Free Culture Book Club — WNV Universe — Woethief 2

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This week, our Free Culture Book Club continues reading Woethief, from Empty Victory to Coronation Day.

The book's cover, featuring silhouettes of spiders, bat-wings, a woman, and characters in various action poses

To give this series some sense of organization, check out some basic facts without much in the way of context.

This should go without saying—even though I plan to repeat it with every Book Club installment—but Content Advisories do not suggest any sort of judgment on my part, only topics that come up in the work that I noticed and might benefit from a particular mood or head space for certain audiences. I provide it to help you make a decision, rather than a decision in and of itself.

The Woethief

The blurb for the repository.

The WNV universe is a free culture story world featuring. Woethief Nyla Valora as the main character.

This repository contains stories and outlines for future stories. Stories can be any genre as long as they take place in the WNV Universe.

I should note that the project has another seventy-five-or-so thousand words in stories marked as in-progress. I opted not to look at those, at least for now, given that the repository has some recent activity.

What Works Well?

While I don’t know if this will sustain itself, I have to admit to finding the Denrick character at least somewhat interesting. The story doesn’t mire the character in nearly as much angst as the others, for example. And despite standing as the only other human that we’ve seen so far, the story doesn’t seem to show any interest in pairing him off with Nyla, where so many other fantasy stories in this vein would insist that the two humans must belong together.

What Works…Less Well?

Too much of many of these chapters feel redundant, containing lengthy dry exposition that we’ve already seen at least once, such as Nyla’s birthright and the reasons that she lost it, descriptions of the obtrusive pseudo-Christianity, or Theila’s history.

Also, the silly “WoeNyl” nickname has started to escape from the chapter titles and infiltrate the dialogue of characters who don’t seem to have any legitimate reason to use it, assuming that any legitimate reason exists at all. It honestly feels inappropriate or inconsistent for characters to treat our seemingly singular protagonist—the two “personalities” don’t seem any more separate than routine indecision and ambivalence—as two people, but also find it too burdensome to refer to them individually, and give them a single two-syllable name instead of their individual two-syllable names.


The project has the Codeberg repository mentioned above, which seems at least somewhat active, though only Patterson appears to have contributed, so far.

What’s Adaptable?

I don’t see anything new in this section, except for a character or two.


Coming up next week, we’ll finish reading Woethief, from WoeNyl Saves Theila to Sentencing, plus a skim of the supplemental material.

As mentioned previously, by the way, the list of potential works to discuss has run low, so I need to ask for help, again. If you know of any works—or want to create them—that fit these posts (fictional, narrative, Free Culture, available to the public, and not by creators who we’ve already discussed), please tell me about them. Every person who points me to at least one appropriate work with an explanation will receive a free membership on my Buy Me a Coffee page.

Anyway, while we wait for that, what did everybody else think about the book so far?

Credits: The header image is the book’s cover, by Autumn Patterson, released under the same terms as the book.

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 Tags:   freeculture   bookclub

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