Saturday, March 21, 2015

Short Story Saturday: This Place is Death

Title: A Curse Keepers Secret #1: This Place is Death

Author: Denise Grover Swank

Date of Publication: February 11, 2014

Formats Available: E-book

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Number of Pages: 53

Synopsis: It’s one of the most enduring mysteries in American history: What became of the English colony off the Virginian coast on Roanoke Island? Why, and how, did they vanish so completely?

No one suspected an ancient curse…

Ananias Dare and his expectant wife are among the pioneers who have come to brave an uncharted frontier. But conditions are harsh, and hostile natives have already spilled English blood. Only the peaceful Croatan Indians welcome the settlers. But when friend and guide Manteo has a haunting encounter deep in the woods, Ananias fears the colony faces a threat much darker than mortal enemies. As a brutal winter and an Indian massacre loom, Manteo and Ananias—and the dreadful secret they share—may be the settlers’ only hope of survival. But for the salvation they desperately seek, there will be hell to pay.

This Place Is Death is a short story revealing the chilling origins of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank’s urban fantasy series, The Curse Keepers.

My Review:

Ever since I started the Curse Keepers series I was fascinated by the events of Roanoke and the events that led up to the curse. Swank does an absolutely amazing job combining the mystery of Roanoke with the mythology of the Native Americans. The more I read, the more enchanting this series becomes. I just can't seem to get enough!  

This short story was a great refresher for me and I only wish I had read it before I started the second book. I loved getting a first hand view of what really happened that fateful day the colony disappeared and meeting the characters that made it happen. I was a little mixed up on some of the characters who started the curse and it was great to meet Ananias and Manteo and finally get their roles in the curse straight.

Though Swank didn't have much time to work with she did a great job fleshing out the characters and fleshing out the story. I felt like I was right there with Ananias, Maneto, and the other settlers. The beginning of the story started off a little slow but once the events started leading up to the curse I found myself getting more and more pulled into the story. Swank even incorporated a bit of a villain figure in Ananias's father in law, which only made the drama in this story that much more exciting.

This Place is Death was a great short story in the Curse Keepers series and I really enjoyed reading it. I love all the history in this series and I loved being sent to the past to see where the series began. I'm excited to continue the series!


*I received a copy of this story from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review. 

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