Arts Reborn (Book 0): Elysia – She Had Eyes Only For What Could Be

Nothing excites young Elysia as much as sculpture; to reveal what lies inside a piece of wood or stone. But as a baker’s daughter, chores and drudgery fill her days. Worse yet, her mother frowns on her frivolous hobby, pushing her to focus on the more mundane skills she’ll need to be a good wife someday. But after she sees marble statues at the temple for the first time, she knows this is a passion that cannot be denied, no matter the cost. This 2500 word short story is set in the city-state of Attarsus, a place much like ancient Athens, but with magic returning to the world. It explores the early years of Elysia, a major character in the Arts Reborn series. The story takes place before Book I: Brush With Darkness. It can be read before or after.


This was a re-read, and so my expectations were very high.  I remember enjoying it the first time through, which meant I should enjoy it even more the second.


World Building

Though this is a very short, short story it is well written.  The world itself is quickly sketched in with the barest of strokes.  The areas in which the story take place receive more detail as it is needed to provide enough depth for the tale to keep the reader immersed.

Character Development

A sketch here, a nice insight there, and a little more information through action and dialogue makes the character development as complete as it can be in a short story.  There are a few holes, though that is the format, rather than the lack of skill by Mr. Maltman.

Overall, after reading the main series, there are several questions left unresolved.  Elysia helps to fill in those answers.


The pacing in this quick read does not do it justice.  There is not enough time to develop a natural ebb and flow to the story telling, yet nothing here is rushed or lags.  Everything written here drives through to the end, and you will probably hit the final word before you realize it.

Overall Rating

Despite my preference for longer works, Elysia receives a 5 of 5 paw rating from this Pukah.  There is a definite beginning, middle, and end to the story, though unless you have read the rest of the series, there are many questions that remain unanswered, which may bring down the enjoyment for others.  (Yes, I have read them, so know most of the answers.)

If you are interested, you can read my reviews for the other Arts Reborn books here:

Brush with Darkness

Blood of the Water

If you wish to get your own copy of Elysia click here

If you wish to purchase a copy of Brush with Darkness or Blood of the Water click on the links to head over to Amazon.  Happy reading!


If you enjoyed this review, and wish for me to review your own work, please stop by my offered services page and send me a submission.  I will gladly consider almost any book.  (Fantasy and Science Fiction preferred however.)


Comments and questions welcome.

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