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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
The Name of Death is a short story from the world of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga by Joshua Robertson. Deep in the Dyndaer forest, Drada Koehn helps her war-brother, Eryet Petrie, swallow his quoin so he can die with honour. The Uvil are at war with the Anshedar, but these warriors are on a quest to find the name of death. Wrylyc the Kras accompanies Drada without invitation, but proves his worth as he leads her through the forest towards Shayol Domier. A near fatal encounter with a simargl leads to an unlikely partnership as Drada and Wrylyc join up with the human, Siegfried, and his centaur companion, Farthr.
The Name of Death sucks the reader into a quest of both epic and tragic proportions. Joshua Robertson has mastered the art of the short story, encapsulating a satisfying and compelling story into a few short pages. This is a feat few other novelists can boast of, especially when it comes to works that tie in with a series. The world building is easy to follow and all necessary details regarding history and cultural differences are imparted with the bare minimum of exposition. The characters are compelling and their differing beliefs and personalities introduce just the right amount of minor conflict to the story. While The Name of Death is a complete story, perfectly readable as a stand-alone, it’s full of tantalising plot hints of the larger world of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga. This is sure to delight fans who’ve read Joshua Robertson’s previous novels, and is a tempting lure for those who haven’t.