An Autumn Adventure – Review of “The Herald of Autumn” by JM Guillen

Tommy Maple is the Herald of Autumn. He wakes ahead of schedule, drawn from slumber by Old Man Coyote, a trickster always at odds with Tommy’s kin. Soon he faces a dire enemy that threatens to erase the pages of his very story, drinking in his power and those like him. Tommy will find unlikely allies as he Hunts this festering darkness.

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. To me, it holds a magic unlike any other season. JM Guillen captures it so well. The scents, tastes, sounds, and feel of it all. I sat down with an autumn breeze whispering in through the window. Hot apple cider was at my side. Outside, a thick fog was rolling in. It was a beautiful evening to enjoy this tale.

The description was wonderful. A delight to my senses. I felt like I was right there with Tommy Maple, Heralding Autumn at his side. I could taste the cider, feel the kiss of the September breeze and the chill as it sets in. I could hear the wolves and the distant call of the Hunt.
The characters were interesting and intriguing, though I found myself wanting more time with many of them. I found myself wanting to know more about the world of those characters. An interesting fusion, the main characters pulled their history from the myths of the First People, Native American folklore, as well as European mythology surrounding the Great Hunt and the fey. It was well-rooted in historical folktales, but more than that, these characters felt alive to me. I wondered what tricks Old Man Coyote was up to, just what his Telling could shape. I wanted to hear the tales of Tommy Maple’s adventures. A thousand of them. A thousand thousand. His past seems rich with adventure, and this was but one. The end of the tale leaves you wanting more, and the author suggests that there is more to come. I can’t wait to hear those tales.
Speaking of tales, the Telling of them was a powerful magic. To the folk in this tale, Storytelling holds an interesting sort of power that brought the magic of the story to life. I enjoyed the Tellings and would love to learn more about it. I found myself wanting to study it and find out the nuances of the system. Well done.
I very much enjoyed the story, but it was a bit short for me. Not that it pulled from the tale, but it left me wanting more. I wanted to get to know everyone more, but I think it fits. After all, the Herald is not meant to dally on. Isn’t meant to have a home. But I felt saddened that he was in and out so quickly. I want to see more of Tommy. And more of his friends. We hear about some of the others, but see them so little. I’m intrigued by this world and I’d like to delve in. I want to learn more about the fey and the First Peoples as they relate in Guilllen’s world. I am eagerly anticipating more.

I enjoyed seeing things from Tommy’s perspective. He’s a bit archaic, which might irk some, but I very much enjoyed it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoyed the archaic terms and thought they served to characterize him well. He’s a man…if you could call him that…bound not by time, but by a season. Fated to repeat that season until a new Herald is called. I look forward to hear more of his tales. To find out what boon he will call on…
Hunt on, Tommy Maple.


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