This entry in the Night Angel series is a 50-page short story with an excerpt for another novel attached, making a total of approximately 70 pages in the purchase. The story was actually published almost 3 years after the completion of the original trilogy.
This story was promoted as the backstory of Durzo Blint, which is another way of saying “prequel.” Therefore, since I had not yet started the trilogy, I felt that reading this backstory would give me a greater appreciation of the main character as I worked through the series. I have used this technique before and have not, to this point, regretted that tactic.
At first glance it appears that this entry is told through flashbacks, but I feel the author has actually created this entry by using the story-within-a-story technique. The difference is that the author has Acaelus/Gaelan recount some of his latest adventures to another person directly instead of to the reader through an internal monologue or a third-person POV scenario. The author lets us know early on that Gaelan is lying to the man, but telling the best kind of lies, lies that have a sound basis in truth.
By the time this meeting is over, we have a good idea how Acaelus Thorne became Gaelan Starfire. We have a fair idea as to the source, scope and nature of his powers. And we know how he became the persona of Durzo Blint, the troubled assassin employed by Gwinvere Kirena, aka Momma K.
The writing in this fantasy is excellent and, by the end of the story, Gaelan’s world has a believable substance. Now, however, is the “caveat emptor.”
When I purchased this short story, back in 2011 and shortly after its release, I was quite new to the e-book phenomenon. Somehow the item slipped through the cracks and I am just now getting to sealing up those cracks. The price I paid for this story nearly 3 years ago is the same as its price today – a price I now consider far too high for the quantity of reading material available. While the quality of writing is high and a backstory is always valuable, I consider the cost-to-value derived ratio too high to recommend the purchase of this book.
Cover Art from Goodreads