Title: From Man to Man
Series: Wroge Elements
Author: D. E. M. Emrys
Pages: 25 (ebook)
Published: October 15th 2012
Published by: Four Branches Publishing
‘I’ve traded my old enemies for just this one…’ The axe thundered home. ‘I miss the old ones.’
Every man has a past, none more so than Draven Reinhardt. Abandoning his old life to settle down as a villager, he struggles to fit in, let alone hold down a job. When opportunity offers the much needed coin, Draven is torn between a promise and a purpose.
But, what’s one last job if you’ve already got blood on your hands?
‘From Man to Man’ is the story of how one man can change – or not – for the best. Prequel to the upcoming novel ‘It Began With Ashes’, the short (6400 words) story introduces the reader to a world of suspense, intrigue, and action.
This introduction to 'Wroge Elements' and the writing of D.E.M. Emrys was short, but sweet. While we don't learn much about the world, there are bits and pieces of hints. A mercenary guild. Widespread fighting. Racial tension.
Draven is trying to live an ordinary life, but he can't find a job that fits with his temperament, or rather he can't find a new job having left his old one behind. His thoughts intersperse the text a lot more frequently than most things I've read, but it worked. He isn't a talker and the short, sharp thoughts fit well with the tone of the book as a whole. And he's funny! The book's not at all long, but I found myself rather amused on a number of occasions by the things he thought, and I especially liked the way he compared people to animals.
The writing itself is rather wonderful. The descriptions are imaginative and the some of the ways we are given information is nicely different. There was a couple of times when words or phrases were repeated in close proximity which bothered me a little, and a lot of the characters aren't named, so there are a lot of 'the stranger', 'the blacksmith', 'the herdsman' which I also wasn't really a fan of. It's ok to some extent, but I wasn't a fan of it in general. Of course these are likely to be a matter of personal taste and not exactly the end of the world!
After the short story From Man to Man we are given a preview of the first chapter of It Began With Ashes, the up-coming novella set in the same world. The writing's still great, and we're given a bit more back-story to the history of the world and quite a tantalising ending to the prologue. I'll definitely be on the look out for the release of this book!