*I received an ecopy of this book to review*
Wergild: A Heartwarming Tale of Coldblooded Vengeance by Boris L. Slocum
“Tormented, robbed, and murdered by their Gheet neighbors, the Surrey folk of the County of Blenheim are a battered and cowed people in their own land. It’s what happens when you lose a war.
Deirdre is just a Surrey farm-girl, but when the Gheet murder those she holds most dear, she refuses to sit around and wait for her own slaughter. She wants justice, she wants vengeance, she wants blood, and she’s willing to do anything to get it, even if that means selling her soul to the Fiend, a dark and malevolent creature that lurks in the far-off barrow in the blackest woods of the forest.
One way or the other, she’ll have her vengeance.”
This review is going to be rather short because Wergild is a short story with about 100ish pages, so obviously I can’t go into depth without giving the whole story away!
When I started this short story, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, I knew that it was about Deirdre wanting revenge from the death of her sister, but I wasn’t expecting the acceptance of people who are inherently “evil” or those from different parts of the world.
Deirdre strikes up a deal with a Fiend in order to get revenge after the death of her sister that is the final thing that sets her over the edge. She turns to one of the things that everyone discourages children from seeking out because she is tired of the way that people are dismissing the deaths around her.
“I …,” she again sputtered. “There’s nothing left. They took everything … my brother, my sister. And no one will do anything … anything. I need to do something!” A terrible trembling beset her, a worse quaking even than inspired by the Fiend. “I’m not going back,” she blubbered. “I can’t.”
Personally, I’m not very familiar with fiends in stories, but I knew that they are those creatures that aren’t known to be the good guys. It surprised me to see the level of compassion and care that the Fiend shows towards Deirdre (and later Isabel once she joins the two on their journey). Deirdre isn’t ever truly afraid of the Fiend, sure she may be taken a back by something he does, but she is never fearful of him and his habits.
“The scallywag was up to something, and she intended to know what.”
Deirdre stands up to the Fiend and isn’t afraid to speak her mind when she doesn’t agree with him even though he has the power to kill her or even worse. I think that may be the reason as to why the Fiend has taken a liking to her because she doesn’t cower in his present but stands up to him and gives it back to him.
“If this was what passed for a fiend, Deirdre should have saved herself the trouble and sought the assistance of a barnyard kitten.”
Although this is a short story about a girl driven by revenge, there is also themes like compassion and finding out there is more to the world that what we are told.
“A book is a friend that doesn’t judge us for our neglect and that always greets us warmly when we return.”
Happy reading until next time,