The Silk Palace
by Colin Harvey
Blue, a young scholar in the fantasy novel The Silk Palace, by Colin Harvey, takes a gigantic risk by
changing her name to Bluestocking. That may sound like a minor infraction, but in the kingdom of Whiterock, the
tower city situated between two kingdoms, that act is not only an act of treason but one that could condemn her
soul. Blue travels to Whiterock to translate a sacred scroll that has baffled older and more learned scholars than
herself. Here she faces not only extreme torture and death for the haughty indiscretion of using another name, but
she comes face to face with royal snubbing, emotional betrayal, and the fury of a demonic god.
The Silk Palace is Harvey's first foray into fantasy, though he has written in the sci-fi and thriller
genres. The location that Harvey portrays is vital to the story, not only because of the unique social and religious
underpinnings in this society but also because of its singular location. Set high on a craggy mountain, there is no
easy way to leave the city. The only way to get up or down is either by hot-air balloons on ropes or by a simple
rope and wench set up. This makes the city safe from attack but also makes it problematic if anyone wants to escape
unnoticed. This becomes pivotal as Blue's seeming lack of courage is put to the test.
A member of the Horror Writers Association, Harvey's skills at painting the grotesque and horrific are well used
in this volume as he depicts public executions, warfare, and demonic slaughter and sexual violence. Since half of
the book deals with Blue's battle with a demonic god, there was a lot of violence. I did find that uncomfortable.
However, I did find myself rooting for Blue and her lone attempt to thwart evil.
The Silk Palace is a well-written fantasy with heroic elements, sometimes found in the most unusual
places. It should be noted, however, that Harvey does not present a simple sweetness and light story. Battling a
demon god shouldn't be confined to a few clever flicks of a sword and some witty words. I'll be curious to read
other books by Colin Harvey.
1934041424 / 978-1934041420|
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NOTE: Reviewer Janie
Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of
The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.
Coming Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook.