Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Answering Review Request: A Matter of Belief

Matthew Ward asked me to read his novel "A Matter of Belief". It takes place in the same verse as the "Shadows of the Raven" story that I reviewed some time ago. You can read that review here.  This one features Erika Nierev as the protagonist in a murder mystery. I will examine Plot, Character and Polish, and then assign a grade.


This story is a prequel to Shadows of the Raven. Erika Nierev is a sergeant instead of a lieutenant so it must be some time before.

I describe this book as "everything good about Shadow of the Raven compressed into a smaller space". There is intriguing mystery, a rich mythology, engaging characters and an edge of supernatural that builds up and comes to the fore. The difference is that it is much shorter; 54 pages in total instead of several hundred.
There are good twists. Perhaps someone more familiar with the mystery genre will spot them sooner than I did but they caught me by surprise.  Chekhov's Gun is used skillfully.

For those that have read Shadows of the Raven, there are fun call forwards, cameos and other connections. 

It has a satisfying conclusion.


Erika Nierev gets a lot more characterization here than Shadows of the Raven. She has several awesome moments in that book but Edric's first person narration gives the sense of her being foisted off on the police force by her family because she failed to distinguish herself in any other way. Wow, he couldn't have been more wrong, which goes to show how little he knew about the society he lived in. Nierev can be described as a Knight in Sour Armor; grumpy about her job and the problems around her but resolute in being a good cop.

Quintus gets to shine as the Big Good. He is wise, reasonable, action-forward and his behind-the-scenes maneuvering keeps the peace in the city. Nierev notes an amusing quirk of his; despite being from a noble family he likes to act as though he is not but still above commoners. In other words, like he's in neither camp.

 Stefan Dalrand was a delightful surprise. His death starts the plot of Shadows of the Raven and so it was interesting to see this personality that was Edric's only friend before he defrosted. He strikes me as this distinguished and scholarly elder gentleman, who is also a troll.


It looks great. I didn't see any errors.

Trickster Eric Novels gives "A Matter of Belief" an A+

Click here for the next review request: Dawn of Steam: Gods of the Sun

Click here for the previous review request: Plaint for Provence
Brian Wilkerson is a freelance book reviewer, writing advice blogger and independent novelist. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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