Set in the fantasy world of Venari, the town of Elkbury knows no hardship as long as the old and the sick undergo the banishment ceremony.
However, when you have a creepy priest running the show, and you banish people to the scary woods that surround your town, you know that it is only a matter of time before things take a turn for the worse.
I’ve only read Yardley’s short fiction up til now, and I loved it. It was interesting to read one of her full length novels. She made the brave choice to forego a single protagonist and tell the story equally from each town person. I admire her innovation but, unfortunately, it didn’t work for me in this instance.
Elkbury is a mash up of The Village and The Evil Dead. I loved that there really were dangers lurking in the woods, but it was unclear how the people benefited from their arrangement with the monsters.
Father Arcadius ran the town, had a huge church with stained glass windows and a sword named absolution. However, I’m not sure what he preached because he didn’t seem to believe in anything. He conducted the banishment ceremonies and was a maniac, but he didn’t appear to have any cult rhetoric to keep the townspeople in tow.
There was an interesting magic system and backstory to the town, and I wish it had been more developed as I felt the plot was a little thin for the 500 pages.
With fantasy zombies, lots of gore and plenty of humor, I thought Banished would tick all the boxes for me. It has its moments, but I was left frustrated because I wanted more from the setting and characters.
I award Banished…
Banished is available for $4.16 ebook and $10.12 print book on Amazon.