In a world beyond imagination one man returns to the land he once knew only to find it changed beyond all recognition and overrun by evil. But with companionship and love he may just make it through. This is his story. (from Smashwords)
“Return to Mercya (Part 1)” by Mark Ruckledge, is a short fantasy story. Not a genre I generally read, but after email correspondence with the author, I agreed to take a chance on Mark’s story. In exchange for an impartial review, Mark gifted me with a copy of his writing.
It took me a few starts and restarts to get familiar with Mark’s writing, mainly learning names of people and places, and trying to keep in mind I was reading a fantasy – that I need not expect the same plotline as, for instance, an historical novel. Having to focus on the genre I was reading, helped me to focus on the plotline. It was an opportunity to relax my mind from “the typical”, and simply enjoy the travels of the main character, as he sorted through his life’s journey to date.
In this short story we see challenges, happiness, and romance between characters. Jil Iliminiel is Brendel’s love interest; the Shadowland Emperor and Empress his enemies. Although, due to this work being a short story, neither relationship is explained fully, or is detailed enough. For that to happen Mark would need to write a full length novel, this short story is just that, a short story. The story did wrap up at a specific junction in the action, but has left a number of questions unanswered. Since the story’s title includes the words “Part 1”, there are expectations of future twists in the plot.
One comment I will make is this: I found the ending of the story to be a little confusing. I was taken aback, and flipped back pages looking to find at least partial clarification – which I did find. Yet, even so, the ending left me feeling a little lost. (To say anything more would be nearing story spoilers, so I will stop there).
One aspect of Mark’s writing style is his use of extended sentences, with little or no punctuation. This left me a little breathless at times, and caused me to re-read paragraphs, to ensure I was correctly following the plot.
All in all, I am happy that I read Mark Ruckledge’s fantasy short story, and I will be on the lookout for Part 2. For the fantasy readers out there, I do recommend that you read “Return to Mercya”. Then, come back here, and let me know what you think.
Where is “The Joy of the Written Word” in today’s post? For me, the Joy has been casting my reader hooks a little towards Fantasy Short Stories! Thank you, Mark!