Monday, 7 January 2013

Review: Jaludin's Road by M Todd Gallowglas

It is the first day in the trial week for daily short story reviews and today I will give you a short review of a very charming high fantasy novella.

About the author:
M Todd Gallowglas has been a professional storyteller at Renaissance Faires and Medieval Festivals for roughly twenty years. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University in 2009, he used his storytelling show as a platform to launch his fiction career through the wonder of the eBook revolution. His Tears of Rage books, as well as Knight of the Living Dead, and Halloween Jack and the Devil’s Gate sneak onto several Amazon bestseller lists every so often. His short story “The Half-Faced Man” received an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future Contest. He is a regular fiction contributor for the Fantasy Flight Games Inc. With it all, he’s still trying to wrap his head around his success and is trying to find the perfect balance between writing, gaming, and airsoft battles (because it’s not as messy as paintball) on the weekends.

Check out his website at:

Jaludin's RoadJaludin's Road
by M Todd Gallowglas
Self-published, 2011
64 pages (estimated)

This is a novella set in the same world as the 'Tears of Rage' series. And a very interesting world at that, or so it would appear by the little snippets we see of it in this story.
I found Jaludin's Road to be a very charming story. There certainly can be no doubt that this man knows how to write. The only thing that bothered me about the story was that it seemed to be too short in comparison to its potential. I felt like the action had only just begun before it was all over.

The main character, Jaludin, comes home to his village, after having been away for many years, with the intention of staying there. The only problem is that the village has been cursed. He will have to do something about it. And so, (without spoiling any of the details of the hows and whos,) he confronts the wizard responsible for the curse.

Up unto this part the story is right after my head. But then that confrontation with the wizard ruined it a bit for me. It is still very well written and packed with interesting details, but it just somehow seems a bit rushed. I was expecting something really epic and nerve-wrecking, but none of that came. They beat the wizard a little too easily and discovers something unexpected, which I thought was a nice touch, but which could have been executed a little more believably. And then it is over. Quite anticlimatically.

Another thing is that it raises more questions than it answers. For example, Jaludin is named the Ghost Between the Shadows - it is in his past now, but it still sounds way too interesting to not hear more about it! I don't know, though, if this is because it is better explained in the 'Tears of Rage' books. It could be. It better be, because if I were to read those books and not get my thirst on this matter quenched, then I would be disappointed.

M Todd Gallowglas has told me there will be a sequel to this story, though, so there is always hope that we might find out more there.

In the end I give this story three stars; it is really good, but it had the potential to be better yet. 

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