04.28.09

Sister Margaret by Rhonda Parrish

Posted in Review at 10:20 am by Amber

sistermargaret

Here’s a summary of “Sister Margaret”, a Coffee Break selection released by Eternal Press earlier this month.

Michael has always felt bad about the way he treated his friend Charmaine when they were younger, even going so far as to blame himself for her becoming a prostitute. Now she’s a priestess to Rakkir, the god of secrets and lies, and he is given a chance to make up for mistakes of the past when she calls him to deal with a problem for her. A vampire problem. But the more involved Michael gets, the more he realizes Charmaine may not be telling him the whole story… and she may have changed even more than he suspected.

It’s a succinct summary that pulls in the reader.  At just over 4200 words “Sister Margaret” is easy to read while on a break at work, set aside for a few days and then re-read it.  On an initial read the reader is left speechless by the ending.  With each successive reading, the reader picks up more details and sees how Rhonda Parrish has provided clues to the ending.  The truly amazing part is that even knowing how it ends, the tone of regret still comes through in Michael’s closing thoughts each time.

One thing I particularly enjoyed is the descriptive detail.  The story has a fantasy setting but the descriptions give enough detail that it seems familiar to the reader without being tiresome.  (In contrast, some fantasy stories I’ve read do such a poor job of describing the characters that it isn’t until nearly the end that I realize the figurative pig snout on a character is literal.)  One favorite line that jumps out at me is about Bayne – a memorable character who isn’t around the action for very long.  “He moved the sword as though it were an extension of himself, each movement calculated to destroy as many of his foes as possible.”  Doesn’t that sentence bring up the image of a trained athelete or warrior who is more than proficient in his field?  Reading it is nearly as breathtaking as it would be to see it on the silver screen.

The only thing lacking in “Sister Margaret” is that it’s not enough!  I know Rhonda has written more stories and a novel with some of these characters.  I’ve been purposefully staying away as a beta reader so I can be surprised like everyone else when they get published.  🙂

Hopefully I’ve peeked your interest in “Sister Margaret”.  It is available through Fictionwise and Rhonda is giving away a copy (or two) based on comments left here on her interview and her guest post.  Stop by tomorrow to read Rhonda’s guest post about secondary characters.

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1 Comment »

  1. Saturday Review of Books: May 2, 2009 at Semicolon said,

    May 9, 2009 at 12:12 am

    […] Homespun Light (Pillage by Obert Sky)94. At A Hen’s Pace (preschool recommendations)95. Amber Stults (Sister Margaret)96. Amber Stults (Follow […]

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