I picked up Black Crow, White Snow by Michael Livingston from Audible’s free Originals program. It was part of May’s slate of free shorts. To be honest, I had mostly ignored Audible’s Originals to this point; I just didn’t see much value in it.
But after listening to Livingston’s short story in just two days (it’s only 2.5 hours long), I’ll have to pay closer attention to the free books Audible offers.
In Black Crow, White Snow, Livingston lets the reader catch a glimpse of an intricately developed world where women hold positions of power, men are subservient, and every individual is assigned an occupational role in society.
Bela is the captain of the Sand Crow, a ship on a quest to find a lost ancient power that could save Bela’s people in the war against their enemies. But when the story opens, the Sand Crow is stuck on a frozen sea.
From the start, this story is exciting and fascinating, as every line is designed to reveal just a bit about the world in which Livingston’s characters live.
Bela is a strong personality, respected by her crew, and unafraid to make tough decisions to ensure their safety. Simultaneously, she is thoughtful, and not wholly devoted to the way of life her society has taught her.
As the story progresses and her crew is beset by greater dangers, Bela begins to learn that the one man among her crew, Tudic the scholar, may be more valuable than she initially assumed.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story. Download Audible and read this one for free. It’ well worth it.
Hopefully, Livingston will be writing more in this world.