This is the second book review in what I hope to be a monthly series. This month I am reviewing the debut novel, The Last Death of Tev Chrisini by Jennifer Bresnick. Jennifer is a fellow blogger here on WordPress, one that I follow and find illuminating as well as entertaining. If you have a chance, please check out her blog, after you finish reading my review, of course.
The Last Death of Tev Chrisini by Jennifer Bresnick tells the story of a soldier caught in the middle of a war that has been waged for almost seven hundred years. Centuries have passed since the last face to face negotiations between the warring factions when word comes of a two-week ceasefire to allow delegations to meet for the first time.
News comes before a humiliating defeat is suffered by Tev’s forces. He survives, and after the ceasefire takes affect, his commander, Lord Ausring is invited by the opposing leader, Duke Polormi, to a banquet. Ausring, who is not in a position to decline, attends, bringing Tev and a few other men of importance.
It is through this contact that Tev finds himself marching with the enemy, escorting them through his territory, to attend the negotiations. This ultimately brings our hero to discover the truth of who he is, and why, after over 500 years, and countless deaths on the battlefield, he is still alive. The ceasefire is the motivation for him to fulfill a destiny long since hidden from him, and forgotten in the ravages of a seemingly perpetual war.
While The Last Death of Tev Chrisini deals with war and the complicated politics between sides, and even among family members, at its heart it is very much a story about one man’s journey of self-discovery. The events that were triggered before the first battle of the novel set in motion a course of events that propel Tev, and by extension us the reader, forward.
As is the case in most heroic journeys, Tev has the choice to refuse or back out. He could have chosen to deny is heritage and his destiny, but like a true hero he is compelled to do what is required of him, in spite of the cost.
Overall, I found the novel to be compelling and well written, and as a winner of Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie Book Award it should be. My only issue, and not that it’s a bad one, is that it’s easy to lose track of the number of characters, locations, and races in the story. Happily, she remedied that particular (non)problem with the inclusion of Glossary of Names to help us the reader keep track. Overall, I recommend that you give Last Death a chance.
Currently, Jennifer is working on a prequel, which if this novel is any indication, will be just as enjoyable to read. I can only hope that Last Death will only be the first of a series of novels set in this universe, and a launching point for a long writing career.
The Last Death of Tev Chrisini © 2012 Jennifer Bresnick
© 2013 Joe Hinojosa