REVIEW: Thrice by Andrew D. Meredith

Last Updated on February 12, 2024

Thrice is Andrew D. Meredith’s charming adventure fantasy infused with Slavic folklore. As the novel opens, we are introduced to Jovan, a thirty-five-year-old needle maker who is bloodily pounding some unfortunate bloke in a fit of rage. Jovan has a well-known history of violence and is soon forced to flee town. Most of the novel chronicles Jovan’s journey toward the suitably named town of Rightness, or Righteousness as one of the characters erroneously calls it.

ThriceJovan travels with his adopted son, Leaf, a four-year-old boy who exudes innocence but is also wise beyond his years. Despite his rage issues, Jovan’s relationship with Leaf is that of a loving, protective father who cares deeply about his son. Andrew D. Meredith beautifully conveys this relationship between Jovan and Leaf, which forms the heart and soul of Thrice. I especially enjoyed reading about the small details of their relationship, which helped make Jovan and Leaf come alive off the page.

Andrew D. Meredith’s prose in Thrice has the same classic feel as in Deathless Beast, capturing the great sense of humanity at the core of this novel. The vivid descriptions of the world are also beautifully conveyed by the author.

The plot comprises a delightful blend of folklore and classic fantasy elements organized into episodic chapters that gradually reveal Leaf’s surprising abilities, which make him a target for some of the more unsavory characters in the novel. The episodic style of Thrice generally works well, but it becomes a bit repetitive as Jovan and Leaf consistently encounter unscrupulous people along their journey. The plot has several twists, although some of the coincidences may require readers to suspend their disbelief (a common requirement when reading folktales), and the ending of the novel came too quickly for my taste. Still, Meredith’s gifted storytelling kept me glued to the pages and left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Despite opening with a blood-splattering fight scene, Thrice is a very wholesome novel and will appeal to adult and adolescent readers alike. Grimdark readers looking for a brief respite from the dark side may appreciate this novel and its focus on small personal conflicts rather than the grand battles normally associated with epic fantasy.

Thrice is a deeply personal and touching tale and serves as a beautiful vehicle for Andrew D. Meredith’s poignant storytelling. It is a semi-finalist in Mark Lawrence’s 8 th Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO8) and the first entry in Meredith’s Needle and Leaf series.

4/5

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John Mauro

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

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