By Jesse Teller
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2017
Release Date: April 15, 2017
Mestlven: A Tale from Perilisc is a bloody tragedy set in the fantastic city of Mestlven. Taking many odd turns and dancing with the goddess of death, it chronicles the vengeance of the madwoman known as Sob and the justice that chases after her.
This is a dark and twisted story. The city of Mestlven is a sick place and good people are incredibly rare. Sob's path of revenge is strewn with the bodies of the wicked and the innocent alike. She is a cruel woman who is outright insane, which is written really well. Chapters from her point of view are clearly written to have something of an unreliable narrator. Her anger and insanity are somewhat justified, considering her backstory, but the author never hides from the fact that she is cruel and ruthless.
This is a tale where not everyone ends up being what they seem. There is both redemption and damnation to be had, and sometimes it can be uncertain as to which is which. Moral ambiguity is, however, avoided - right is right and wrong is wrong, for all the difference it seems to make - but the complexity of people in awful situations is played out in the fullest.
This is a violent book with quite a bit of sexuality thrown in. It resembles a very dark Dungeons and Dragons setting in the corruption and near-lawlessness of the city of Mestlven, and the only divinities on display are warped and cruel. It is not a novel for the faint of heart, but it manages to avoiding being grotesque or pornographic; there's a point to the violence and the sex for either plot or character development.
Mestlven is a very dark and interesting novel. It's not gentle, but it offers an interesting look at madness, love, kindness, and hope in a setting where good men and women are in short supply.
"What would their reaction be tomorrow, when they realized they had been hard at work while all the residents of Sorrow Watch were murdered in their sleep?"
Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.
He lives with his supportive wife, Rebekah, and his two inspiring children, Rayph and Tobin.
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