Seasons of Albadone — Élan Marche & Christopher Warman

Seasons of Albadone is a short book made of short stories, each a bleak but thought-provoking character portrait of a villager living in Albadone. The characterizations are, in my opinion, the strength of the book, and from them, the stories grow and connect beautifully.

I did not know what to expect at first (if a book comes recommended, I pretty much follow it blindly), but the book itself was a ride. It took me to a sleepy, serene village before catapulting me into something darker, more sinister. What I really liked, however, is that this is never really presented as an evil, but rather a necessary force in the balance of nature. The real “evil,” in terms of an intended, immoral harm, comes from the villagers, themselves.

Seasons of Albadone has a pleasant writing style coupled with imaginative descriptions that tickled all the senses. The prose is simple but layered and has the thoughtful, nostalgic feel of a folktale. It took a bit of time to settle into the world—as with many fantasy books—but once I hit Handel, I did not want to let go.

Check it out if you like fantasy fairy tales with a dark twist!

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