The Blood of the Covenant
Review of Sparrows, Book 11 of Earths Final Chapter
Review by Tom Pahlow
Homicidal children, the bonds of a chosen family and a mission gone awry. All of this and more await those who read Sparrows, Book 11 of Earths Final chapter. Written by Julian Fernandes and Illustrated by Maria F Loscher, the book is another exciting look into earth after the cataclysm.
Hit by a raid on their encampment, three nomadic clans must decide how to proceed against their Planetary council attackers. Do they face the bogeyman of the new world or leave revenge in favour of life? Meanwhile, a strange monk discovers an even stranger little girl in the ruins of a once-great city. All of their lives are drawn together in opposition to the ruthless PC, who have their own schemes in play.
Sparrows struck me ultimately as a story about family. Not just the ones we are born to, but the ones that we choose. A theme common in any representation of a nomadic people, the bonds of family and community are possibly one of the most powerful motivators for humanity. For better or worse. Fernandes shows us how chance encounters and tragedy can build and strengthen these bonds as the Sparrows forge their path.
The EFC world is a rich and immersive one filled with a variety of people and groups, each with its own agendas. One of the things that struck me while reading Sparrows was the myriad of motivations that went into the events of the story. Characters and groups each had distinct drives and it was fun to see how their goals interacted with, interfered and changed throughout the story. It wasn’t merely of group A opposing Group B, something uncommon in our own world as things are rarely so simple.
Helping this sense of complexity was the way each character was brought to life by Fernandes. My favourite had to be Elena the homicidal child. A great representation of a child brought up in the brutal world of EFC, her matter-of-fact perspective on killing was both chilling and fun. The growth of her character through the story was also heart-warming to see. Its always been one of the things I find most compelling in a story, seeing characters make mistakes and being forced to learn hard lessons.
Fernandes doesn’t shy away from tinging a happy ending with tragedy. While his stories usually end on a hopeful note, they are often bittersweet. Sparrows is no different. Reality can exact a toll and it’s often impossible to come out of conflict unscathed. The temptation is always there for authors to wrap everything up nicely with everyone escaping to live happily ever after. It's nice to see a story that doesn’t fall into this trap.
If you want a heart-warming story about family with plenty of action to spice things up then
Sparrows is a great addition to your ‘to read’ pile. Just don’t get on Elena or Figaro’s bad side.