Review: Well of Sorrows by Benjamin Tate

Let me start off this review by saying that I really loved this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it but it kept me on my toes throughout the book.

The book begins with the story of Colin Harten emigrating, along with his family from strife-filled Andover to the new lands over the ocean to the east. There immigrants like the Harten family face discrimination in the new provinces from the respectable “old blood” of Portstown. Bullied and beaten, Colin fights back which leads to his family’s eventual decision to head east over the land in search of new land to claim for the Proprietor of Portstown. This first section then follows Colin and all the families who head east with him.

After disaster strikes, Colin drinks from the Well of Sorrows and transforms into something …else. He also learns that the deadly Shadows that live in the eastern forest are hungry to possess the Well of Sorrows and have developed “wraiths” to assist them in their plans.

His eventual return to Portstown leads him to join a group of Alvritshai, one of three races he encountered during the trip east over the plains. The second half of the book then turns to the larger issues of revenge and political intrigue among the three major races: human, Alvritshai and the stout and war-like Dwarren.

In the background, Tate drops hints of war back in Andover over the “Rose” – a potential weapon.

Well of Sorrows is well written and captivating. It blends realism and fantasy beautifully. Every time I thought I knew what would happen next, the book surprised me yet no surprise was jarring – the twists and turns were seamless and inevitable. My one (minor) complaint was the *some* of the dialogue was a little wooden and not natural. It was a little too much Tate trying to tell us something through dialogue. However, this is a small glitch in an otherwise fully developed fantasy book. I look forward to the second book in the series.

Oo0o0o look, an update!

Hello there!  My, it has been a few weeks since my last update. Where shall I begin?

For starters, my writing blog post was accepted, however, not yet published. Hopefully, you will be seeing a post here soon with a link to my article.

Second, I have managed to submit another story, The Elf Trap. This story went through several revisions before anyone ever saw it. My lovely critique group then made some very helpful suggestions and after taking those into consideration, and letting the story stew for a few weeks, I was able to strenghthen it. I’ve taken the plunge and submitted it to Realms of Fantasy. Might as well start big, right?

Third, not so much news as a report that I have not yet heard back about my story Need. It’s been almost eight weeks, which is the projected turnaround time for a response but I’m not banging down that publication’s doors. Yet.  🙂

Fourth, my fellow writing group associate from the South Jersey Writer’s Group, Christine Hardy, is having a contest at her blog. Just become a follower to win some prizes. I’ve read the beginning of her novel in progress and I can say that she is one talented writer.

http://thewritershole.blogspot.com/2010/08/finally-contest.html

Next up, a post about submitting short stories, taken from my work for a recent writing group meeting.