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Mourning Cloak

(Taurin's Chosen #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Kato Vorsok is a man deserted by his god. A failed hero living in exile, he wants nothing to do with his old life.

Until the night he encounters a wounded mourning cloak—a demon that can walk through walls, dissolve into mist, and spear a man’s heart with a fingernail.

She calls him by name. She knows his past. She needs his help.

And she is his key to redemption.

Mourning Clo
Kindle Edition, 69 pages
Published January 12th 2013 by Rabia Gale
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  75 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of lost loves, fantasy
Recommended to carol. by: Athena
Interesting, but uneven.

Something about either the narrative style or the set-up reminds me of Frank Tuttle's writing, so that kept me interested. However, at the heart of it, the world-building is incompletely realized/conveyed. The setting opens on a man who is tending bar, aware he's being haunted by a being known as a mourning cloak who can kill with a touch. He has powders and wards to keep his property safe; his guests wear charms to protect them. Then he flips a switch to turn out the li
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A well written novelette introducing us to Kato's world and his place as a possible hero in it. I would call this a pure fantasy or high fantasy book and therefore not really my thing, but I have a lot of Goodreads friends who I know would absolutely love this.
I completely LOVE the cover though!
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novella was one wild ride! It's always a treat when you come across an excellent writer, and when that writer is in indie publishing it feels like an additional treat.

There was so much to love in this book. For such a brief novella, it packed a powerful emotional punch. The worldbuilding felt detailed and wonderfully rich. The speculative concepts mixed the kind of nanotech you normally only see in science fiction into the kind of world you normally only see in fantasy, and the result is f
Intisar Khanani
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

I’ve been on a kick lately, enjoying some awesome new indie reads… first Andrea K. Host, now Rabia Gale. Mourning Cloak is science fantasy novella where magic mixes with mech, and gods reveal the patterns of the world to their chosen ones, and scientists twist ethics in their laboratories, purportedly for the good of humankind. That right there is the basis for a fantastic story, and Gale doesn’t disappoint with her characters. Kato Vorsok was once the Chosen One, and now
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fantasy, steampunk, character-driven reads
Recommended to Athena by: Intisar Khanani
This is one of those forceful, grab-you-by-the-eyeballs-and-doesn't-let-go reads (I'm sure there's a word for that besides 'compelling,' which I've been using way too much recently, but yeah, it's that).

The main character is broken, he's retreated into banality, hiding from his past and himself until he's forced into taking the one action he still allows himself, which leads of course to further actions and by that point I couldn't stop reading.

Gale has created one of the most astounding reali
The cover attracted me and the summary interested me, but the story was confusing. You're thrown into the story right away, which is great but things are not explained and there is no glossary for all new words used. The new and highly imaginative world is not explained. I felt a big chunk of the story was missing. However, I felt I knew the characters. ...more
Isa Lavinia
This was so beautifully written, but it just reads like a first draft.
The reader is dropped into the middle of the story, and the lack of background really makes everything very confusing. And while you can kind of guess things by the end, it still feels incomplete.
Ornella (Nyx)
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
There was like no background. You are just thrust into the middle of this world and have no clue what's going on. I usually don't have a problem with this but that's cause I'm expecting an explanation as it goes. This book was too short to give the kind of explanation that would satisfy me. Nonetheless it was a nice story. ...more
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Epic. Freaking epic!!!! oh, Kato and Flutter <3

I'm quite sure the word "mind-blowing" was invented for stories like Mourning Cloak. Welcome to a review brimming over with superlatives, because in all honesty, just thinking of Mourning Cloak makes me want to shout praises from the rooftops.

This being my second novella by this author (my first was Rainbird ), I learned that Rabia's stories are a special category of unique, a marvelous combination of science fiction and fantasy. Mourning Cloak is a
I hate to say it but I really struggled with this one, I had trouble figuring out what was going on and what all the terminology meant. I was also completely freaked out by the swarm of spiders that were living inside him and I'm afraid I haven't been able to get past that to finish reading.

I made it to about 27% before deciding that it was going to be a DNF. This novella just wasn't for me but it has a lot of very positive reviews so don't let me put you off trying it. I have to say I adore th
Teddi Deppner
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Once again, Rabia Gale immersed me in a fascinating world full of creatures and beings whose natures are mysterious and thrilling. (I greatly enjoyed her books Ghostlight and Ghoulfire.) Her work engages my imagination, keeping me wondering what the rules of this new place are, guessing at what could happen next, puzzling over the hints at the background of her main character, Kato. Why is he so troubled? What happened that scarred him so? Could his wife still be alive?

I enjoyed the fresh take o
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The writing style is vivid and intense. I have strong visual images of the world in which Mourning Cloak is set, and that’s always impressive. The characters had a great deal of personality, and fit quite a bit of history into the small strokes that were outlined as the story went along. I love the dark, intense building up of a world in which danger lurks around every turn and horrible creatures prowl the night. There’s a whole ecosystem of critters and specters built up.

The only real difficult
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. What WAS that? Whoa. And why did I finish it so quickly?

