Title: Heart of Chaos
Author: Avery Stiles
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 64 Pages
Category: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Reviewed By: Courtney
At a Glance: Overall, Heart of Chaos is a story worth a read, will kill some time, and I’d very likely pick up any additional stories that involve the same characters, if it emerges in the future.
Blurb: Rin’s life is on track for long-lasting success, but when her business partner blindsides her by proposing marriage, she cannot accept. Desperate for a way out of the marriage that won’t ruin her business, she runs to the Hall of Altars and prays to Vistri, the shapeshifter god of the desperate and bringer of chaos.
Vistri appears and offers to fix her problem, asking only for her trust in return. With no other options, Rin accepts—but she’s not at all prepared for Vistri’s solution.
Review: I admit when I started this book I was a little bit, “Whoa, where’s this going,” but then it settled in quite nicely with me feeling sad that it was such a quick read. Its classification is Fantasy/Genderqueer/Lesbian/Pansexual, but it is more so a story where you have the intermingling of gods/goddesses among humans. It’s a bit of a reach, but it gave me some childhood closure from the David Eddings Sparhawk world by giving me a female/female relationship between a human and a god/goddess, as Heart of Chaos approaches the gods/goddesses as both gender and sexually fluid due to shape shifting.
I think the unfortunate thing in this story is that once the characters, Rin and Vistri, start to develop some depth, the story ends. Rin is business focused, living up to parental expectations, gets proposed to by a guy, runs away for a few hours, and makes a deal with the trickster god/goddess Vistri that then becomes the focus of the remaining portion of the story. It is hard to develop a whole world in sixty-four pages, as well as a pantheon, but I do have to applaud Stiles for making a solid attempt at it and at least creating a story that leaves me desiring more. The world is also interesting, combining elements of technology but then a strong relationship with gods/goddesses that still drives the behaviors of the population.
Overall, Heart of Chaos is a story worth a read, will kill some time, and I’d very likely pick up any additional stories that involve the same characters, if it emerges in the future.
You can buy Heart of Chaos here:
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