Genre: Fantasy — Grimdark
Series: The Exiled Crown #2
Publisher: Self-published (2017)
Length: 25 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
Continuing his episodic series about a badass princess, Eric Fomley delivers another short and entertaining adventure with Storm Witch. This one is a bit longer than the first installment, allowing him to flesh out our grimdark heroine by revealing her aspirations in life and unveiling a new companion, as well as giving readers a brief glimpse at the larger world Ayla kills people in.
As the bloody fun starts, our grimdark princess and her associate find themselves short of gold and weighing their options when an aristocrat approaches them with a proposal, one they are suspicious of but decide to undertake due to their financial woes. Naturally, things are not as they seem, leading the two into extreme danger and unveiling some harsh truths about the world.
Overall, I enjoyed Storm Witch. It was well written, had nice pacing, and was easy to digest in one short sitting. (Since I read it over lunch, it was perfect for filling my very limited reading time with some grimdark entertainment.) But I did have a couple complaints this time around.
The main issue I had with the tale was its page count: it was too short. Since this was a much more ambitious tale than Forsaken and added several interconnecting plot lines, there just wasn’t enough pages to set them up properly, add suspense, then resolve them in a fitting manner. At least, for me, there wasn’t.
A lesser complaint I had was the absence of any internal contemplation by Ayla. In many stories there isn’t any need for a character’s internal narrative to be mentioned, but here the plot really demanded it, because the princess had to make several important conclusion about circumstances transpiring around here. A quick sentence here or there would have allowed a reader to understand what influenced the princess to decide as she did, which would have only added to the quality of the plot.
A quick, entertaining read, Storm Witch is a fun continuation of Ayla’s story. Reminding me and several other readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s first Witcher collection, I found it to be well worth my short time investment and look forward to reading more about the Princess of Grimdark in the future.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank him for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.