Opera Vita Aeterna

Reviewed by:
On July 9, 2014
Last modified:July 9, 2014


opera_256Title: Opera Vita Aeterna
Author: Vox Day
Genre: Fantasy

This is part of my Hugo award reading. It was nominated as a part of the best Novelette category. This is the part of my 100 Short Stories in 2014 challenge.

This is a fantasy story set in a world with elves, goblins and humans. However the religion seems to be catholicism, or as close to it as you can get without naming it. This is important because the story is very much about religion. It takes place in a monastery where an elf spend many years.

I didn’t care particularly for the story and I only finished it because I promised myself to give all of the Hugo nominees a real chance. It felt very much like an old school fantasy story.  The language was extremely descriptive – almost no nouns went without a describer of some sort and a lot of exposition stuffed into them:

Movement caught the monk’s eye, and he saw a solitary figure appear around the bend of the dirt roadway that passed by the monastery’s walls and led the occasional traveler to the nearby village of Mulvico.

To me it really bugged down the story a lot. I have to admit that I skimmed a lot of the descriptions since they were not relevant to the story and not well enough crafted to transport me into the story.

In the middle of the story there is a two page long theological discussion between the elf and the abbith of the monastery. I don’t really see what purpose it serves – it is probably meant to show us the sort of discussion the two of them have. But it left me cold.

The story did manage to make me feel sad at a death.

The afterward was cute but to me it didn’t really make for a story.

I am wondering if the story is part of the bigger world. It felt more like the vignette stories some authors do go along with their main book series than as a stand alone story. I at least have have hard time figuring out what the point of it all was.

The stats

Published:  2013 by The Last Witchking, Marcher Lord Hinterlands
Read: July 02 to 05, 2014
Length: Novelette
Format: e-book

The author: male, white, USA
The protagonist: Abbeth, able-bodied.

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