Butcher Boy Rebellion by Robert H. Cherny

Butcher Boy Rebellion by Robert H. Cherny
Publisher: Club Lighthouse
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Standing in the blood of the man who tried to kill him, the boy, almost a man, froze, horrified at what he had done. The head, separated from the body, lay face down in the forest undergrowth. Blood flowed from the open neck onto the mat of decaying leaves. There had been no time. There had been no time to think. No time to plan. Only one would walk away from that confrontation in the woods. The boy had gotten the better of this man who had killed many before him.

When the woman, dressed to blend into the forest, emerged from behind the trees to admire his handiwork pointing her crossbow at him, he thought he might have killed for naught. Little did any of the handful of people standing in the forest that day know the changes that this one death put in motion.

Anyone who wants to survive in this world needs to think and react quickly. There is no time for second guessing here!

The pacing was fast and exciting. I liked the way the author leapt straight into the action in the first scene. It helped me immerse myself in this world immediately. Pertinent details like certain backstories popped up later, but in the beginning all I really needed to know was that the protagonist was a skilled butcher by trade who had excellent fighting skills.

I struggled to keep track of the large cast of characters in this novella. New folks were introduced so rapidly that I didn’t have much time to get to know them before the next batch of people showed up. There also wasn’t a great deal of time spent describing them and their personalities even for the main characters. When combined with the large cast, this made it even harder to remember who was who.

The snappy dialogue kept me coming back for more. This was a heavily plot-based tale, so it made perfect sense for the characters to stick to the facts and spend as little time on long or unnecessary conversations as possible. I appreciated how careful everyone was with their words. That made perfect sense given the setting and rapidly-developing plot.

Butcher Boy Rebellion kept me perched on the edge of my seat from the first scene to the last one. Anyone who enjoys adventurous fantasy novellas should give it a try.