BROWNWOOD — Local author Michael C. Sahd announced recently that on Aug. 28, he released his first full-length fantasy novel, "The Unfettered Child." He describes this story as "a psychological thriller in a fantasy setting." At the end of August, The BookLife Prize published its Critic's Report of "The Unfettered Child," assigning the novel a ranking of 8 out of 10.

Although Sahd released a short story in 2017, "The Unfettered Child" is his first full-length publication. This dark fantasy novel tells the tale of a young girl named Samara, who discovers terrifying powers within herself after her nomadic tribe is captured by unknown assailants. Sahd takes his readers on a journey through a magical world as Samara struggles to reunite with her family against all odds.

According to The BookLife Prize, sponsored by Publishers Weekly, "Sahd transforms what could be a stereotypical fantasy and enlivens it with vivid details and a permeating sense of wonder. [He] has clear and readable, yet highly descriptive prose that fits the genre well. [He] . . . enhances the work by weaving in elements from a variety of fascinating cultures, languages and systems of magic, providing memorable imagery and a distinctive sense of place." The BookLife Prize reviewers ranked the story an 8 out of a possible 10.

"The Unfettered Child" is currently available in paperback and e-book format on Amazon.com, although Sahd says he plans to release an audiobook version at some point in the future.