle realm of Terath begins to show cracks. Both First Creatures and men grow angrier at the gods’ disinterest, and everything the gods put in Order begins to unravel. When Nia’s angel steals magic from one of the gods to enchant her parting gift, it causes a rift that triggers a downward spiral. This novella is a Chronicles of the Third Realm War prequel. Get it for FREE at www.ejwenstrom.com by joining E. J. Wenstrom’s mailing list. (From the author’s website)
Mud (Chronicles of the Third Realm #1) by E.J. Wenstrom (Royal Palm Literary Award’s Book of the Year) Torn apart by war and abandoned by the gods, only one hope remains to save humanity. But the savior isn’t human at all. Trapped by his Maker’s command to protect a mysterious box, Adem is forced to kill anyone who tries to steal it. When a young boy chances upon Adem’s temple, he resists temptation, intriguing the golem. As the boy and his sister convince Adem to leave the refuge of his temple, the group lands in a web of trouble. Now Adem will do whatever necessary to keep his new young charges safe, even if it means risking all to get rid of the box. Their saving grace comes in the form of an angel who offers to set Adem free of the box’s magic by granting his greatest desire—making him human. But first, Adem must bring back the angel’s long-dead human love from the Underworld. In doing so, he will risk breaking the barrier between the realms, a cataclysm that could launch the Third Realm War. To set things right, he may be forced to give up the only thing he’s ever truly wanted…a chance at a soul of his own. (From the author’s website)
Rain and Mud, Two Stories by E.J. Wenstrom
I did not find clichés in E.J. Wenstrom’s stories. Instead, the author used mythical creatures I thought I knew too well, an angel for instance, or a golem… and she did something wholly unexpected with them. After a delightful series of riveting twists and turns, Wenstrom delivered something both unexpected and inevitable. In both cases.
E.J. Wenstrom’s stories meandered in ways I did not anticipate. Both stories, Rain and Mud, had me absorbed, enthralled and surprised. Delightful.
And forget about simple, cute happy endings. E.J. Wenstrom has better things in store for you. Hats off.
This would be good enough as it is...
But one more aspect of Rain and Mud caused them to stand out in my view.
The stories overflow with raw, intense emotion. E.J. Wenstrom knows ways to structure her stories with these strong, potent emotions at their core, and also, to infuse each and every scene with a powerful emotional intensity. No matter how elating or painful, these emotions wrench your insides, deeply, intimately, in an earthy, down-to-earth and realistic way.
Wenstrom doesn’t need to tell, or show, how her characters feel. Instead, she reaches deep under the surface of your awareness, and she gets you to actually experience what the characters are going through. You get to live through the same burning need they do, the same pain and damnation, the same hope and despair. I see no better way to closely connect with the characters in a story.
This is inspirational to me as a growing writer. Now, I will seek to master that skill for myself.
Rain and Mud
Rain is a prequel novella of the Chronicles of the Third Realm War series, and the author gives it away for free on her website... And as soon as I finished reading Rain, I went and purchased the first full novel of the series, Mud.
I didn’t regret it.
Fantasy meets mythology!
As a former classical singer, I was already familiar with the myth of Orpheus, because of the well-known operas based on it by composers like Monteverdi and Gluck. Mud offers an original take on the myth. It's abundantly inventive, amusing, lovely, and gut-wrenching.
In fact, I never saw the final twist coming. After several months, I’m still thinking about it.
Some stories just stick with you until you give in. This one certainly does. Now I yearn to read the whole series, and I will. Adding the two next books of the series to my reading list: Tides and Sparks.
Get Rain from E.J. Wenstrom's Website (it's free)
Get Mud from amazon (affiliate link)
The Author E. J. Wenstrom believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so the left side can walk. Her award-winning fantasy series Chronicles of the Third Realm War features a mashup of mythology, folklore, and a little chaos. It starts with Royal Palm Literary Award Book of the Year Mud (#1), Tides (#2), and Sparks (#3), as well as the prequel, Rain (#0). (Bio from the author’s website)
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