Title: Ambrose and the Ancient Spirits of East and West
Author: Garth Nix
In: To Hold the Bridge (Garth Nix)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Spirituality
Format: Short story
Publisher: Hot Key Books
5th sentence, 74th page: Ambrose undid the ribbon and opened the box.
Ambrose was once a soldier of the highest calibre. But, now, he’s retired. Or so he thinks. When an old friend contacts him for help, he has no choice but to join the fold again.
There was something quintessentially sweet about this story. Although, I had to get to the end of the tale to see that. The beginning, not so sweet, more damaged, a little sad and very lonely.
Epic wars that are fought in secret seem to be a recurrent theme throughout the short stories in To Hold the Bridge, and Ambrose and the Ancient Spirits of East and West is no different. The undercurrents of our society are dark anyway, so adding a supernatural spin to it is not only a logical next step, but a brilliantly engaging one.
The loneliness and darkness that surrounds Ambrose is eventually healed, but in a way that I certainly didn’t see coming. I love the fact that although Ambrose is reluctant to return to the war (and the fold), he still tries to do what is right. Believing in the power of the greater good. And, ultimately it leads to a greater good for him.
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