Review of Aeneas — a Spirian Short Adventure
First Spirian Novelette Offers Sword and Sorcery Fun
Rowena Portch is the author of seven Spirian novels to date, and now she offers us something new in the form of Aeneas, a “Spirian Short Adventure,” which is really a novelette of forty-plus pages.
Whether or not readers are familiar with Portch’s Spirian Saga series, if they enjoy the paranormal, myths, and magic, they will be delighted with this stand-alone story.
The action begins when we are introduced to the narrator, Connor, a Spirian with a human mother, Elle, who mated with an Angel. Both Elle and the Angel had been lovers in a previous life in ancient Sparta, and Connor’s father in that lifetime left behind a magical sword named Aeneas.
Connor has never known his father, but he knows if he can obtain Aeneas, he can connect with his father again. Unfortunately, the Shadows—a group of evil Spirians—want the sword because of its magical powers. But if it falls into the wrong hands, Aeneas has the power to cause massive destruction. Can Connor acquire the sword before the Shadows?
Add to this difficulty a young Shadow girl with kickass skills, who starts out as an enemy, but ends as a romantic interest for Connor, and new layers of conflict and human emotion arise.
Portch keeps the action moving in this tale of young love and a search for one’s own identity. In addition, the dialogue between Connor and his best friend Gabrihen is full of humor, keeps the reader engaged, and makes the characters likeable and believable. And then there’s that visit to a scary Transylvanian-style castle, so what’s not to love?
While I generally prefer longer books, I really enjoyed Aeneas. The pacing and tightness of this story made it a lot of fun while it still had depth and made me feel empathy for the characters. I hope Connor and the other Spirians of Portch’s world will have more short adventures soon.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and award-winning author of Narrow Lives and The Best Place