I recently finished reading a novella by J.M. Guillen called The Herald of Autumn. Below is the review I’ve posted on Amazon and Goodreads…
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Find yourself caught between a centuries-long struggle between spirits of the old world and the new, witness beings of faerie who can make a story real with their powers of Telling, and risk nightmares given form by what lurks in the darkness, just read this book!
This is a fantastic novella. I’m drawn to tales of old-world faeries (the kind of creatures that will steal 2 decades of your life with longing, or strip the flesh from your bones if offended), and The Herald of Autumn doesn’t disappoint. Guillen crafts his writing with an amazing, poetic care that not only makes the world palpable but paints in marvelous fashion the concepts behind it: stones that have never known flight, singing in joy as they’re flung from a sling; the power of a true name; and the titular Herald of Autumn himself. Descriptions of dark things encountered (both real and sent as nightmares into the main character’s mind) are both imaginative and frightening: “I saw a capering, giggling boy in the shadows, with extra joints in his fingers. They bent backwards, serpentine. He would tickle sleeping children until they bled…” Twisted.
Within 5 minutes of finishing it, I had already told three friends to tell them to pick it up as soon as I could, and that’s honestly not something I’ve ever done before. My only complaint–and I mean this in the best way–is that it’s just a novella and not a full-length novel. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the perfect length for the story it tells, I was just sorry to see it end!