Sorrow by John Lawson

sorrow1Sorrow: A Witch Ember Tale by John Lawson
239 Pages

Sorrow is a new chapter in the Witch Ember series of books by John Lawson. I’ve reviewed his two previous books, Witch Ember and The Raven and truly loved them both. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s the latest I’ve read by him or not, but Sorrow is currently my favorite of the three books that he has now published. It’s a dark tale, a magical tale, a treacherous and murderous tale and it’s everything that I love in a novel. So smartly and deftly written that it truly blew me away at times and left me gasping for breath…seriously, I had to remember to breathe sometimes.

Faina is young girl sent to live with the Viscount and his wife after the death of her parents. She lives in a home where money is no object, power is ever present, and orgies abound…a home that is far from the one she came from. She loves to dance and does so beautifully, enticing the eye of everyone that she catches. She is a true joy, bringing smiles to many of the faces that greet her. But she soon notices that she’s walked into a dark place. A priest is killed. He’s living in the Viscount’s home and it’s clear that he was killed in quite a violent fashion.

The Count, Hashii, is called out to investigate the priest’s murder. It seems that an assassin has done this…an assassin called Sorrow. Sorrow is a being wrapped in grey gauze with a look of sadness on it’s face and it sheds black tears as it commits it’s crimes. It’s skilled with a blade and with it’s body, able to outrun and outfight anyone who it faces. And the count has made it his mission to find the assassin and discover it’s secrets.

In the meantime, Faina has drawn the attention of the count and the attention of another young man. A man that Sorrow has it’s eyes on as it’s next victim. The young man, Phindol is the owner of a sword of great power and Faina wants nothing more than his protection…for she has fallen in love with him.

Lawson has returned to the scene with a true masterpiece of the dark fantasy realm edged with a hint of mystery. I was enthralled with this book from the beautiful prologue all the way through the satisfying epilogue (which leaves room for a possible sequel by the way while still remaining satisfying). As I said in a post the other day, I had forgotten how skilled of a writer John Lawson is since it’s been a year since I’ve read his previous books. But I remembered quickly with the opening lines of this book.:

One time, I was in the Dreaming, carried by the Wake

and cradled by All-Mother, rising and falling in the

rhythms of Her heart drumbeats. When I was low, I

slept, but when I rose high, I could see and hear the


Rising and falling and rising and falling

This was a book that I truly didn’t want to end. I could listen to tales of Faina for days…that’s the same way that I thought of Esmeree of Witch Ember. He writes such wonderful characters and comes up with some of the most amazing story lines. An assassin that cries black tears wrapped in gray gauze?! I mean come on! It’s like a book that was written just for me! The book is released today and is available for download. To those that fear e-books, fear not…if you’re going to try one, try this one. It’s SO worth it…I promise you. And there’s no need to have read any of the previous books to read this one. It’s a completely separate story with no ties to the other books. It stands alone brilliantly. If you have read the other books, it’s a great addition to this unique fantasy world.

I want you to read this so bad that I’ll buy it for you. For one of you that is. Leave me a comment saying you would like to read it and I’ll pick one person for whom I’ll buy the book! Don’t know how that works exactly with an e-book, but we’ll figure it out. Winner announced this Sunday!

Edit to Add: Ooooh, and just realized that it’s read an E-Book week until March 14th! You should totally read this!

You can buy John’s book Sorrow by following this link.


23 Responses

  1. I would love to read it. The excerpt got me. 🙂

  2. Lena, Consider yourself entered! It’s a fantastic book 😀

  3. You MUST stop this!!! I’m supposed to be on a book-buying fast for the month…and every time I come over here you’re pushing some new fantastic-sounding treasure! I’ve only so much willpower, you know?

  4. Chris, what can I say, man? Thanks so much! I hope your readers enjoy it as much as you did.


  5. Man, I have Witch Ember here to read and I read almost all of it and then, well, paused! Last year was a bad reading year… I really need to read it in its entirety this year. Maybe I will make it one of my Once Upon a Time reads. This sounds good, but then, all of his books sound good. I just am slack in my reading.

  6. I have Witch Ember and the second book. I have been waiting for John to get off his butt and push out another one. 🙂

  7. This sounds good. I’ve been meaning to read his books. 🙂

  8. This sounds absolutely fantastic. I’d love to read this so please enter me in your drawing. 😀

  9. Is this only available as an e-book, because I couldn’t find it on or listed on Goodreads. Please enter me! (gimmemorebooks10 at gmail dot com)

  10. Laza, the book is being “released” today, but it might not start showing up on book store sites until Friday.

  11. I’d love to read it, thanks!

  12. Your review sold me, after the cover completely freaked me out. It doesn’t sound as scary as it looks, despite the weeping assassin or is it?

  13. Are you and Nymeth working in tandem with this one? 😛

    Sounds a fantastic read, right up my street (ie I’d love to be entered in the draw!)

    And how gorgeous is that cover?

  14. I definitely want to try out this series soon!

  15. Okay, now that I wrote mine I could finally read your review. I haven’t read The Raven yet, but I liked this one even more than Witch Ember too. So yeah, we’re in full agreement. And how awesome of you to do a giveaway 😀

  16. I feel like I just got tagged-teamed by you and Nymeth!! She posted a review too. Of course, I’m so seriously anal about reading books in series order…..that I just got online at the library and put a hold on Witch Ember!! Your job is done!!

    But I’m a little freaked out by the cover!!

  17. Wow, that sounds stunning. Excellent review! I stll have not read Witch Ember, so need to get me a copy of that first. Thanks!

  18. Are you and Nymeth in cahoots on this one? It seems a bit too creepy for me, but with two such strong recommendations how can I resist. By the way, I’ve nominated you for a blog award

  19. wow!! I’m thrilled to see all of the excitement over John’s book. It’s truly a great one and if you think it might be too dark/scary for you, fear not…it’s really not that bad. If you’re a fan of mystery novels, you’ll be fine. Also, I’ve updated the links to go directly to Drollerie Press where the book is only $5.91! That’s cheap! If it sells well enough as an eBook, Drollerie Press has mentioned the possibility of doing a print run, which would rock. And I totally want a copy of this that I can hold…so do me a favor and go buy it 😉

  20. I would love to read john’s new book. I am really excited to see the new chapter in his series. He has such a talent for drawing the reader in and your review of the book was spectacular. Even if you don’t choose me for the book i want to thank you for reviewing the book because i know he appreciates it and you did a really good job giving me a taste for it.

  21. […] Comments Sorrow by John Lawson « Stuff as Dreams are Made on on SorrowJohn Lawson » Blog Archive » SORROW glossary now available! on Sorrow […]

  22. […] 2009, 342 pgs., 5/5 21. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, 2009, 32 pgs., 5/5 22. Sorrow: A Witch Ember Tale by John Lawson, 2009, 239 pgs., 5/5 23. Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles De Lint, 2007, 271 pgs., […]

  23. You and Nymeth have both reviewed this recently and it sounds like the series keeps getting better and better. Must get copies…

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