‘The True Son’ by Vanessa McLaren-Wray is definitely a teaser, a short story that directly points to her novel ‘Shadows of Insurrection’. It is also a good short standalone story that sets the stage for your imagination to wonder at the world of Jeska and what else might go on beyond the small glimpse of the life of a purchased ‘son of the king’. The main character is a son purchased from a father who struggled after his wife died to care for his son. In order to provide a better chance in life, he sold the child to the crown as one of a number of similar children who, if they work hard in both physical and mental exercises, could replace the king’s own son as the new king.
The story follows the main character and how he grows and learns to deal with the growing hatred between him and the ‘True’ son of the king. It is well written and the story leaves you right at a point where you ask yourself ‘what happens next’.