I, Corinthius: The Vasterium Saga, by Shae Christi

rain and a book-sreesha divakaran-corinthiusSo , I’ve decided not every review of mine needs to go on goodreads. Sometimes they’re harsh, and I don’t know, maybe some books don’t deserve it. No, don’t get me wrong, I am not “softening up” or anything (I am the only one who would make that statement with such derision). Honestly, I don’t know why, but books (such as this one, for instance) need not be reviewed on goodreads.

I, Corinthius begins with a preface about a monk. It sounds like a condensed summary of a larger story, and is narrated very well. Despite sounding condensed, it almost made me believe it is a true story and I looked forward to the rest. The preface talks about a monk who discovers a parallel world (reading this so soon after The Dark Tower, which deals with parallel worlds too was a strange coincidence) and begins to write about it. The other monks discover his journals and accuse him of heresy. One fine day, he vanishes.

The preface says this is a modern day retelling of the tale he recorded.

Like I said, this part was written exceptionally well. What followed – well, a little less so.

Summary: Corinthius is a stag who finds that the woods he had lived in were destroyed in a fire. When I began to read I thought, Woah, this is a stag? Is this a children’s book? Turns out, it wasn’t, but it could very well have been. Corinthius stares at the burning forest and begins to wonder who he is and where he came from. He meets another group of deer and tries to join them, but is turned away. He later meets a Goddess/witch/enchantress who knows about him and his past.

Writing/Narration: OK, so the story is being told from Corinthius’ POV. Which means, when he meets the group of deer  (or any other character) introductions need to be in order – for the characters’ sake as well as the reader’s. But, the names of all the deer are mentioned with no introduction whatsoever. Consider this scene, where he first encounters the group:

“Hello there. Could you help me, please? My name is Corinthius,” he said nervously. Even though he approached gently he still startled the does.

“Who are you? What do you want? We’ve never seen you around these grounds before,” snapped Geru, the doe with the long scar that wound itself over the bridge of her nose.

“We don’t care about your business. It’s nothing to do with us,” spat Zelna, the doe with a chocolate patch that covered her right eye.

How did he know their names? All the more reason to suspect if this is a children’s book.

He later meets Belovaya (queen/goddess/witch/enchantress) and I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but there is just so much wrong with their relationship. It’s just not right.

Also, Corinthius is the flawless good guy character. He is perfect – too perfect. The book has very clear lines about good and bad. There’s no grey.

The imagery, however, is beautiful. The vivid descriptions are hard to be ignored and deserve praise. The book would have been better had the characters and the story been narrated in the same vein and perfection.

Overall, I would say this book was not for me. It is not just the narration or the confusion over the age-group this book should be suitable for. The story was not nearly as riveting as the preface almost promised me it would be.

On the plus side, it is a really short read that would not take up too much of your time. Perhaps you could read it to your kids by removing the un-children’s-book bits and making Belovaya a little more nice.

Rating: 2/5

Buy it here: Amazon

Disclaimer: I received a PDF copy for review from the author.

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