Much like she did in her first collection, Dark Children of Naor, Justyna Plichta-Jendzio has created another work of classic/traditional fantasy here that weaves together fully realized characters and complex monsters - some of whom are one and the same - and some very dark fairy-tale like themes.
With Evil Children of Naor we are once again presented with a trio of stories, linked both thematically and by their shared world. Here, the fight is against an evil within, which raises some interesting questions about who we are born to be and who we choose to become.
The first story, featuring Namaris' fateful confrontation with the truth about her parentage, is the perfect choice to kick off the collection. It really sets the tone in terms of pacing and subject matter, and quite cleverly lulls the reader into a false sense of comfort before letting the clues begin to slip. Tarion's story is as different from the first as he is from the lovely Namaris, but it was probably my favourite of the three. While the each story had its strength, there was something about the flawed sort of heroism there that called to me. Jansemi's story brings us full circle, in a sense, with a story that echoes some of the themes of Namaris, but which is entirely it's own narrative.
If you enjoyed your first trip to Naor, then you are certain to enjoy this return visit. If you are new to Justyna Plichta-Jendzio's world, however, fret not. Evil Children of Naor can most certainly be enjoyed as a standalone collection of tales, and loses nothing with being read first. You will notice I said 'first' . . . because you will want to back and read Dark Children of Naor as well.
Kindle Edition, 207 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Devine Destinies