REVIEW: Sabine and the Beast by Moira Rogers
Dear Ms. Rogers:
The premise of this short story is very interesting. The High Lord of the Forest returns after three years of war and procuring peace to live out his life with his love, Sabine. Sabine was a low born wolf and deemed an inappropriate match for Ciar by his mother. While Ciar is off fighting, Ciar’s mother engages a witch to cast a spell of forgetfulness. Everyone’s memory of Sabine is slowly eradicated and when they touch her, the forgetfulness spell is sped up.
When Ciar returns, he expects to find Sabine ensconced within his home only he learns that he must seek her outside his lands. There, Sabine resists his overtures, breaking down and explaining the curse. When they accidentally brush hands, Sabine and Ciar throw caution to the side and mate. The next morning, Ciar is without memory of Sabine.
Unfortunately, this is one of those books wherein the idea is greater than the execution. So much of the story is told in summary fashion, from the way that the spell is cast; to how it affects Ciar; to the outcome. Part of the problem may be in the length. This is only 41 pages long. We are told of the spell; then we have a sex scene; travel to the palace; and confrontation. For example, when Ciar does lose his memory of Sabine, it is apparent that we are going to be shown why Ciar loved her in the first place. But instead of actual dialogue, and real exchange we get summary:
He’d peppered her with questions at first, inquiring after her family and her interests. Even his responses were familiar, words he’d said before. Only the delivery had changed. He was harder now, a man with pain etched in his face, and even his most charming smiles had an edge of desperation that hadn’t been there before the war.
I would have loved to have seen the actual questions and responses, the interchange of ideas instead of simply being told that he was interested; that he answered the same; that he reacted similarly. Why not show us and let us draw our own conclusions?
When the characters engaged in dialogue, it wasn’t important, plot moving dialogue but mundane information such as what they would eat and what kind of room they would stay at in the inn. I felt particularly frustrated with this because whatever action scenes we were given in the short space tended to be about the least interesting parts of the story. How were they going to resolve the spell? What would they do when and if Ciar lost his memory of Sabine? What emotional conflicts were they dealing with? In such a short space, I was disappointed at what was summarized (the spell and its side effects; important dialogue) and what was drawn out (meals, settings).
I kept thinking that this was such a great idea and yet came away so disappointed. I feel bad giving this such a poor grade, but given the length, and what I felt to be really poor execution, I couldn’t give this a C. D