Published by Seventh Star Press on Aug 8, 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook from Publisher
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
HARK! to the sounds of battle. Mighty men and women who take their destinies with the strength of their arm and the sharpness of their blades. These are tales of warriors, reavers, barbarians, and kings. Lands of wonder populated with monsters, black-hearted sorcerors of Stygian power, and heroes who have blood on their hands and on their steel. This is SWORD AND SORCERY.
When I first started reading this collection, I was worried that the stories were all violence and half-naked women, with little substance, but the further in I got, the better the stories were. In the end, there were 6 stories that I really liked.
Emissary by Marcella Burnard – This featured a strong heroine with a strong moral compass. She’s a warrier, but also has compassion and empathy for others. Also, she has awesome lions.
The Red Hand by Alexis A Hunter – Ultimate betrayal and guilt. This story had powerful emotions in a few short pages.
Where the Red Blossoms Weep by James R Tuck – Eww, zombies. Called corpse-eating ghouls here, but still gross. Lots of signature violence and gore, but also a good rendition of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, in that everyone needs to stick together against zombies.
Thief of Souls by Loriane Parker – Finally a story about the power of love, both good and bad.
The Gnawes Bone – WE Wertenberger – Kol’s attitude and sass was a welcome dash of humour.
All the Lands, Nowhere a Home by Stephen Zimmer – Another strong heroine with a strong moral compass who goes out of her way to stand up for those less fortunate than herself. This one also features the hint of a possible romance based on respect.
Overall, I liked about half of the stories in this violence focused book. The stories feaured a good mix of characters, situations and themes, although since “sword” is the theme, there aren’t any modern settings. There is mostly fantasy, or historically set stories. I’d suggest the book to anyone who is good with a little gore.