by A. Keith Carreiro
published by Copper Beech Press
The Penitent, Part One of A. Keith Carreiro's The Immortality Wars, has the feel of a medieval morality tale but with more fantastical elements.
Pall, who was born with a pall over his face (hence the spelling of his name) and has always had a rough life because of it, has been injured and finds he now has gaps in his memory. The archer Savage finds him and saves him, but a band of depraved soldiers discover the injured Pall and start to torture him. This starts to release some memories that do not seem feasible to Pall, such as turning into a fish. Luckily, a gruesome monster, The Unger, is nearby to further save Pall. However, Pall and his ragtag crew are never safe for long as there always seems to be a new enemy just around the bend.
I really wanted to like The Penitent, but I had the hardest time following what was happening. I found myself rereading constantly and still coming away with only a foggy notion of what was happening. I also felt like there were some leaps in the story, but that could have just been a result of my confusion.
I can see what A. Keith Carreiro was aiming for with The Penitent, but I, personally, just had trouble getting there.