2 out of 4 stars
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Fantasy and dark magic snake their way through the pages of Her Blackened Soul. Written by Isra Sravenheart, the novel tells the tale of a villainous witch named Isra who lives in a tower. Naturally, she detests humans and her atrocious deeds have caused the townspeople to fear her. Although she likes animals, many of them avoid her ever since she killed a dragon and took its power. Despite this, the evil witch is befriended by a serpent named Romeo. Romeo predicts the mysterious appearance of a man in Isra’s life. When he shows up and makes a licentious request concerning women, she decides to make him her slave. Together with a peculiarly helpful raven called Astrid, Isra proceeds to torture the young man for his immorality. In the process, she realizes something remarkable about herself.
This fantasy tale has a strong Disney-inspired vibe to it in terms of its characters and setting. Things like the witch’s tower in the woods, talking animals, and poisoned foodstuff are key elements in both Disney movies and in this story. I would even compare the story to the TV series called Once Upon A Time which is largely based on fairytales. I liked this aspect of the book the most because it softened the theme of ‘dark magic’ and made it more playful. It also enhanced the fantasy elements of the novel. Furthermore, the story was written from a villain’s perspective which was a refreshing and unique twist.
Unfortunately, the writing style of this novel was terribly amateur. At first, I thought the book was written for younger audiences because of the poor word choice and the artlessly constructed sentences. However, Isra was nearly thirty years old plus the book mentioned sex and infidelity, so I think that the author intended it to be read by adult readers. But, this disconnect between the writing style and the adult content in the book was jarring.
In addition to this, I really disliked the repetitiveness in the story. Throughout the entire book, Isra’s evil reputation was mentioned. The characteristics and actions of some of the other main characters were also repeated. However, what I disliked the most was the inadequate character development that constricted the flow of the story. For example, Isra did not have a credible motive for her wicked ways. As a reader, I struggled to understand her character and why she behaved the way she did. A detailed backstory would have been extremely helpful, but sadly it was missing. Random characters also popped into the story such as an owl. This left me wondering where they fit into the bigger picture and why they did certain things. Similarly, there was no agenda behind Astrid’s sudden appearance in the book and his willingness to assist Isra in her evil actions.
There were seven grammatical errors in the story which included typos, punctuation mistakes, and missing words. I considered this, the book’s poor writing style, its inadequate character development, and repetitiveness before rating it 2 out of 4 stars. Her Blackened Soul is likely to attract young adult and adult readers who like fantasy stories about supernatural characters like witches and magical animals. I wouldn’t recommend it to children because of the adult themes in it.
Her Blackened Soul
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