Page Count: 23
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Note: A free copy of this short story was sent to me by the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.
LEGION OF MONO is set on the day of the final battle for a people about to be eradicated by an invading army. One bridge is all that divides the conquerors from the city of Lethotar, and Mono, last commander of the defending legion, is determined to hold it or die trying.
I don’t read many short stories, preferring longer, meatier reads to quick snippets of narrative. I was impressed, therefore, at the feelings that were captured and portrayed in these few pages. Tavenor has done an excellent job of conveying the grim determination that hangs over soldiers facing a last stand, knowing it will probably be their last day alive and yet committed to seeing their mission through. I did enjoy some of the flashbacks to Mono’s home life, little bursts that help the reader empathize with this doomed leader and what he’s fighting for. The battle sequence itself was well-written and painted a vivid picture of the clashing forces.
Where the story fell a bit short for me was in the overarching mythology. We get glimpses of the religion and stories that drive Mono’s people, and this religion ends up being critical to the story. But if I hadn’t been clued into the fact that religion was going to be so key as part of the story synopsis, I’m not sure if I would have fully realized what was happening at the climax. Even then, I still had to reread an earlier passage to understand where the setup had happened. Prophecies are a tricky beast to wrangle, and while I understand the need to not overplay your hand, it felt like their could have been better overall execution crystallizing that moment when the pieces fall into place.
LEGION OF MONO was a pleasant afternoon read, and I’m glad that I had the chance to check it out. It was a worthwhile introduction to an author, and the qualms I had did not overshadow the overall enjoyment I got out of the story. If you’re looking for a quick 300-esque tale, LEGION OF MONO is worth a look.