Part of Tavenor’s expanding Compendium, ‘Legacy of Light’ is nicely put together; a series of three short stories featuring his debut novella, ‘Legion of Mono’, sandwiched between the newer ‘Hammer of Maripes’ and ‘Thunder of Ermo’.
There are some interesting aspects to the world-building that really serve to draw in the reader; the lore and religion stand out, in particular, though these borrow somewhat from Earth history and therefore have an advantage in that we feel like we already know them. The characterisation was pretty solid, and created some very likeable and not-so-likeable players. However, some of these are lost to us seemingly too soon, perhaps due to the brevity of the stories, and the dialogue sometimes struck me as being too modern, which personally I find off-putting in Fantasy writing. In fact, there were some odd word choices in the narration on a couple of occasions, too, though as I am unsure if what I read was an advance copy of this triptych, I shan’t highlight those in the hope that they will have been picked up pre-publication.
Another plus for Tavenor’s work, is that it is always good to see an LGBTQ+ relationship depicted without fuss, militant evangelism or screaming ‘MESSAGE’; this is love, and just as valid as any other love, so why make something major of it? Its subtle acceptance within the tale leads to subtle acceptance by the reader – and such small acts are what great changes begin from. See Ursula K Le Guin’s ‘Left Hand of Darkness’ for a fine example of how to do this respectfully (reviewed here).
It’s a promising beginning to a Fantasy world that could do with more fleshing out, being given more space to ‘breathe’, and more opportunity to explore. As Tavenor has already expanded upon a smaller part of this tale in order to create this longer version, I suspect that this world building will only get better and more involved; as it was, I was left feeling that all we really did was skim the surface, and that to plumb the story’s full potential will take more time, more ‘room’, and more ideas.
But worry not – I am sure Tavenor has plenty of those!
If only they knew us as more than accursed.
The Holy Empire hates the People of Light. Maripes, arriving in its capital, seeks to save his people from certain destruction. The Inquisition seeks theocratic justice, and it will stop at nothing to rid the world of those it considers evil.
Still, Maripes must try. For if he fails, doom will certainly befall his people. Standing in his way? The High Inquisitor, the Empress, and a million subjects all indoctrinated to believe he is evil incarnate.
Should be an easy task.
Otherwise, his son Mono, a soldier in the legions of their people, will face the fight of his life . . .
I do not get paid for blog tours or reviews, and this is my honest feedback.