This week the mysterious Richard Writhen drops by to review–Oh, wait, no! He’s gone and dumped the review on one of his characters! The sod!
A Kicked Cur: A Waste Of My Time And Yours
by Michael Sirus Meyer, the star of A Host Of Ills
Please give me allowance to preface this essay. I am neither a reviewer by trade nor a writer, and only a sporadic reader; as I rarely find the time. I am an amanuensis by trade, and in the employ of one of the greatest precious metal industrialists that the great realm of Khlarion has ever seen. I am but a layman, if you will understand; so, when I was “asked” to review A Kicked Cur by some raggedy individual that introduced himself to me only by the moniker of “Richard Writhen,” of course I politely declined. However, the persistent bugger hounded my very steps down the badly cobbled streets, and I could not safely sleep in my bungalow on Milbury Street without hearing his wolf-like howls outside my window at all hours of first clock. So, here’s the final review, all ready to be safely sealed and delivered over to the Pylon Press Building. Perhaps you, my dear reader, will find some small modicum of enjoyment in it; which is quite a bit more than I can say for the work being reviewed itself … unfortunately.
To begin with, if you will be so kind as to bear with me, I will relate a little bit about myself. My name is Michael Sirus Meyer, I am indeed a clerk for a great mine-lord, and have been for many years. One Jalas Nadur, originally from the nation far to Khlarion’s southwest, which is named Khunatan, owns practically every active metal mine in the north of the realm, they being interspersed with the Unknown Forest and just south of the mysterious set of island summits known to the citizenry as the Tide Witches. I divide my time between the private sector of Hayderstade, just to the west of Deskordin’s downtown area, which is where I myself am from, as well as the hive-like network of northern caves that yield those materials of great worth and net my boss a good deal of profit; which he might not be able to effectively do, if I may humbly add, without my invaluable services in book-keeping.
So, enough idle chatter, as my father used to say; and on to the document that I have been asked to review. Again, I am by no means a writer, and have never been able to write creative fiction prose with any real ability. But surely, a narrative can be constructed in a more coherent manner than this. A Kicked Cur attempts to tell the story of three average teenagers who live in the downtown Deskordin area; which I know well, being as I attended college near where the story takes place. They encounter a spot of trouble when they see something that they are not meant to, and are set aflight and run home in order to regroup; bold warriors these are not. I won’t give away much more of the “tale,” if you would choose to call it that, but suffice it to say, they are hard-pressed to come up with a strategem to deal with the problem they encounter, as it involves a blood witch and her three vampire lackeys. The result is so anti-climactic that a scene involving the male teen having breakfast with his father one morning is one of the most suspenseful in the entire piece. And said father mentions Drackhon, another nation that lies dead west of Khlarion, asserting that it is in fact infested with more blood magicians and vampires; this cannot be true, as everyone knows that Drackhon is merely a wide, flat land which is composed mostly of swamps save for a few historical ruins, just some old castles and the like.
Mr. Writhen certainly has quite the imagination, unless he purports to predict the future, something which no human being can do … with any accuracy. Frankly, that’s part of the work’s overall inconsistency. I’m not sure when A Kicked Cur is supposed to be set, it being such a disorganized mess; but his flippant flair and supposition of the day-to-day reality that actually exists in The Great City of Deskordin is, in a word … simply monstrous. Again, I am struggling to not give too much away. But these children wind up in their basement telling ghost stories or the like by lantern light. And there’s this gods awful sub-plot regarding some lawmen … er, sheriffs … hill sheriffs, is it? … that hold their headquarters far to the northeast of the city proper in the lowly sector of Heavenward. And believe you me, this is where this novella is stretched to its thinnest; everyone with any sense whatsoever knows that the area is a mere disreputable hell that no lawman would even set one booted foot in, let alone call home.
A grotesque blot on our reality, it is no more than tens upon tens of square miles of rundown buildings, broken alleyways, burned-out coaches and broken glass … covered by packs of roving vagrants so debauched that they take to eating each other due to the scarcity of food. A horrific place; and that is why the text of this work rings so false. It’s so unrealistic that I can barely write about it with a straight face, let alone relate that to someone in person. Well, nevermind. Suffice it to say, A Kicked Cur belongs on the bookshelf of no sane individual, or on that of anyone with any taste in literature. Frankly, I immediately burned the infernal manuscript that the psychopath had given me when I had finished reading it, damn him and his incessant howling to hell. When I rise to my window, I swear I can see him there, subtly backlit by the sporadic streetlamps. And all of that would be all well and good … but gods, now how do I get this review over to the press …?
Links and Sundry
FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/wrychardwrycthen/
Gothdark Speculative Fiction FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787935258093459/
A Host Of Ills: https://www.amazon.com/Host-Ills-Shades-Cedron/dp/1520448376/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1488133880&sr=8-2&keywords=richard+writhen
A Kicked Cur: https://www.amazon.com/Kicked-Cur-Rotes-Rena/dp/1520413203/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1488133880&sr=8-3&keywords=richard+writhen
The Hiss Of The Blade: https://www.amazon.com/Hiss-Blade-Celestial-Ways-Saga/dp/1520461747/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488133880&sr=8-1&keywords=richard+writhen
Two other articles / features about Richard’s work:
Richard Writhen’s Bio:
Originally from Rhode Island, Richard Writhen also lived in NYC for about ten years. He has been e-published on several notable sites such as the MightyThorJRS Blog, Techzwn.com, Grimdarkmagazine.com and Ragnarokpub.com and is the author of three novellas on Amazon KDP; A Kicked Cur, A Host of Ills and The Hiss Of The Blade. Richard also writes short form in the styles of Gothdark, Grimdark, GDSF and Psychological Horror, and will eventually be exploring the weird west.