The Kingdom, by Benjamin T. Collier (Word Alive Press, 2011)
The Kingdom is a short novella, under 100 pages, but it pulls readers into an intriguing fantasy world of kingdoms, knights, princesses and mythical flying beasts.
The story draws on classic fantasy and fairy tale elements such as the princess enduring endless presentations from eligible-but-boring suitors, the corrupt steward ruling in the good king’s absence, the strong hero and his fantastic animal companion (in this case, a dragon-like creature called a wyvern).
One of the twists: the “strong hero” might be considered a villain. And Princess Nevaeh is no damsel in distress. She’s a strong young woman looking for a partner, not a rescuer.
Nevaeh and the villain/hero, Roy, are each looking for someone who’ll love them for who they are—and neither is looking for a person like the other. Behind the romance is another kind of love and trust as Nevaeh waits confidently for her father, the good king, to return as promised, when the rest of the kingdom considers him lost at sea.
Canadian author Benjamin T. Collier writes with vivid description and humour. In contrast with epic fantasy and its multiple plot threads, he keeps a tight focus on Nevaeh’s story. The world he’s envisioned could support a more complex weaving of plots, and if he decides to revisit it in the future there would be plenty to explore.