Killer Nashville Book of the Day
“After the Ruin” by Harriet Goodchild / Reviewed by Jonathan Thurston
Never has such a folk fantasy been told before Harriet Goodchild.
“After the Ruin” is her newest novel with a whole new cast of characters! Immediately, she takes us into the fray of a new realm, with the major countries being Ohmorah, the Later Lands, and Lyikene. Goodchild’s beautifully breathtaking world is reminiscent of the lush countryside of Scotland, but don’t let the serenity of the setting fool you: danger lurks in every corner.
Meet Assiolo, the young bard with the troubled past (our Byronic hero). Meet Marwy Ninek, the equally mysterious yet blunt listener. Meet Te-Meriku, the king, once a lonesome and pitiable beggar. Finally, meet Averla, the woman who seeks to play everyone’s hearts in her web of ambition and bring all into ruin.
With a cast of unique characters and a lyrical setting, Goodchild manages to integrate two unlikely genres: folklore and fantasy. Her blend allows for a deeper cultural involvement than the average fantasy epic. Furthermore, her writing reads like the songs she inserts at the beginning of each chapter. This poetic quality reminds readers that, despite its geographic similarities to our own world at times, it is so enchantingly unique.
We have our trickster. We have our hero. We have our princess. We have our broken king. Listen to the song, to all the songs, and let yourself become entranced by the lulling spell Harriet Goodchild weaves for her readers. However, be warned: fire, as warm and comforting as it can be, also has the ability to burn and sear.
Jonathan W. Thurston is a literary studies graduate student. Aside from his studies, he owns a small publishing house called Thurston Howl Publications and serves as its editor-in-chief. He has written several books on his own and always enjoys reading a good horror novel. When he’s not busy with grad school or his business, he is often found reading a good book with hot tea in one hand and his dog Temerita curled up at his feet (she often thinks she is a cat, you see).
(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the irreplaceable assistance of Meaghan Hill, Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at www.KillerNashville.com and www.KillerNashvilleMagazine.com)
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