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The Burden of the Protector

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Dàr was born to a long line of loyal protectors. He completed his training at a young age and was posted in the Yurita Highlands, a region known for its rugged terrain and frequent earthquakes. His career was very promising, until he stumbled on a strange object in the center of a meadow.

The moment he saw the object, Dàr knew he should report his discovery to the scholars, so they can investigate, so they can make it disappear. But he did not. His decision changed many lives, including his own.

Years later, as Dàr contemplates the whole of his life, he remembers the strange discovery and the choice he made as a young protector. Long buried memories resurface. Now consumed by regret, Dàr wonders if it is too late to make amends.

167 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 28, 2016

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About the author

S.C. Eston

6 books31 followers
S.C. ESTON grew up in the province of New Brunswick in Canada. He is a manager in technology services for the federal government. He lives in Fredericton with his wife Leigh, and their children.

For behind-the-scene info, excerpts and free short stories, you can visit him at:

Newsletter: https://www.sceston.com/Newsletter
Twitter: @SCEston
Facebook: @SteveCEston
Instagram: @SteveCEston

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4 (26%)
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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for James Fisher.
546 reviews46 followers
February 7, 2019
I quite liked this novella, but I would have liked it more had the story been more fully fleshed out. There are some good ideas at play here, and the author has created a believable world for its inhabitants. Very promising author, in my opinion.
Profile Image for ~Cyanide Latte~.
1,412 reviews88 followers
May 16, 2018
I'm not entirely sure what I could say about this novella, as my feelings on it have turned out very mixed. It was originally recommended to me via Twitter adverts for self-published authors, and the tiny promo blurb made it sound interesting. I bided my time in hopes that a print copy would be made available eventually, and when it was I snagged a copy. Finally get around to reading it, and I'm just left a weird jumble of thoughts.

This is the sort of thing I probably would have been required to read for school. Make no mistake, despite the attempt at a fantasy setting, there is very little that feels like fantasy to this book, and it's overshadowed by the dystopian theme. We're not here to focus on the discovery the main character makes; we're here to focus on how the village government is secretly corrupted and keeping their people wrapped in a box of red tape and controlling their thoughts. We're here to focus on how our main character has let that affect his choices, his way of thinking, and consequently screws up his truest friendship and then is left to try to mend what he's colossally broken.

The novella is told as a set of memoirs that jump frequently between 3 different points in time, roughly. It can get hella confusing sometimes, and there's a lot of stops to give characterization that overwhelmed me a bit.

This wasn't a bad book, or even a bad story. But I can tell you right now this certainly wasn't the one for me. I may have to come back to it at a later point in time and try to read a little more critically than I have done here, but I really struggled to enjoy this.
Profile Image for Amanda Evans.
Author 4 books6 followers
July 11, 2023
This took a lot longer than it should have taken to read. I just could not get into the book.

The Burden of the Protector is a short book, but not so short that I should have no attachment to the characters at all.

The 'object' that the book is supposedly about plays no impactful part in the story at all. It could have been removed, the only thing it did was get Dar talking to Vir.

Everything else in the book is caused by Dar. He has a friend, meets a girl, turns on the friend, tries to help, and sucks at everything he does. The friend ends up in jail, breaks out, Dar's woman leaves and his kids hate him.

We never learned what the protectors do at all, we never learn anything about the 'object' we never learn anything about UI Darak, we never learn anything about Sy'Iss, we never learn anything about Eriela or why she leaves him, we never learn anything about the world, or really anything about Dar.

Because we learn so little during the course of the story it doesn't feel like a story, let alone a fantasy. It feels like it is an off-shoot story of an established series where we know what's going on and we kinda know Dar/Vir as heroes of old, but it's not.

The constant jumping back and forth between times and ages (although it does helpfully show that at the start of each chapter) is hard to follow.

I wanted to like this story so much because the author is a very nice person, but in the end, I don't want to mislead people that would be interested in buying the book.
Profile Image for S.K. Gregory.
Author 139 books201 followers
April 8, 2019
Dar finds a mysterious object and his life is changed forever. This was a mix of fantasy and dystopian fiction and had some interesting ideas. I did get a little muddled at times with the different times, but overall it was a decent read.
Profile Image for Allan Hudson.
Author 22 books46 followers
February 24, 2019
Eston brings a whole new world to fantasy readers, a fun read. Well done Mr. Eston.
11 reviews
August 14, 2019
This was a pleasant weekend read. It reads like a parable and raises questions about self-worth, and following norms. There is still much to be explored in this world, and I hope I get a chance to.
Profile Image for Christopher Jessulat.
Author 2 books13 followers
March 16, 2017
In short, when it hits - it hits.

"The Burden of the Protector" is told over a series of journal entries, detailing the personal trials of Dar and his attempts to navigate the systems and cultural norms of society. It explores both compelling and complicated relationships with a handful of other characters as well as Dar's actions and motivations, using the journal mechanism to reflect and question on each.

Generally speaking, I struggle with reading from the first person perspective - but the characters, environments and conflicts are woven together skillfully, avoiding the "heavy handed" feeling I often associate with first person POV. The story jumps around a fair bit from Dar's youth to latter stages of adulthood, but not so much as to be difficult to follow. "The Burden of the Protector" is a reflection on youthful indiscretions and lamentations, scrutinized in retrospect by a character who has aged and matured.

The world S.C. Eston has crafted definitely has ample depth to work on a sequel, foreshadowing various angles of both political and societal intrigue that could make the world of Ta'Enia an interesting one to explore.

It really found its rhythm in the second half... but overall, a promising debut!
27 reviews
November 7, 2022
I'm a big fan of S.C. Eston and I'm glad to finally be able to read his first book on my Kindle. The story is great, setting up a wonderful world. The character of Dàr is nicely developed and his friendship with Vìr is compelling. I cannot wait to read more of Eston's stories!!
Profile Image for Rosario Martínez.
Author 8 books8 followers
June 28, 2016
In a place where boundaries are not meant to be broken Dar pushes through obstacles only to find himself in a journey to survive. His friendships are tested but will he do the right thing or will he let his prohibited discoveries overcome his need to fight for what is true and right. In his premiere novella S.C. Eston takes us to a land where the ever vigilant high power Sy'll spreads subconscious fear and oppression. Dar is a knight, a protector of the land when he makes a discovery it will not only threaten and challenge the Sy'll, but his desire to protect his family and his own life. If you enjoy reading about quests and discoveries you will enjoy this story. Dar's journey is reminiscent of challenges we encounter when we encounter unexpected situations that force us to make decisions we would not make otherwise. Decisions that haunt us and take time to fully have an effect on our lives only to realize that waiting had the greatest impact. I submerged myself right into the story and navigated along with the characters reaching the end too quickly. It's a captivating story of a life's journey that transfers the characters emotion right to the reader.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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