Title: A Winter’s Night
Author: Theodore Brun
Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: 51 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
Enter if you dare…
A man driving through a remote part of Denmark is forced to take shelter from a snowstorm in a lonely castle. Inside, he encounters the Count who lives there, a strange old man who begins to talk. And as the Count does, the visitor learns of an ancient legend, of the noble family’s mysterious secret, and of the curse that overshadows them…
Content Warning: Childbirth and curses.
Old houses remember everything.
As someone who doesn’t know much about Danish folklore, I was intrigued by the descriptions of trolls and how the people of Denmark related to them in this tale. The author did a good job of making some of those old legends come alive in my imagination as he described why those who remembered those stories were so afraid of the past. They had good reasons to worry about bringing attention to themselves, and I was curious to find out more about how their beliefs were holding strong in the early twenty-first century.
I struggled to understand the ending because of how it seemed to contradict earlier plot and character development. There were certain details about the lives of the Count’s ancestors that were shared about halfway through the storyline in order to show how much this family line had remained the same over the centuries. It was confusing, then, to reach the end and have all of this information turned on its head. I know I’m being vague here, but it’s difficult to share constructive criticism of how things turned out without giving away spoilers. What I can say is that I wish the last few scenes had been developed more thoroughly so that I could understand why everything the audience had learned earlier was suddenly being tossed aside.
With that being said, the setting was a great one for the topic of generational curses. There is something about looking at antiques in a house that many generations of people have lived and died in that makes all of the dark tidbits of information about the past a little scarier than they might have been. I also liked the fact that the author acknowledged how eerie the world is during a snowstorm. While snow is beautiful to look, it also makes travelling treacherous during the winter and can trap people in places they probably wouldn’t have otherwise stayed overnight.
A Winter’s Night is a good pick for a cold, stormy evening.