The Eye of the Storm
By William L.K
Dmitri, the only son of the Czar of Stritonoly and heir to the throne has been driven insane by the forbidden poison of the diminutive slave race that provide a worker class to the Empire. Setting in motion a catastrophic chain of events, a storm of epic proportions gathers over the Citadel while a terrifyingly powerful force stalks the nearby forest.
The Eye of the Storm is really more of a fantasy novel than a science fiction one, while it's clearly set within the realms of a space faring race - along with a brief flashback to present day earth - the main story takes place on the planet Stritonoly which with the exception of a spaceship doesn't seem technologically advanced in the slightest - with a medieval, feudal style complete with swords as the main form of weaponry.
There is also a strong fantasy feel to the story itself - with a mystical air and a number of seemingly magical elements. Many authors who attempt this sort of speculative fiction - a medival setting within a science fiction era - get it very wrong, with an end result that feels unbalanced and clunky, however it actually works well in Eye of the Storm thanks to a minimal back story and uncluttered narrative combined with entertaining characters.
The prose is written in a neat style that is easy to read with a fast pace, while the story itself is fairly straight forward - an immoral character drunk on the lust for power, willing to sacrifice those around him and trample any who get in the way. The characters work quite well but do at times seem a little too uncomplicated, the race of Acidels are a nice touch though - different enough to stand out and yet with many mannerisms of humans. It's a pretty short book, in fact it's more novella than novel however as a result it doesn't take long to read at all - I managed to read the whole thing in one sitting (but I do read fast.
I enjoyed The Eye of the Storm more than I thought I would, it combines elements that in many novels just wouldn't work but here the clear voice and straight forward narrative combines with interesting characters to create a great little story.
Written on 19th August 2011 by Ant .