"You're blessed by the goddess and all you choose to see are your own discomforts." These are the words of a true friend in A. R. Williams' THE BLESSED & THE DAMNED, highly affordable e-novella. This one did not please me quite as much as his short story, published by Three Crow Press, and now also in e-book form, "Duel on Hakkojji Bridge"-- in which everything is seen and felt and qualities are crystallized for the imagination. But--if not (for me) this setting--the characterizations, the tension in which these characters think and interact, captured my imagination in a way that brought the setting into better focus. The atmosphere of Kuwar, and the approach to it over the dimming sea succeeds. My biggest interest was in the familial hopes and fears, and familial quirks, throughout. There was also strong friendship, between the older warrior Sheridan (who is quoted above) and Lorna who is seeking her lost daughter — that strong friendship, sorely tried by magic, permeates the tale with interest. However, Williams' nomenclature and world building, the latter as given at the end in source material, seems deep and convincing, and provides a good base for ongoing adventures there.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)