Wendy and Erryn review ‘Blessings and Light: An Order Universe Holiday Short’ by Kasia Bacon. The ebook was published November 20, 2017 and is 30 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Fox , released on December 23, 2019, and is 32 mins long. A copy was provided for an honest review.
Why Wendy read this book: I read this book last year and when I was given the chance to listen to the audio version I jumped at the chance. Plus, I adore the Order Universe. Read my review of the e-book HERE
Why Erryn read this book: I enjoyed Don’t Fight the Spark and wanted more.
It’s the Night of Winter Lights.
Heedless of the holiday, the Commander of the H’Aren fortress, Captain Torýn Torhdhar, seems to find his satisfaction in work.
Such occurrence hardly surprises his Orderly, Sæbastyn Hyago, even though the young Lieutenant has spent a silent, aching decade wishing his superior officer would pursue pleasure elsewhere – specifically in his arms. But as the evening continues, nothing about it meets Sæbastyn’s expectations. Will the Lieutenant see his secret desires realised, or his heart shattered?
I was so surprised by the difference between reading the story and listening to it. While I stand by my original review, (I will only give a short recap) this audio-book put things in a whole new perspective for me. The characters are dedicated to each other and their work. They have a unique situation where their lives and work intertwine until there’s not much to separate them.
I think that makes them completely committed to each other while being blind to what is right in front of them at the same time. They are selfless men in a situation where danger is ramping up in the not so distant future and they each want to save the other in different ways.
Listening to this story was a treat. It is very well written and of course part of the Order Universe which I LOVE! But on top of that, I really FELT like I was right there in the room with these men. I could see the papers on the desk and the cat being allowed to lie upon them as is his due, I could smell the wood smoke when the fire was built, I could see the room reflected in candlelight and I could smell and taste the game bird and pastries they both ate. It. Was. That. Good!
I think that speaks to both the author and the narrator. This was my first time listening to Michael Fox and he’s brilliant! I hope I get to listen to him again soon. He emotes beautifully and his voice is smooth and silky (can a voice be that? If it can this is the perfect example lol).
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
When an author embarks upon world building, it’s always a challenge. There are usually elements recognizable (aside from some SFF books although even the most elaborate have something we can relate to.) In Ms. Bacon’s books, there are characters whose emotions we can recognize. Sæbastyn is observing the preparations going on around him, both for the Night of Winter Lights and the upcoming invasion. He’s an Orderly who has seen a snippet of battle and that didn’t end well for him. He’s a favorite for Captain Torhdhar who, in the guise of protecting him, tries to send him away.
Sæbastyn wants none of that and is willing to stand by the captain. To support his commanding officer. To express that which he holds dearly in his heart. Turns out the Night of Winter Lights has more surprises instore.
I enjoy short stories and this one worked well. The world building is clear, the conflict concise, and the outcome satisfying. Overall it was a nice quick read. Michael Fox narrated the story and I think he’s great. I hope to hear him doing more stories by Ms. Bacon.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.