Novella, Fantasy, Faerie Tale
Amazon Digital; February 21, 2019
41 pages (ebook)
4 / 5 ✪
And They Were Never Heard From Again is a teaser tale from They mostly Come Out at Night author Benedict Patrick. This tale—or tales (if you get the omnibus version)—can act as an introduction to Yarnsworld, without getting the reader too attached to any one character or place. See that’s the thing with Yarnsworld—the stories jump around, like Discworld. So you’ll have stories set in the same world, but often none of them will share characters. This novella serves as a glimpse into the world, but don’t expect to be hearing from the denizens of this short anytime soon.
I mean, especially with the title and all.
The story centers on two brothers. The live in a little town, surrounded completely by forest. Each night the townsfolk lock themselves away in their cellars, fearful at what the night will bring. For every villager knows the stories—each one more bloody than the last. Of what lurks in the darkest corners of the wood. Of what more comes out at night. And of what happens when someone encounters one of these creatures. Hint: it’s in the title.
There is but one nightly visitor of the forest not feared: the Magpie King. Myth and legend and ruler wrapt into one, he patrols their forest searching out the lost, the vulnerable, the beasts that lurk and prowl. Each he deals with in turn. Tad loves the tales, especially the Magpie King’s. But there is one that he loves more than any other—that of the Bramble Man. The terrifying beast that Tad himself invented, and whose legend he’s spread far and wide, despite his five years. Felton cares little for these stories. Tad’s older brother is more interested in a certain farm village, beyond the forest’s reach. A certain village, with a certain girl. But when Felton whisks his little brother off on an adventure to court said girl, he forgets two important details. One, the road is long, and night is never far away. And two, sometimes stories are just stories, but other times they can take on a life of their own.
I was pretty much captivated with this tale. The setting, the dark vibe, the people that lock themselves in, the many faerie tales of Yarnsworld. I’ve never finished They Mostly Come Out at Night, but there were extenuating circumstances—when I was reading it, I quite liked the vibe, the fables, though it did reek a bit of inexperience. And They Were Never Heard From Again was just enough to make me want to dive back in, something to whet my appetite. The ending, however, I didn’t care for. But I won’t spoil it. Sufficient to say it’s a resolution I wouldn’t’ve used, and leave it there.
If you’re interested, give it the tale a try. The kindle version is free right now, so there’s nothing to lose. If you enjoy it, you can even pick up an omnibus of shorts from Yarnsworld free, direct from the author. And if you enjoy that as well, you can get into his proper novels in the world. Or, you could check out his Kickstarter on now—he’s on Book #5 of Yarnsworld, To Dream and Die as a Taniwha Girl—there’s even an option to pick up his complete works, if you’re in a gambling mood. Or if you’re completely sold. Otherwise, it’s cool—there’s always more out there to read!