Title: Tristis Manor
* Series: Novella in The Never Chronicles
Author: J.R. Wagner
Publisher: Solomon Claw Publishing
Pages: Ebook; 107
Release Date: March 20, 2013
Content Screening: Mild Violence, Tough Situations
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who are okay with tough issues in their reading.
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Margaret lives in a constant state of fear. Fear of her mother, whose constant state of anger and unwillingness to speak of Margaret's past have long since pushed Margaret away. Fear of disappointing her father should he ever discover the events of that day. Most of all, Margaret lives in fear of her abuser's return. Margaret turns to self-harm to cope with her pain and fear. Only when her self-inflicted injuries bring her near death does she realize she has the power and the support from an unlikely place to stand up to her fears and believe in herself again. Tristis Manor is a novella from The Never Chronicles, an epic fantasy series.
Last year I dove into J.R. Wagner's Exiled, and fell in love with the fantasy world he had built. When I found out that Tristis Manor was an Exiled novella, I was excited. I was looking forward to the opportunity to get to know one of the characters better.
At roughly 170 pages, this is a quick look into Margaret's past. A fair warning to readers, her story is not an easy one to read. We meet a girl whose mother mistreats her, who uses pain to escape her reality and who, most of all, has a deep dark secret she can't let go of. I saw none of the magic from the Exiled world, just the quiet inner battle of a young girl.
My first thoughts upon finishing Tristis Manor were very jumbled. It's been quite a while since I last read Exiled, and so I couldn't quite remember how Margaret fit in until after I'd read a bit. I was also torn because this story is so sad, yet poignant at the same time. At the end of the day I am glad I took a chance on this novella. I'm now even more eager for the next official installment in the Exiled series.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.