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Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite
Following the defining fantasy tradition of Tolkien, The Day You Were Born by Daniel Greenbrook presents us with a dark fantasy tale set in an age-long war between humans and elves. The war is not the subject of the story; rather it shows us the effects of the war on the lives of people who are caught in the middle of it. Hence, our protagonist, Dramon, a half-elf who is also referred to as a Hybrid in this world, is a reactive figure in this story. As the narrative skips back and forth through time, we’re shown the key moments of him meeting Deluara, an elven woman who has been raped by human soldiers and now carries a half-breed child. For a short story, Daniel Greenbrook manages to wrangle a good measure of angst into their relationship.
Personally, I felt The Day You Were Born was too abbreviated for epic fantasy, especially as an introduction to a series. We don’t find out much about Dramon, the war, how it started or why, and the nature of the world in which it takes place. I found the omission of these necessary details disappointing as a reader. However, as an introduction to a new fantasy world, these elements provide the reader with context and a framework to understand the external forces acting on the characters. Plus, the story is very nicely written by Daniel Greenbrook and the relationship between Dramon and Deluara is touchingly human. If read only in the context of being a tragic love story in a fantasy world, it’s an enjoyable read.