My rational brain is trying to dissect and analyse and pick holes, which is tempting because the world building is rich but VERY lightly explained. Quite a lot is left to the reader to work out or imagine. There's also a convenient portal at one point that avoids a lot of geography and logistics. And there's also a strong spiritual flavour to this that won't be to everyone's taste. Yet I really enjoyed this and wish I could write
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-english
This novella had so much potential, but didn't live up to it for me. If more time had been spend on explaining the world, the magic and just basically everything, it would have been so much better. As it is, I have no idea what any of the characters are like, their personalities are barely touched on. At first I thought the spiders in his blood were metaphorical, later I realized that they were not, but nothing was explained at all, and that made it just a shell of what it could have been. ...more
Sarah White
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-in-2019
A beautifully poetic book set in a unique kitchen-sink fantasy world. I felt for the characters and got swept away by the beautiful prose. My one quibble is the same as virtually every other review: I wish the book had been longer, with more explanation of the world and more time to get to know the characters.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There was nothing I didn't like about this novella. Fantasy with a solid sci-fi undercurrent, lyrical prose, top-notch worldbuilding, things that go bump in the night and a sense of foreboding saturating everything. Exactly my kind of story (the kind to re-read in the dark time of the year), and the sequel is already jumping the queue. ...more
Norma Dangla
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I think this is a really strange world, and the prayer magic sounds intriguing. Yet, I couldn´t get involved with the characters. There was not enough information, history or feelings one could relate to.
Jared Abbott
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A dark tale with a happy ending. I really enjoyed this story and the world Rabia Gale created. I will definitely be checking out her other books.
Rebekah H.
This review was originally published at

Based on the cover, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect . . . erm, darkish steampunk? A fairytale fusion?

I was partially correct: Mourning Cloak is a seamless fusion of fantasy and sci-fi, with a rich world and complicated, flawed characters.

Mourning Cloak is the story of "former chosen-one," Kato Vorsok. He tends a bar, keeps a low profile, and he wants nothing to do with the god who deserted him, or the past that
Elisabeth Wheatley
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have never had so much fun at a car dealership. I read this in the waiting room and I was hooked. I love novellas, I love sci-fi/fantasy, and I love redemption stories. It was the perfect storm and I’m so thankful I took a book recommendation for once. There is an incredible degree of world-building done in this novella. Ms. Gale manages to convey so much in such a short space without the info-dump prevalent in fantasy. I’m using this book as a reference for writing settings in the future.

Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kato the weak. Destroyer of hope, deceiver of many. Kato was a hero, but what is he to become after his fall from grace? What does redemption look like for a good man whose best effort isn't good enough? Gale explores heroism, love, and betrayal while once again blending elements of science fiction and fantasy into a new configuration. One draw of fantastic fiction is the opportunity to explore new worlds and ways of living, and Mourning Cloak presents a startling and richly imagined world to p ...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Mourning Cloak is an amazing Novella. This is the first Novella I have read by Rabia but it will not be the last. I was captured right from the first page and stayed that way until the end. I wanted so much more because the world Rabia created had me so entranced I needed more of Kato.

Mourning Cloak is about a fallen God that has been exiled. Kato has been cast aside and he has no idea what to do and where to go. That is until he sees the mourning cloak a demon who has extraordinary powers. At f
Tammy Hall
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Mourning Cloak is a very poetically written story. I fell in love with Rabia Gale's writing style right away. This story was not very long but, it packed a big punch. It was a very emotional moving piece of literature that left me wanting for nothing. Mourning Cloak was a very fulfilling story with characters that moved you from one realm to another without you even realizing you had left. This is one novella that I am sure not to f
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
This was an absolutely gorgeous book - Rabia is such a talented writer. I love books that manage to read like poetry, with sheer love of the language and lush description, which also have a cracking story. This is one of them. Rabia is so very good at worldbuilding; both Mourning Cloak and Rainbird featured vibrant, totally unique worlds and characters.

This is one of those books that I immediately wanted to buy for friends and family. I highly recommend it. My only qualification is that I wasn't
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I hadn't noticed until I added this read to my Goodreads account, that this was such a short novella (Amazon listed it as 150pgs, while Goodreads lists it at 69pgs-- I'm inclined to go with Goodreads' estimate). I found this to be a strange read, and I was lost often with odd references. The writing is poetic in many instances, with some good emotional scenes, but I felt like I'd stepped into the middle of a story and had no context. The ending summed everything up nicely and pulled together the ...more
Dr susan
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, read-again, favorites
Mourning Cloak is an awesome blend of fantasy and science fiction. I highly recommend it.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Interesting and Evocative

This is a short but intriguing story. The world is very interesting and unique. The characters equally so. The writing is almost poetic; with dark and lovely imagery. This is the first book I've read by this author and I've already signed up for her blog and purchased several more of her books. She's an amazing writer.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, didnotfinish
The writing is interesting, but I got the feeling I started in the middle of a book and lacks the understanding of the setting, the world and what the frakk is happening. It is just a strange person, doing strange things in a strange world.
I miss an anchor, something to hold on to. Perhaps I will try this again, but as for now I leave this unfinished.
Lisa Ahn
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and stunning. I couldn't put the story down once I started. Rabia Gale is a master of world-building. She weaves together storylines from past and present, magic and science, history and religion into a fabulous whole. Every word is a gem. I loved it!!! ...more
Anna Mussmann
The first few scenes of Mourning Cloak felt reminiscent of The Dresden Files. However, this protagonist is less noir loner and more reluctant epic hero with a dose of cyborg--and perhaps Clint Eastwood--thrown in. He charges through a plot that felt like one of the independent science fiction movies I saw in a long ago “film and philosophy” class. For me there was too much stuff all crammed together. Ultimately, I’m not really the right person to review this book. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I ...more
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I break fairy tales and fuse fantasy and science fiction. I love to write about flawed heroes who never give up, transformation and redemption, and things from outer space. In my spare time, I read, doodle, eat chocolate, avoid housework, and homeschool my three children.

A native of Pakistan, I grew up in hot, humid Karachi. I then spent almost a decade in Northern New England where I learned to l

Other books in the series

Taurin's Chosen (2 books)
  • Ironhand: Sequel to Mourning Cloak

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