I liked the idea behind this novella. I wonder if at a different time I would have felt differently about it. Reading it left me feeling.. sad. I'm not even sure what I feel about the ending as I'm not entirely sure what it means for Beniel and Korran.
The story is told from Beniel Tallance's POV. He has lost his lover in - a monstrous light - a few months ago in the battle of a lifetime. Korran was gone and yet, and yet he didn't really. He became something else. Something Beniel isn't sure how he's going to find and when he does what he's going to do in order to have him back in his arms.
This novella is his journey, through unfriendly towns and scary roads to the end of the universe where they fought. Writing these words saddens me. Beniel doesn't have anyone besides his lover. Their relationship was even more complicated with Korran being a prince and Beniel his "Indulgence", let's call him his valet, since a young age. Now after the war is over, the old ruler (Korran's father) dethroned, his brother Ormyr is the ruler and things aren't exactly working in his favor. He needs Beniel's help and he is offering the one thing that matters to him. Beniel accepts.
In my eyes, it's a novella, though it's not that short. Through the journey we learn about this dark world and a bit of its politics, at least concerning the monarchy. But mostly we see through Beniel's eyes what the world has become after the world, how alone and hopeless he is without Korran by his side. How much he loves and needs him with every piece of connection they share fueling his effort to find him, to be with him. Korran's character was the one thing to bring hope and peace but for me it somehow wasn't enough.
If you want a rather moody read this is EXACTLY for you. I think I needed something more cheerful.
5-7 February 2022