Threads of Ash: South (The Frayed Realm), by S. H. Cooper

14 May 2024

The Book

Threads of Ash: South
Series: The Frayed Kingdom
Pages: 200
Age Group: Adult
Published on 24 May 2024
Publisher: Self-published
Dark FantasyHorror


The weeping blight took everything from Yaveta, except her life. After the enigmatic warrior, Wulfren, rescues her from the twisted remains of her people, she longs to start over somewhere else untouched by blight. But the wider world is a dangerous place, and the darkness has spread far beyond her village's borders. With only Wulfren's axe separating her from death, Yaveta must put her faith into the northman, secretive as he is strong, and together they will discover just how deeply the sickness runs.

My Review

Threads of Ash: South is the first book in the dark fantasy duology The Frayed Realm, written by S. H. Cooper. An interesting proposal that transports us to a world in decadence, where most of the people have succumbed to the plague, and with touches of horror in between action scenes in a journey of exploration that creates many questions.

Yavetta's life was shattered by the weeping blight; she saw how all her known ones succumbed to the plague that devastated the kingdom of Niranthym. After falling prey to the Weepers on the streets, she's rescued by a mysterious Northman called Wulfren; they manage to escape the city, and reluctantly, accepts to take her to the next city, where Yavetta's aunt lives. What they don't know is that this will only mark the start of a journey through the land of Niranthym, discovering the results of the plague.

S. H. Cooper takes us on a journey through a post-apocalyptic environment, a place where the plague has wreaked havoc and dangers are waiting for you behind any corner; an enigmatic world which is in decay. We don't get too much information about what it is happening, just about the consequences, which are reflected on the encounters our pair of characters have on the road.

Yavetta and Wulfren form a complicated duo, as their personalities will crash in some moments due to their differences: the hardened Northman and the naive girl who hasn't travelled outside her town. With a few pages, we can appreciate the growth of Yavetta, partly forced due to the circumstances.

Pacing is quite fast, with the author making a good use of the few pages she used to tell us this first part of the story. Horror elements are derivate of the situation of the world, and the combat scenes are quite spectacular.

If you are looking for a short but intense novel, a reluctant duo and a world in decadence á la Dark Souls, Threads of Ash: South is the perfect piece for you. I can't wait to see how Cooper will continue with Yavetta's story.

The Author/s

S. H. Cooper

S. H. Cooper

S.H. Cooper is a Florida based, multi-genre author with a focus on horror and fantasy. Her work has been published by Sleepless Sanctuary Publishing, Cemetery Gates Media, and Brigids Gate Press. In addition to short story collections and novels, she is also the writer for the horror comedy podcast, Calling Darkness. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing, talking about writing, or sleeping (wherein she dreams about writing). She is kept up and running through the tireless efforts of her extremely supportive family and coffee.