July 3, 2011

Review: The Black God's War, by Moses Siregar

The Black God's War: A Novella Introducing a new Epic FantasyAuthor: Moses Siregar
The Black God's War: A Novella Introducing a new Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Kindle Editions (2010)

Go to Amazon page

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Her father-king wants war. Her messianic brother wants peace. The black god wants his due. She suffers all the consequences. King Vieri's war against the lands of Pawelon rages into its tenth year, and with the kingdom's holy savior, his son, en route to the fighting in the storied canyon, victory ought to come soon. Blocked after every effort and feeling abandoned by his god, King Vieri forces young Caio to lead his army to victory. The Black One, Lord Danato, tortures Lucia with nightly visions, promising another ten years of bloodshed. Lucia aligns with her brother to bring about the surrender of Pawelon's Rajah and his mystical sages, for the only alternative is to journey to Danato's macabre underworld to beg for his mercy: A poisoned remedy guaranteeing heartbreak as compensation for the god's assistance. Lucia knows the black god too well, ever since he entered her bed and dreams when she was ten. Now Caio must command his father's army and appeal to his own patron gods for their divine powers. Will the goddess of healing fulfill his martial prayers? And can someone who only wants to heal the world bring himself to kill another man? _______ A 24,000 word novella introducing a new epic fantasy novel by the same title, currently scheduled for release in May of 2011. _______ My name is Moses Siregar III, and you can email me with comments at mosesmerlin@hotmail.com. My blog is called, "Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar ?" and you'll find it at www.ScienceFictionFantasy.net. I hope you'll download the free sample of this work and go on to really enjoy it."  (GoodRead's Blurb)

The Black God’s War is a novella, a teaser for another, full length work that should be coming out this summer. For now, we will only follow part of the full character cast, and there will be resolution to only one story arc.

And it works.

I know I will be reading and reviewing the full thing as soon as possible. Mr. Siregar does an excellent storytelling job in this debut, unfolding pages and pages of a tale spun with a degree of elegance I did not fully expect.

The Black God’s War is a great example of how there are extremely talented indies out there.

Plot wise, the story is alluring. The back-cover blurb serves as a good introduction to the heroine and to the conflict she’ll have to navigate, but still I was utterly surprised by the depth given to both world and characters in only this short introduction.

Surrounding the war and the messianic brother and the endless war, the author touches on some extremely interesting topics such as fanatism, war, duty versus inclination, self versus expectation... And Moses Siregar does that in roughly 15 chapters out of the 85 that should be included in his full novel!

Sometimes I am bothered when authors try to bite more than they can chew on critic writing, or on writing to reflect, but not this time: the prose and style were very good. Mr. Siregar is telling us a tale, and what we learn from it is our own business: it reminds me a bit of Dune in that sense, even if the two books are completely different. He shows us a world, with its own peoples and conflicts and beliefs, and lets us take it from there on our own as he focuses on action and characters.

Characters. Another strong point of this novella. We are introduced to four main ones, Caio and Lucia, siblings, messiah and accosted by the Black God respectively, and Idalio, faithful general and love interest for Lucia. They are all rich and consistent, well developed in the limited space the 27K words of the novella offered. They have potential, and I can’t wait to see where they go from the turning point where the Black God’s War leaves off.

The above mentioned are only the human characters. There’s more, as the title may imply: there are the gods. They walk among their chosen and affect the world through miracles and, sometimes, despicable acts. They remind me a little of Greek and Roman mythology, and the titles and sometimes the flow of the story helps to reinforce this feeling.

And yet, there is not a single info-dump on the whole piece. We see what we need to see, we pick up on what’s happening, and we will be filling the missing pieces as we go. The writing helps to immerse the reader, and it is simply a pleasure to follow along the epic.

Do I have complains? Not very many: there were two typos that escaped the editing process (not jarring; truly minor stuff). There was a prophecy that I’d expect to be very important which could have packed more strength. And there was one turning-point battle scene where I got a bit lost. That’s all. Everything else was smooth as silk and kept me turning pages into the wee hours of the night.

My judgement? An amazing read in its own right. All fantasy lovers should check it out!


  1. Ron, thank you for this review. I love the reason you made the comparison with Dune, because I do hope to say a thing or two without getting in the way of the story. I took that as a really cool and very generous compliment.

    I expect to have the novel out by August 1st. My beta readers all seemed to think it blows the novella out of the water, so I can't wait to see what the reception to the novel will be like.

    Thanks again! You made my day.

  2. You're most welcome! I'm only giving credit where credit is due.

    I will be keeping my eyes open while I wait for the novel release, because I truly want to read the follow up to this novella - I became invested with the characters and the plot, so I'm looking forward to it.

    I wish you the best of lucks with the launching of the novel! You've got the quality, now all that's needed is a bit of fortune.

    And, actually, let me thank you in turn for writing the novel first and foremost, and for dropping my this blog to leave a comment as well.



  3. Hi, Ron! I mentioned you briefly around minute 24 of this podcast. Just sharing in case you'd get a kick out of that :-)


  4. Hello!

    Wow, I sure get a kick out of it! I'm collecting that podcast and calling on my braggin rights! Thanks a lot, not only for mentioning me but for letting me know as well. It is really cool of you!


  5. It is!

    I certainly recommend it - well, now you can even get the full novel, which came out August the first. I intend to review that one as well as soon as I can!