Although the Make Believe Blog Tour has come to a close, I didn’t have the chance during December to talk about some of the other stories in the anthology. I want to take the time, today, to review Petrified by Kelly Said. Since the inspiration for all the anthology stories was the picture on the anthology cover and all the stories have some element of the cover art in them, I think Kelly’s story really embodies the essence of what you see. Here is the blurb on the J. Taylor Publishing site about it:
Petrified by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.
The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.
I absolutely loved the premise of Kelly’s story because I am a fan of the fairy tale with princes and magic and I love a good mystery. She had me at the first sentence, “An aberrant cold whitened the sky and crystallized the air”, which perfectly set the opening scene. Kelly’s description in that one sentence brought up memories of just such a cold. Being a resident of the Canadian prairie where temperatures can drop to thirty below zero for days on end, I have experienced this many times in my life, although that kind of cold was far from ‘aberrant’!
Kelly created some fascinating characters. Prince Sterling August is a strong and honourable man, yet vulnerable in the face of his personal tragedy. His motto ‘Family First’ says a lot about the man, how he thinks of his family before himself. I certainly like a man like that, don’t you?
Lochlyn is a beautiful young Wiccae (white witch) who is summoned to help deal with the obvious magical problem. Although Sterling’s family has linked their own Wiccae to the household, Sterling suspects that she is hiding something, so he is determined to learn her secret.
The story begins with Sterling returning home after investigating the extent to which the unnatural winter had spread. Then, there is a sudden switch to Lochlyn’s perspective in a warm sunny location, which was such a contrast to the dismal weather that the prince was experiencing. This brought home the strangeness of the winter weather weirdness that surrounded Castle Kestral, since elsewhere, the lands were bathed in summer, deepening the mystery.
I have to admit, I was totally off-base when I tried to guess the cause of the ‘aberrant’ cold, which is another reason I liked the story. I don’t like it when I can predict the ending, so this was quite satisfying. I’d definitely recommend Petrified. I think it appeals to a broad audience, but especially to those who like fairy tales, magic, and mysteries. 🙂
To learn more about the author, Kelly Said, come on back here on Sunday, as I will be resuming my interview schedule (if I can find enough willing participants!).