Fiction Friday: Faêl

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We read a lot of stories, but how about raiding some tombs for a goddess with no name? That’s all we need sometimes.

Today’s short story is Faêl, by Tobi Ogundiran, as featured in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. You can find it here. A story of mythology, spelunking, and of course, finding some dark secret. So let’s get to exploring (because we have more of that coming soon).

The powerful witch.

The story follows Sùr and his fellow friends as they search for a resting spot of his lover, Shiera, who had been turned to stone. However, they’re not the only ones seeking revenge on the witch-king, Elehua, who wants the power of the three moons for himself.

Stuff like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones makes me appreciate the concept of exploration. Seeing other worlds and finding hidden treasure has always been a loving interest of mine, and no doubt this captures it for the adult in me. While it’s not the big treasure hunt, it has that same spirit in its own unique way. Three goddesses, representing the three moons, vanish after the witch-king steals their power and becomes an unstoppable force.

Places like Africa and Asia always have something for many a treasure hunter. I could feel the sense of the author’s home country as I explored this world. I always enjoy seeing the world from another character that isn’t my own, and see the world from their eyes.

Sùr was a very cool character to follow. He’s calm, calculated, and yet he feels in over his head sometimes. I’d love to see more of him if for seeing a unique spin on the explorer hero. Maybe not in this sense, this story had a full tale throughout, but something similar to it. I love the Indiana Jones types as much as the next dude, but seeing him in action, I’d love to see stories with other types of characters in other parts of the world. I’m sure there’s plenty, so do recommend some if you can.

Anyway, I was curious as to what the Faêl actually are. I’m assuming they’re an immortal race native to this world, because they alluded to their ears being different. Might just be me, but it might not have been entirely clear if these were immortal humans, or another sub-race entirely. Or I could just be wrong entirely. Not a complaint, per se, but definitely something that could have been made clearer.

The description gave off an eerie tone as well. It gave a clear vision of where I was and what the heroes were up to. I enjoyed seeing this band of explorers finding something for his lover and dealing with mythological beings in the process. These are the types of stories I enjoy and with a unique spin on the trope, I can’t help but fall in love with this story (as I usually do).

The only thing I can say is that I wish there was more of a beginning and a better explanation as to how we got here. We know that Sùr’s lover turned to stone, but I wasn’t sure how it happened in the first place. I would have loved to have seen more of an opening sequence of events to suggest how we got to this point instead of being at the climactic moment immediately like most stories do. Although the flow was fine, I wanted to know more about the world and its characters.

Some stories feel like complete books in such few words and others feel like situations. Neither side is bad and almost feels like nitpicking at times, but I have plenty of interests in unique worlds, whether based on real life. Any time I do comment on the world, it’s a desire to see more of this universe and it’s people. If it makes me invested in it’s lore, than the story did its job.

Final thoughts.

This was a great exploration story about honor and vengeance that gives a gripping story is such few words. I loved seeing Sùr face the odds and honor his lover, Shiera and face against powerful deities by himself. It felt like a movie playing out in my head. Definitely give this a read when you can.

Score:

+ A gripping explorers tale.

+ Very good plot twist.

+ Sùr is a great character

+ A powerful story all the way through.

Final Score:

5/5 – Amazing story


That’s all for today. If you liked this post and want to see more, I have a Ko-Fi page set up. Why spend three bucks on a Starbucks Coffee when you can help support hard-working authors like me? Every bit helps and keeps me going. So thank you, and remember, the inn is always open.

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