Escape From Bythos
Escape From Bythos is a prequel short story to The Path of Flames. It tells the story of Zekko, a slave in Bythos, who wants his children to grow up in freedom.
As a prequel, Escape From Bythos does a good job of explaining how Asho (Zekko’s son) gains his freedom. However, it lacks detail from Asho and Shaya’s (Zekko’s daughter) perspective that would have made the story more compelling and given us more insight into how their lives are about to change.
One of the best things about the books is great character development in a short space of time and in a personal way. The author does this by using several points of view even though the story is very short. Here’s a quote that serves as an example: “She’d never been afraid of the dark before; she had been born into it and saw it as her friend…”
Another thing we liked was the world and religion construction. The idea that when people die they ascend to a higher a higher world based on their deeds was thought provoking. Phil Tucker also blends the religion into the power structure as a way to control the peasants. Here’s an example: Zekko rubbed his face and stared up at the cavern ceiling far, far above. In his mind, he stared through it in the direction of the White Gate, hovering amidst Aletheia’s floating splendor. Ever since he’d been paired with Khayya, he’d placed his every hope in Ascension, in the next life, one step closer to heaven… One step farther away from being a Bythian – an animal unsuited for anything other than being a slave, or so he had always been told.
The book contains more editing errors than we’d expect in so few words. In addition, Phil Tucker tends to use clichés like, “cut to the chase.” This caused us to take a few points away from the grammar category.
As a prequel, Escape From Bythos serves its purpose and is an enjoyable read. If you’re looking for a novella that could stand on its own, this book isn’t for you. We rated the story as a prequel so it lands in our very good range with a 3.6 star rating.
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