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The Accursed Art by J. Rutledge
Resting beneath a withered tree of woe, a chronicler tells of ancient crimes, twisted fate, and living shadows of lore. Take account, of a dozen dark novellas imparted for appraisal of mortal affliction and unforeseen consequences. Witness a gifted craftsman entangled by his own arrogant workings. A songstress who succumbs to demonic shame. Observe a vain fellow of leisure blindly provoke a sadomasochistic retribution. Then the dark allegiance of an elite secret society, and an assassin locked in the cross-hairs of a ghastly purgatory. Behold the crimes of mortal contempt and malediction unleashed, as told in these Accursed Tales.
Combining mythology, historical elements, and current events, the stories feature engaging, surprising, and poignant scenes. The story “A Clean and Beautiful Nation” reveals the horrors of war through the vivid recollections of a soldier. In the story, “Neighbors’ Neighbor,” a determined freelance writer uncovers the terrifying secret behind a string of missing persons’ reports. Other stories such as “The Terminus” retell the painful experiences of Native Americans forced out of their land during the American Frontier. The people die brutal deaths under the cold-hearted soldiers who watch on, unbothered by the desperation of their victims. Through the frigid cold, the people struggle to trudge forward as they witness the numerous horrific deaths of their people.
The Accursed Art is written in both prose and poetic expressions which makes the collection engaging. It discusses important themes such as the long-term effects of war, the injustices of racism and other forms of discrimination. The stories are emotive as they capture the feeling of the characters involved. Though the collection brings together different types of stories set in different times of history, it is held together by the similar format each story follows which includes an introduction, the story, and the lesson contained. Every story is brief and impactful. Some of the stories are told in the first person which makes them even more compelling.
The Accursed Art by J. Rutledge is a unique collection that contains many electrifying and striking scenes and is highly recommended by Chick Lit Café. Book review by Edith Emunah for Chick Lit Café Book Reviews.