Aran has always had his secrets, things he didn’t feel like sharing until his younger brother finally got up the nerve to ask about the past he never mentioned. At least until mid a few days in mid September after an early morning swimming lesson. Until asked, he never spoke of the family had before being adopted by their parents or some of his own past. It was his own until Tristan’s curiosity made him finally tell the story. Alternating between the present day and the years prior to his time in Seattle.
Aran’s was an interesting tale. He’s a kelpie (horse shapeshifter of the sea) bound to Poseidon’s will, and there are events from his past that continue to haunt him thousands of years later.
As the synopsis indicates, the story alternates between 1993 and his distant past as he tells his brother his story. (I’m still trying to figure out how Tristan can be anything but an adoptive sibling to Aran, given Aran’s creation story, but he acted like they were biological siblings on more than one occasion.) Tristan is five and has a lot of questions. He’s a shapeshifter of some form too, but which type was never explained. There are more than kelpies in this story, so Tristan could have been any number of things. What I liked most was the bond between the brothers, and Aran’s unyielding determination to protect and teach Tristan.
While there were definite influences from Greek mythology, due to Poseidon’s role, other influences were present too. There’s mention of Egyptian, Irish, and Native American deities as well. I’ve always had a fascination with mythology of all forms, so I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.
As a novella, this was a quick read (a little over two hours for me.) If you’re looking for something shorter with fantasy/mythology elements, definitely give this one a try.