Coward, by Ayrton Silva

The Book

Pages: 54
Age Group: Young Adult
Published on 10/14/2022
Publisher: Self-Published
Dark Fantasy
Available on:


Lina is a serving girl at a tavern, who thinks she is doomed to an uneventful life, until a horrible beast attacks her hometown. Such attacks are commonplace; humanity has been cursed by the gods since time immemorial, and bloodthirsty beasts prey on mankind virtually unpunished. Humanity's only line of defense are the Slayers: armed with divine magic, they are capable of fighting the beasts on equal ground, and are immune to the curse that turns men into monsters.

That particular attack, however, upends Lina's life. Because it's not a Slayer who scares away the beast, but an ordinary girl. An outsider. That single discovery makes Lina question whether the life she has is the only possible one, and she embarks on a brief (but bloody) journey of self-discovery through a reality much more complicated than she could imagine.

My Review

Coward is a promising dark fantasy novelette, written by Ayrton Silva. In such a short length, Silva manages to pack an incredible amount of emotional weight, in a story that combines a bit of coming of age with dark fantasy; telling us the story of Lina and Myria, and how their paths get crossed.

It's interesting how well developed both characters, Lina and Myria, are. Lina is opinionated, and I would even say brave; she seems to have a dormant talent for magic (or at least is hinted), and the attack of a monster and her posterior adventure only reinforces this idea of a strong character who feels a call for the adventure.
On the other hand, we have Myria, a beast slayer (as she says) whose real interests and aspirations are not revealed until half-way the novelette, showing how she is really appreciative of her family, having it as the number one priority; she's impulsive at some points, and that may bring her problems.

Some details of the world are hinted, such as there seems to be an illness that turns people into monsters, and how the beast hunting seems to be a quite frequent job (or at least, nobody is surprised by the apparition of both, the beast and Myria). We can also guess that the world is quite brutal and dark, especially with this plague of monsters.

Silva shows an interesting voice in this novelette, especially becoming great at describing battle scenes, without being shy of portraying the gory details; I would like to see a full-length novel, as there's much potential on this author.

The Author/s

Ayrton Silva

Ayrton Silva

Ayrton Silva is a software developer, who cracks his head writing fantasy stories whenever said head isn't being walloped by bugs (or Souls-like video games). Brazilian, when not sitting in front of his computer he can usually be found walking his dog, or riding his bicycle on some highway.