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Archive for October 20th, 2018

Water to Water

41951209

Water to Water

by Karen A. Wyle

Genre: Science Fiction

Two young Vushla questioned what everyone knew about death. What should they do with the answer?

When the time comes for Vushla to die, they go into the ocean and are dissolved away. Or so Terrill has always believed, and still believes after taking part in his father’s final journey. But when he meets a young Vushlu who lives by the sea, Terrill must confront information that calls this fundamental belief into question. Will the two of them discover the truth? And what should they do with what they find?

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Excerpt

Kititit looked at different Vushla in turn as he told the story about buying a beast from a giant and tricking the fellow into lowering the price. The Vushla’s armor mostly left their faces bare, so you could see them drink the story in, especially the young ones. All right, maybe his mate’s uncle’s cousin wasn’t exactly a giant, but he was big enough that none of his neighbors gave him any backtalk. Kititit had come out of that exchange well enough to enjoy bragging about it, even if he did embellish the details a bit for effect.

It was a fine way to spend an evening. It would have been, even if the breeze hadn’t been a trifle nippy. He’d always liked campfires, but he particularly enjoyed them in villages like this. Vushlu armor wasn’t exactly reflective, but almost, enough to catch the firelight and play with it a bit. And while he always liked the smell of a campfire, it mingled especially nicely with the unique tangy smell of the sea. As for the traces of fish odor, he didn’t mind them. He did wonder, looking around at the Vushla, how much of it all they could smell with those small holes in their faces. His big mesh-covered nostrils had to do a better job, unless they somehow didn’t.

He caught the fisher lad’s eye for just a moment before the lad looked away. A bit shy, that one, but with thirsty ears, always soaking in whatever story Kititit chose to tell. Kititit’s oldest son had been like that, when he was a good bit younger. And when the boy and his sister had come with Kititit on his journeys, there had been plenty of time for telling tales.

Naturally the boy, or rather the proud young father, had started staying home now that he had a mate and little ones. And Kititit’s daughter, once proud to be included, had lately been more like willing. A good-hearted lass, ready to help her father in case he was too old and feeble to handle things alone; but it was time for her to live in the center of her own life, and Kititit to go back to how he used to travel, enjoying his own and the beast’s company.

Still, it was nice to have a youngster or two around the campfire.

 

About the Author

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9.

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Character Interview with Kititit the Weesah Peddler

Q. How did you become a peddler?

A. Well, now. That’s a ways to think back . . . . When I was a young sprout, we had a neighbor who was a peddler, wagon and all. I thought her wagon was about the prettiest thing I’d ever seen, all painted up as it was. And she used to let me help load the goods in the back – leastways, helping is what she called it. Getting in the way is what I’d call it, remembering. And when she’d been away and came home again, she always had stories to tell about the places she’d been. I’d never been anywhere, and I got to hankering after a life like she had.

Q. Your wagon – did it used to be your neighbor’s?

A. Right you are! Though by the time she figured she was ready to stay home and play with her grandchildren and take it easy, the wagon was what you might call used up – the canopy, anyway. My folks gave me a new one, and I picked what to paint on it.

Q. You have a mate and children, I hear. How have you managed to strike a balance between traveling and family life?

A. Well, I don’t have just any mate. I made sure to find a lady as liked to hear stories. I promised to always bring back plenty of stories. And she’s an independent sort – doesn’t need someone at her elbow all the time, telling her how to do things. A mate as hung around every day might get annoying for such as her. So we suit each other. And the longer I’m away, the longer I stay home and do my bit with the young ‘uns and the beasts and the garden and all. And now that some of our young ‘uns are grown, she has plenty of help when she needs it.

Q. You’re acquainted with Terrill and Honnu, I believe. How did that come about?

I’ve known Honnu a good piece of his life, I’d say. I visit a few different fisher villages, and he lives – or lived, I’m not sure which is right just now – in one of ‘em. I was the first Weesah he ever saw, I reckon, and how he would stare! Anyhow, he’s a curious fellow and always likes to hear my traveler’s tales.

Q. That brings up an interesting point. Aren’t you somewhat given to exaggeration in those tales of yours? Should Honnu believe everything you say?

(laughs) No, I can’t say as he should. But I reckon he knows that. Now, I wouldn’t say he knows just what to believe and what not to. But if he ever asked me, serious-like, I’d tell him.

Q. And Terrill? How did you meet him?

That was luck, if luck is something that happens, as to which I’ve no firm opinion. His da took ill, and Terrill was one of the funeral party as took him to the sea. I left Honnu’s village about the time they left to head home again, and we got to talking on the road. A nice young fellow. On the serious side, and tending to worry more than is comfortable for a youngster his age. I did my bit to cheer him up, when I could.

Q. And how did Terrill and Honnu meet each other?

(chuckles) Well, I’ll maybe let you ask one of them about that. I’d best be packing up and heading on, pretty soon. Any last questions? Or might you be wanting something from the wagon before I go? I’ve got some good knives I picked up a few towns back. Or if you’ve little ones at home, I have toys — balls for juggling, and these dolls. See the bits of shell that make up the armor? And of course, I have fish. Always plenty of fish.

 

My Review

4 Stars

This world is made up of two different races, the Vushla and Weesah. The Vushla are centaur like creatures that stay around their homes and don’t really encourage exploration. The Weesah are closer to human like appearance that trade and travel. Terrill is a young Vushlu that has to face the fact that his father is dying. They have a tradition where they travel to the sea and let the body dissolve back to the water. But on the return trip another family member becomes sick and the party turns around for the same purpose. Terrill can’t face this again and decides to leave and explore with a Weesah, Kittiti that he meet on the way to his father’s death.

Kittiti is an older male that has his kids grown and gone and discovers a young Vushlu, Honnu hidden in his cart. He decides to let the kid travel with him to explore the world that they live in. Then he meets up with Terrill and agrees to let him come along too. But as the boys travel and help Kittiti, they start learning things that change their views on their own lives and have to find a way to process this information and decide how to get it back to their own homes.

This is an amazing world and was so easy to get into the story. It’s heartbreaking to watch what Terrill goes through but it is also a fact of life. I don’t blame him for wanting to escape his world, I think we all go through that in our own lives from time to time, and it helps him to realize that there is so much more to this world than what he has grown up with.

Honnu is a great addition with his need to explore. He is a great friend for Terrill as they navigate Kittiti’s world. And Kittiti, I loved him. As a father he can see the kids wanting to grow and learn and I enjoyed how he helped both of them.

This is a great story about family, friends, loss, and finding out place in the world. It makes you think about what you would do if you were in their positions. It’s a great read and has me curious about other books from Karen Wyle.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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