Born of Scourge, by S. Jean

The Book

Born of Scourge
Pages: 217
Age Group: Adult
Published on 2/27/2024
Publisher: Self-Published
Dark Fantasy
Available on:


  Legends say when the skies grow dark and scourge starves the land, a star will fall in order to save humanity. Only when the star is sacrificed at the end of their journey will light return. It's a cycle—one humanity refuses to break because stars are plentiful and their sacrifices easier than learning the true nature of the scourge.

When Sol finally falls, it's not because of humanity. It's because he's had enough of watching his brethren be sacrificed. He has one goal: end humanity and end the cycle.

Unfortunately, he has to pretend he cares before humans get wise. It doesn't matter how soft the princess who catches him is—Celena will be dead by the time his journey ends. Nor how kind his assigned companions are—the outgoing Mira with her ballads, the brave Nebora with her axe, and the hero Loren with his soft voice and friendly smile. For centuries, humanity has lied and their kindness is a ruse to bring about Sol's own destruction at the end of his tale. He will not be fooled.

No one cares about the cries of the stars they've destroyed over and over again and Sol will make sure this time, humanity is the one sacrificed.

At least, that's the plan until his traitorous heart begins to care for the humans he sought to eradicate.  

My Review

Born of Scourge is a dark fairytale, written by S. Jean, which explores the dichotomy between having to fulfill a pre-established role and free will, but in darker ways than in their previous novella, Hymn of Memory. A story that develops from a whimsical and cozy start to an unexpected ending, following the time after Sol falls to the planet, planning to end the cycle of sacrifice his peers have suffered.

Sol falls with that in his mind; however, getting to the point where he can stop the cycle requires getting closer to humans, and starting a quest with heroes in order to reach the Spire where the cycle gets restarted. 
And if something you can expect from a S. Jean's story is well developed and fleshed characters, making of the journey with the party of heroes an interesting and enriching experience from Sol, making him to reconsider a bit of his own purpose; even if the worst face of humans is shown, there's also room for feelings.

While the premise can be called archetypical, Jean manages to excellently create a compelling story, with a range of nuances, from a cozier idea at the start (especially at the moments with Celena), to a much darker point where you are rethinking all what you were shown at the start. Not a really long book, which prefers to exchange a bit of the worldbuilding in order to enhance their characters.

Born of Scourge is a great novel, an exploration of the limits of duty and plans, written with the sweet and descriptive prose of S. Jean; if you are looking for a shorter story but with a lot of emotional weight, give this novel a try.

The Author/s

S. Jean

S. Jean

S. Jean (she/they) is a queer sci-fi & fantasy author writing whatever strikes their fancy at any given moment. When not writing or dreaming of what to write, they can be found dabbling in game dev and drawing!