Book Review: Opera Vita Aeterna by Vox Day

Title Opera Vita Aeterna
Author Vox Day
Year 2013
Stand Alone or Series Short Story
Pages 20
Reading Time 05 May 2014


This short story was quite good. I know this author, made some particular comments that inflamed some authors and readers alike. Well, I am not going to debate about that. 

I don't think a person personal opinions should define if I read or not their books. I am not a person that enjoys communist/lefists ideals but that doesn't make me try reading some popular lefist writers like Ian Banks, Ken MacLeod, China Mieville or others. One or two of my favourite books are leftwinger writers.

I may have a personal opinion, albeit right or wrong in your view, but that don't transcribes into the writing therefore I should not be judge upon it. Said that, I really enjoy this short story. For what I read here, I know this story belongs into the series he is writing.

When I read this book it reminded me of some interesting debates that could have happen between a dark ages priest and a pagan. For a christian, the pagans had no soul. Therefore they were savages.... barbarians. But after some time together how could you think of them as subhumans? If they thought, live as he lived, ate as he ate how could you think as no better than animals? Maybe that how Romans view other cultures.

“I met a man. A monk not unlike yourself. He was brave. He came to the college uninvited. And he had power, power of a sort neither I nor my colleagues had ever seen before. His name was Herwaldus. I want to find the source of his power. I want to find his god.” 
Waleran blinked, wondering if he had heard the other correctly. A soulless elf seeking God? - "And you are seeking this Herwaldus?"
“Oh, no,” the elf said, shaking his head. “He is dead. I killed him ten years ago.”
There was a long moment of silence. Waleran had no idea what to say. He didn’t even know if he could rightly condemn the elf. One did not condemn the bear or the wolf that slew a man, and prior to the last bell, if asked, he would have denied the possibility that a creature such as Bessarias might possess a soul. Even now, the blithe ease with which the elf admitted to killing this Herwaldus struck him as a troubling sign that, for all its gracious and easy manners, what sat before him now might not only be inhuman but soulless and entirely without conscience."

(After ten years of co-existense)
His soul. The abbot didn’t even hesitate to permit himself to think of the elf in those terms anymore. He found it impossible to imagine that any creature as intelligent and civilized as the elf did not possess one.

Said that, this story is about an elf as he meets some pseudo-christian monastery and tries to understand more about that religion. In the end there is a nice twist that gave a nice touch to the story. The only problem with this story, in my opinion, is that it seems that it was rushed. I really wanted to know more about this elf and this world. But the price of the first book €34 is too much 7/10
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