My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Review – The Crimson Guild by Allan Walsh (Author Review)
Here is a little blurb, just for this review. The Crimson Guild by Allan Walsh is a fantasy novella about Conall O’Lorcan, a boy with magical abilities, who is forced to leave his village after he loses control. In the outside world, Conall must hide his abilities. After living rough on the streets, he finds refuge in a guild of thieves, but the threat of his secrets always looms over him.
The Bad Stuff: There are parts of the story that are glossed over; some scenes could have been developed to show more of the characters hardship, creating a stronger bond between the reader and the protagonist. The Crimson Guild was originally part of a novel I wrote called ‘Blood Rage’. I split the novel after receiving feedback that there were three distinct stories in the book that would stand alone. As an author, sometimes you can spend your whole life reworking and editing your books and never release them. I fear that if I had decided to go for three novels, I may well have put this series into a drawer and left it there. After all the time and effort I had already invested into ‘Blood Rage’ I really just wanted to release it and move on. So, I tweaked this section of ‘Blood Rage’ into a stand-alone novella and The Crimson Guild was born. I believe it could have been better, but only if I could have shifted my mindset at the time, and I really needed to move on to something new.
The Good Stuff: I think this works well as a stand-alone novella and I really enjoyed writing the banter between the characters. I tried not to saturate the book with description. Personally I think too much description slows the reading and holds a story back, so I have tried to give enough to solidify the world in the readers mind, but not so much that the reader gets bored and closes the book.
Overall this fantasy novella is a quick, fun read. I believe the characters are likeable and, where required, appropriately dislikeable. Some readers may be disappointed that it is only a short story and I’ve glanced over some of the details that could have made this a great novel. Who knows, maybe I will expand it into a novel in the future. As a novella that stands alone and is also part of a bigger story in the ‘Blood Rage’ series, I would have given this 3.5 Golden Bookmarks, but as Goodreads doesn’t do anything in halves, for me, this one just sneaks in and steals 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.
Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.
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