The Heralding by Ashley McCarthy is set in the midst of The Great Famine of the 14th Century, when something is awakened in the nearby woods… As hunger and fever grip Matilda’s village, theft madness and starvation follow quickly. People are attacked by something powerful and frightening. Then a new enemy emerges; fear. As accusations are hurled, will a newly arrived stranger be Matilda’s salvation or downfall?
An atmospheric historical fiction, The Heralding is a chilling short story that moves quickly and keeps you wondering who the real enemy in this story is.
It took me a while to get used to the 1300s setting as I don’t usually read books set so far in the past, but I soon came to appreciate the simplicity of these times.
At times, the story felt like a folk tale, but then soon started feeling more like a horror. I really enjoyed this fluidity in the genre alongside the beautifully descriptive narrative which really draws you into the setting and the characters’ fear.