Book Review: "All My Crimes" by Tal Valante

Cover Photo courtesy of Riptide
Publishing -- all rights reserved
"All My Crimes" by Tal Valante is a fantasy fiction story with adult themes. It is set in a world where humans have just defeated the race of the elves in a fell swoop that is soon revealed to have been nothing short of a massacre, but whose fault is it? The story is told from the perspective of Lord Teregryn Eve, a former lover of the human king and former prisoner of the elves. He is recovering after a respite of two years following the war. He cannot remember those two years and might just be better off that way.

In a very short span, Tal Valante manages to conjure a story that could easily be called an epic with just a few tweaks. It sweeps across years and even generations if one looks deeply at the story. Tal whips up magical lore that most authors take many chapters and sometimes even many novels to create. By simply displaying the powers that some characters have and using her narrator's memories, she skips the lengthy descriptions and dialogue that would have transformed "All My Crimes" into a 1,000-page novel.

Perhaps the best thing about "All My Crimes" is the way this single novelette encompasses so many themes. Most short stories will focus on one or just a few things. Fear, grief, anger and revenge are just a few of the themes that can drive a short plot to a satisfying end. Tal Valante incorporates magic, war, revenge, genocide, love, friendship, fear, murder, anger, sorrow and even more. Maybe another reviewer will find something negative to say about "All My Crimes" by Tal Valante, but having just read it and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish, I simply cannot. Tal Valante is certainly one to watch.

Shelly Barclay

No comments:

Post a Comment