Let the Mountains Be My Grave by Francesca Tacchi is a fantastic adult fantasy novella. Placed in 1944, we witness Veleno process his grief, save his friends, and kill some Nazi’s.
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
Let the Mountains Be My Grave unfolds at breakneck pace in 1944 Italy, where partisan Veleno thinks of nothing but killing as many Nazis as he can before leaving this world. Beloved by the ancient Italic goddess Angitia, Veleno is the perfect person to recover a strange weapon the Nazis are planning to use against the Allies in the battle of Montecassino, but doing so may force him to confront his death differently than he expects.
Part of the 2022 Neon Hemlock Novella Series.
Characters: 9 | Atmosphere: 9 | Writing: 9 | Plot: 8 | Intrigue: 7 | Logic: 6 | Enjoyment: 8
Total: 8.00 / 4 stars
“Whatever you’ll see,” she whispers, “don’t scream.”
This book hits the ground running with the first sentence, with tension and backstory packed into a novella. Veleno has been blessed with healing powers and he is using them to kill Nazis- especially after they destroyed his family. Veleno has no regard for his own life, and he makes this very clear when talking to his partner, Rame.
“He knows I court death as much as I court him.”
As we see his grief present itself in his fighting, we also see his love for Rame. These moments of softness really brought a warmth to the story that I didn’t expect. There was something to this dynamic that felt very tangible, even in this novella format. Most full-length books struggle to make a relationship feel real. yet Tacchi did it in 80 or so pages.
“The day after, Rame woke me with a kiss, and I felt like the whole world was at my feet.”
Learning about the various old gods, the usage of different forms of worship, and how this presented in this world was really great. The author did a great job of working within the novella format while still providing a great rich story. The plot was well thought out, and I found myself wanting to read more stories within this realm. Historical fantasy can be tricky, but I feel Tacchi nailed it.
“I killed him. Why, then, do I feel so empty?”
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.