The Three Fingers of Death by Tristan Gregory is a short fantasy tale set in the same world as The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth, which I previously reviewed here. Jon the smith, briefly seen in the earlier story, seeks out a master to teach him parts of his craft that have been largely forgotten, shunned because of the involvement of magic.
I read this story very quickly – all in one day. The prose is accessible and the tone is gentle, making this story very easy to consume. It has quite a storyteller-like voice. Where in Carn Nebeth, the voice was quite immediate, this is more of a “sit down by the fire and listen to my tale” sort of voice, and because of the time scale involved – the story takes place across years – this voice fits well.
Continue reading Review: The Three Fingers of Death by Tristan Gregory
The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth by Tristan Gregory tells a simple story of a boy growing up in a remote village, when a man who left the village long ago returns from war with tales of his life as a soldier – enough to inspire the young William. It is a short and simple story looking at how the protagonist’ s life is changed by the swordsman’ s arrival.
While there is little space to delve into characterisation, the personalities of the key players are distinct and consistent. In particular Gregory has captured the curiosity of a child, and a child’ s main concerns in life, in the personality of narrator William.
Enough is revealed and enough held back to make the story compelling, to keep me reading; a good measure of pacing can also be credited for this. Gregory knows when to use telling to move things forward, and when not to.
The only thing that I can criticise is two incidents in which the wrong homophone is used, and this a lesser known one most readers won’t notice.
I thus have no qualms in giving The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth a 8/10.