Thank you so much to Autranum for providing a copy of Esther Praise’s Forbidden in exchange for an honest review!
Ariran is a High Priest of a kingdom, a seer, and a powerful connection between the Royal gods and the humans. But when Ariran and the goddess and heiress of the Royal kingdom falls in love with each other, a war between the deities looms over them, and Ariran must choose which side to fight for.
This was such a short, sweet tale of an undying love that surpasses all barriers of the world. I’m not sure if the characters are based on a specific mythology but nevertheless, I enjoyed it. It managed to bring a solid world-building for such a short story and its given plot but I think this would have been done wonderful as well if done in a novel-length epic fantasy. Based on the information dropped by the characters, there are more stories that need to be delved into, and it still has an expansive world-building that it needs to show. Perhaps it could show more of how the relationships between the characters were born and nurtured until it became the solid friendship and love this story has shown. It can also show the structure of the kingdom, the world, and the story of its myth.
The premise of the story is good, it just lacks more description. It does not fully engage us and pull us into the story. The prose is beautiful but it could have been more to fully ensnare the reader to the beauty of this story’s world. One thing that bothered me while I was reading it though was the voice of the characters. It was inconsistent. Sometimes they sounded high beings and high ranking officials, and other times they sounded like high school students. I do love the characters. Their voices are different from each other, their personalities are established and they have quirks that make you love and hate them. It’s just the way the dialogue is written that sometimes puts me off.
Nevertheless, Forbidden is a good short story that has the characters, the premise, and the myth. Definitely a recommended read, perfect for those who wish to read a short epic fantasy mixed with mythology.