A beautiful assassin on the run from an evil sorcerer. A lone warrior from a desert tribe who aids a woman in danger. Their lives will never be the same.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that I’ve enjoyed the short fiction of Tom Doolan (reviewed here, here, here, and here). Most of his work to date has involved orcs, but with “Blood from Sand” he goes in a different direction, adding to the current trend of Arabian Night style fantasy.
The story opens with Mazlochan and his djinn companion on patrol. When he sees a beautiful woman being pursued by four thugs across the desert, he intervenes.
The woman is Lily, an assassin. She’s on the run from her former employer, the sorcerer El Ahmar. By aiding her, Mazlochan runs the risk of bringing El Ahmar’s wrath down upon his village.
And if you want to know any more, then buy the story and read the rest. This is a short story, after all, and I don’t want the review to be longer than the story itself.
And if you enjoy sword and sorcery, you should read it. This is the beginning of a new series, and I’m looking forward to reading more installments. Doolan seems to be mainly setting things up for future adventures. This story was fairly short, but I can see the potential for longer works.
The action is well done, and the combat scenes move quickly. Doolan’s prose is smoother than I remember it being in his earlier stories, and I had no complaints about the prose there. What I’m saying is that he’s getting better, which is what any writer worth his/her salt would want to have happen.
“Blood from Sand” is only available in electronic format. Since Doolan has published all his previous work in electronic format, he knows what he’s doing. I bought the epub version. There were no formatting problems or typos that I noticed. The layout was good. The cover art has a professional appearance. This was a good buy from the formatting perspective. I wish some of the major publishers could achieve the same.
Short Attention Span E-Publishing is Tom Doolan’s new venture, and “Blood from Sand” is his premier offering through SASE. I had no trouble with ordering. I placed my order one evening, and the next morning, Tom emailed me a zip file containing the story in all formats. Here’s wishing him much success with it.