Awake. Trapped beneath the rubble of an avalanche and circled by bickering vultures flying overhead, Grindor the Ravenous is pulled from the debris and rescued from almost certain death. Though, during recovery, he finds himself in a whole new world of trouble as his savior, Ocamyr, is holding him captive. Ocamyr, a large man-sized hawk, has grown obsessive over how Grindor obtained his master’s ring. Worse still, the vultures are following him. Grindor realizes he needs Ocamyr’s help more than ever and for better or for worse, decides to tell Ocamyr the tale of the ring. Discover Grindor’s past, learn how he got his name and the story behind his ring in this no-holds-barred fantasy adventure!
I can’t say I was expecting much from the above blurb; I’ve never heard of the author, I was wary of reading about man-sized hawk creatures, and the cover is terrible. I got it as a spur of the moment purchase on Kindle some time ago (it was free). And I’m so glad I did.
It was good. Very good, even. The man-sized hawk creatures weren’t as ludicrous as I’d imagined (they’re called Avians because, of course they are), and the writing is actually very good. Mr. Diglio is, indeed, a skilled writer with an eye for prose. Don’t judge a book by its cover, indeed. The short story is part of the world of his series-in-waiting called The Blacksmiths, the first installment of which is called The Soul Smith.
The Soul Smith has an interesting background. It was actually on everybody’s favorite crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter. While Kickstarted is a natural place to fund smartwatches, game consoles and potato salads, it’s not a platform I would have expected to be responsible for allowing Fantasy novels to get published. But, apparently, that’s exactly what happened here. Diglio ran a Kickstarter campaign to get funding for his (already completed) novel so he could get it edited and published. Well, he succeeded and the novel should be out any week now.
Speaking of which, there was a preview of The Soul Smith at the end. It was the Prologue of the novel, and boy! It was riveting. A first person narrative of some… thing that is being forcefully transformed into some other thing. Jaws stretched and pulled into a new shape, scales hammered onto raw flesh, eyeballs unceremoniously shoved into the skull… it was brutal, but beautiful. I could really picture everything that was happening. Without a doubt, the best preview I have ever come across. This is how to use a preview to full effect, publishers! Take notice.
Since the point of the short story was to tempt the reader into buying the novel, Mr. Diglio has entirely succeeded. I’m giving it a 5 / 5. And I am definitely looking forward to getting the novel when it is finally published.