Author: Rob Welford
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Bittersweet
Length: Short (29pgs)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (19th May 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Harry Zade has secrets. A secret pact with an ancient trickster, forged in the heat and dust of war-torn Baghdad. A secret tragedy borne from a quest for fame. A secret love for a young man called Kamal.
Harry Zade seems to have it all: wealth, movie-star looks, and a stellar career as a society photographer. But he also has secrets….
A secret pact with an ancient trickster, forged in the heat, dust and chaos of war-torn Baghdad. A secret tragedy borne from greed, ambition and the quest for fame. A secret love for a young man called Kamal.
With a young English researcher, whose curious interest in Harry and his story goes beyond the purely academic, to tell the tale, the time has come for all of Harry Zade’s secrets to be revealed.
But, as in The Arabian Nights, take nothing for granted until the story is finally done.
Review: Harry somehow managed to get everything he could have ever wished for, but the price was quite steep. Now, he tells his story to a professor of mythology who specializes in Arabic folklore.
Wow. How to describe this story? This story is the type of story that I’d expect to be told in a country pub; sat around the fire in the dead of winter, with the wind blowing, the rain pounding and the old gent in the corner is regaling us with myths, folklore, urban legends and village tales. Harry Zade told his tale of woe to a stranger in a little café. the stranger gives him something in return, and the next thing Harry knows his life is on the up… but there comes a point where a choice is made… fame, money, power or love… it isn’t until too late that Harry even realizes that there was a choice.
This is an enjoyable story, if you do like this sort of thing; stories told that happened to a friend of a friend, and there is always something magical or mystical about them. The interviewer in this story we don’t get much about, not even a name, which I found a bit strange at first, seeing as it’s from his POV, but you realize when you get to the end of the book, that it just adds to the mystique of the story. Harry comes across as very brash and a drunk, but as he tells his story, you begin to realize how damaged he really is, by the events that led to his fame and fortune.
So a well written bittersweet short story, that surprising enough gave me chills near the end. I will have to recommend this to those who love myths, folklore, pain and anguish, and a bittersweet ending with a slight twist.