To say I was excited about getting an e-reader was an understatement. It was like getting a library card, for that is what it really is, a digital device allowing access to all the books in all the libraries in the world.
The first thing I did when I got the thing up and running was download all those digital books I had purchased over the years. Since there were so many, I had a tough time deciding which one to read first. I picked the one I believe I bought first--Chris Todd Miller's By Blood Bequeathed.
I loved this story! This is a short read, 108 pages per the Goodreads information page. It only took a couple of trips on the bus for me to finish it. But the reason I liked it so much isn't necessarily the fact that it's short. It's because there's a lot in those few pages. Miller creates a complete world with a unique (and cool...) magic system.
Another reason I liked the book so much was because the author blends beautifully action and character development. Some of the high fantasy stories I've read lately dwell liberally on the blood and guts found extensively in the genre. I'm not anti-violence, but with some of the stories, it was a little too much. Miller's short has many of the action scenes found in high fantasy stories, but for me it wasn't over-the-top. It centers around Rayne Maellor and his pregnant wife, Aebigal. They must survive an attack by the evil Mœtok. There's more to the story, of course, but that's the elevator pitch.
I'm not sure if this story is setting up a larger work--it easily could, and it really should. Even though I liked the short version, the believable world and magic system, the well-established characters can carry a much longer tale.