Peter Orullian's story describes the horror of war, especially the mothers who see their loved ones leave. This story stuck with me after I'd read it. I couldn't picture many of the images in the story and therefore had to reread it to discover that it wasn't stark, I'd just forgotten them. In my reading, I was drawn into the drama of the story and the conflict that unfolds. However, my failure to remember the images seems appropriate since a central emotion through the story is mourning.
This story's strength is the main character. I enjoyed both the way she discovers an action to take, and her thoughts, which paint her grief and her life. We learn who she is.
The world in which the story occurs is just the tip of the iceberg. The story is written from the point-of-view of someone small, but the world has been well-thought out and breaths beyond what happens on the page. Peter Orullian has written this story as a teaser for his epic series, so it isn't surprising to find a rich world. Looking for character-driven epic-fantasy novelletes, try a taste of The Great Defense of Layosah.