reading · review

Review: Slaves of Greenworld by David Holly


  • PUBLISHED: March 2016
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-62639-624-1
  • RATING: 3/5

I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

My first impressions of this book were that was linked to Scotland and the Highlands because, of how the cover image is depicted. I was wrong however. The only think Scottish about this book is the protagonist’s clothing being made up of kilts, hand-made shirts and boots. His other link is his red hair which, indicates Celtic origin of some sort, for example, Scotland.

The story is about a young man of nineteen called Dove who wakes up in a creek with no memory of his previous eighteen years in Greenworld. We as a reader know nothing of Dove’s life and therefore spend the entirety of the book discovering clues to his old life alongside Dove. The second character that we meet is an older gentleman called Paun who we later learn is a Datel. A Datel is someone who lives a fairly comfortable life in Greenworld according to their caste system. Paun is considered by his fellow Greenworlders to be eccentric and is often dubbed “Crazy Paun”. What boosts the story into action is Dove’s ‘adoption’ by a wealthy merchant-woman called Lalayla who we come to understand is a Binyam. Binyam live a comfortable life with a solid income of coppers and sirak (currency), and own a selection of servants known as xeng, a degraded people who are treated like disposable individuals.

Dove is appalled by the blatant slavery he comes upon and seeks comfort in a particular xeng known as Raret; who becomes his companion (as a result of a contract) and eventually his husband, once Dove’s true history is revealed later on in the novel.

The author David Holly, is well known to be fond of alien peoples, worlds, behaviours and purpose and ‘Slaves of Greenworld’ is treated no differently. We are introduced to three alien species that reside in Greenworld. There are the Cendark a rather unattractive looking species that have the ability to interbreed with humans. An example of this, is the Cendark-Human hybrid known as Kor. The only full-blooded Cendark we are introduced to is Great-Grandmother who is described as having “ears stuck out like Kor’s, though hers came to points of twisted black hair” and of being “a greenish-blue woman with thin black hair covering her bare breasts”.

My favourite of the alien races is the Jaktuth. They are bipedal feline type creatures that comes from the Tabor Forest. They are covered in thick black fur, have sharp pointed teeth, can blend in with shadows and are peaceful and incredibly intelligent. The most prominent Jacktuth in the novel is Crackjaw a female Jacktuth who befriended Dove during his time in Whirville’s (a town) prison or tollbooth.

The second theme running through this book is Dove’s wish to abolish slavery, so that all xeng can live and prosper as they so wish without fear of flogging or impalement. He also yearns to eradicate the caste system; a system which is corrupt beyond measures.

Dove eventually manages to achieve his wishes when he is elected as the new Faboon (like an Emperor…or King).

The only comedic yet harrowing inclusion was David Holly’s creation of an animal known as a Sex-Slug. This being is susceptible to salt like it’s mundane relatives however, it possesses a stinger in it’s mouth which, if touched by a human will cause them to die of a cardiac arrest as a result of continuous orgasm.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and being a part of Dove and Raret’s adventures however, I tired of the xeng rebellion because, it took too long to come to anything, and none of the main characters were overly affected by it. I also was left disappointed by a lack of a glossary because it wasn’t until I was half-way through that I finally understood the differences between the caste system, the sexual terms and innuendos.




2 thoughts on “Review: Slaves of Greenworld by David Holly

  1. Very good review, and I’m glad that you enjoyed my novel. Regarding the glossary, one does exist in a supplement to the novel. There just wasn’t sufficient space to include it in the printed copy. My original manuscript ran close to one hundred and thirty thousand words, so my editor had me cut ten thousand worlds in order to meet the acceptable length. On the website, the supplement can be found in a .pdf format. However, it is advisable to read the entire book before looking at the .pdf, because all of the novel’s secrets, surprises, and mysteries are revealed. The supplement includes a glossary of the terms I invented, a listing of all characters with their castes and attributes, a caste hierarchy, a calendar of events, the map of Greenworld, a listing and description of the gods and goddesses, and notes on the three native species and the three moons.
    Thanks for reading.
    David Holly


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