Aaaaand we’ve got another five-starrer by Hannah Heath! I’m so excited to share this story with you. Colors of Fear is written by my best friend, which automatically makes it very special to me, but putting that aside, the story in and of itself is so beautiful and unique. At only 60 pages long, this short story is a brilliant introduction of the main character in the soon-to-be published novel, The Stump of the Terebinth Tree.
A young desert elf named Wanderer competes with other recruits for Hunter. But three out of five Hunters die during their first cycle, and Wanderer doesn’t want to die “on blood and honor” as did his father. And yet he can’t stand another day in the desert, hunting for scarce game and watching helplessly as his younger brother slowly dies from the disease inflicted by Elgar, the Muria. In fact, the Muria gave Wanderer the colors—colors of fear.
Wanderer cannot accept to be “requested” as a Hunter with 3 out of 5 being his odds. No longer sure of what to do with his future, and afraid to come to terms with himself about his fear, he sets off to hunt. On this short “hero’s journey,” Wanderer’s motives change, setting him up for the character he will become in the future novel, Stump of the Terebinth Tree. After several sets of events, the desire becomes clear: He must kill Elgar.
For such a short story, the plot and character development in Colors of Fear is impressive. Not only that, but we get a feel for the protagonist’s fears, his hopes, his desires, and what he finally decides to do in the end. Wanderer’s colors makes him unique, and it helps him stand out from any other desert elf in Nathungar. But his wish to make a difference without dying the way his father did and to keep his brother safe are two characteristics that help us connect with Wanderer on deeper levels—and even spiritually, as he begs Masiah for help, hardly believing that Masiah will even hear or answer his prayer.
Heath’s writing style is a joy to read. It’s simply satisfying. Not only is the information pacing and story flow a beautiful thing, but the storytelling is smooth, pleasant, and elegant. The descriptions and word choice flows with each new paragraph, concise and clear and colorful. Very colorful. After all, the POV character sees with colors, so it only makes sense.
I also love the uniqueness of the colors. The colors discourage Wanderer and show up as emotions. I know that sounds odd when I say it, but there is so much feeling and vividness in the descriptions of what the colors do to Wanderer and how they affect him, but it’s something you’re going to have to read for yourself.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out Colors of Fear on Amazon, and while you’re at it, take a look at Hannah’s blog, Twitter, and author website. She also is the author of Skies of Dripping Gold, another great short story she released about a year and a half ago. Thanks for reading and have a stellar day. Cheers!