I’m running a little bit behind schedule with posts this month, because the last week of January saw the very first Readers and Writers Festival, hosted by Writers Bloc!
It was quite small, this being their inaugural year, but still well-attended and I was thrilled to pick up some books by local authors which I’ll be reviewing in January and February.
First up is the novelette, Heka and the Colour Thief by Dennis Dvornak.
Title: Heka and the Colour Thief
Author: Dennis Dvornak
Publisher: Sera Blue
Length: 88 pages
Cover Design: Gina-Rae Proxy
Formats: Amazon Kindle, Paperback
For she so cherished the dead, she wove them dreams from all the colours of Eternity…
Few can weave with the colours of Eternity, but this young witch is amongst the most skilled. In her small corner of the Underworld, tucked away in the Outer Dark, Heka weaves dreams to ease the passage of lost souls.
But there is more to the world than the dreaming of the dead. Chaos knocks when a mysterious stranger tricks her into crafting them a special dreamweave—with colours capable of warping the very fabric of the Underworld to her will.
Heka must abandon her sanctuary and journey deep into the Underwilds to track the renegade down. The King of the Broken Crown will not take lightly to this threat to his domain, and Heka must risk his wrath if she is to stop the intruder from reaching the Innermost Dark and subverting death itself to her unknown ends.
But the wilds are a living dreamscape, offering the traveller mirrors of the soul at every turn. Heka knows that to traverse them is to navigate the dark regions of one’s own heart. When her greatest strengths are stripped away and her fears manifest in the landscape itself, can the weaver wile herself free from the prisons of her mind before the veils of Eternity are torn forever?
Heka and the Colour Thief is a mythic fantasy tale about how death, magic, deception, longing, and loss weave together to craft reality from dreams. Loosely inspired by Greek myth, alchemy, and Jung, it follows the journey of a young witch through her shadow.
I have to say, for a small, independent publisher focused on niche genres, Sera Blue has not disappointed with the quality of this book. The cover is absolutely exquisite – I was drawn to it immediately, and the blurb was enticing enough to convince me to read on.
Dennis Dvornak clearly has a love for words that weave exquisite worlds in the imagination of readers. Heka and the Colour Thief is full of metaphors, metaphysical exploration and intricate journeys through the soul.
There were times when I struggled with the style – particularly because the author deliberately kept the story abstract by using personal pronouns rather than names the majority of the time. Although the book is only 88 pages, there are a lot of theological questions hinted at, which may benefit from lengthening the story elements so the reader has time to fully explore the concepts.
Overall, Dvornak has created a beautiful story with far more weight than its short form suggests, and as a reader I was engrossed from beginning to end, finishing it far sooner than I liked!
I would suggest this book for anyone who enjoys a fantasy story exploring metaphysical aspects of the soul’s journey. If you’ve enjoyed books by Paulo Coelho, chances are you’ll love Heka and the Colour Thief.