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Wergild: A Heartwarming Tale of Coldblooded Vengeance

By

Worth reading 😎

Confusing at times with worldbuilding issues, but charming and darkly funny.

I will admit, when I first began Wergild, I wasn't terribly impressed. The prose was good, and the set-up was curious, but in many ways, it seemed like a typical medieval fantasy. However, a few chapters in, Wergild began to win me over, and then charm me, and then pulled me to an ending that made me smile - even with the buckets of blood involved.


Wergild suffers, largely, from ideas that are too large for its 97 pages. One of the POV characters, Isabel, is apparently from our world - however, this plot point never really gets expanded on, and in fact, Isabel is a largely useless character. One imagines that in a draft of the book that was twice or three times the length, her status as a portal-fantasy holdover was much more relevant. Additionally, the exact oppression of the Surrey people at the hands of the Gheet never goes much beyond apparent frequent murders and dehumanization.


However, despite these things, Wergild is... dare I say, sweet? The Fiend is a charming trickster with a surprisingly soft heart, and Deirdre is as bloodthirsty and vengeance-driven fourteen year old as you're likely to meet. I actually quite enjoyed that none of the book revolves around her learning to fight or being more 'traditionally manly' in the role of the protagonist; instead, she's shrewd, funny and angry. Isabel, despite her fish-out-of-water wasted set-up, is fun to read especially when she's being clueless about something.


Ultimately, I would have liked this book to have been longer. I'm curious about the worldbuilding of this universe, and I would have loved to have seen more of the lives of the main characters beyond the novella. As it is, though, Wergild is a weirdly sweet, very bloody, egregiously cannibalistic and humorous story.

Reviewed by

I enjoy reading new books and fiction, and have a fresh, unique perspective as a Canadian queer disabled person.

The Fiend

About the author

B.L. Slocum is a lawyer and former intelligence officer who writes to quell the various voices that beset him. His many professions have ranged from short-order cook to truck driver to writer and editor. He once even had the crackpot idea of becoming a college professor. view profile

Published on March 16, 2019

Published by 3B Independent Publishers

30000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Fantasy

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