Author(s): Anna Simpson, Christy Thomas, Echo Shea, Havva Murat, Laurie Traecy, and Michael Siciliano
Published By: Roane Publishing (June 5, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating 3.5 Stars!
No matter what world you call home, and what your station in life, there are just some paths that weren't meant to be tread.
Maronda’s Quest by Christy Thomas
Blurb: The Grand Wizard has decreed Maronda enter the Portal of Life to embark upon a quest of great importance, but despite her Ma’s claims it is a blessing, premonitions of danger persist.
Lenox works to prove his worth to wed her, his true love, but it appears a wizard plots to remove him from Maronda’s life forever. To secure their future together, Lenox decides to accompany her on the quest, even if forbidden. He must ultimately choose between using his dragon fighting skills which could lead to his death, or give Maronda her greatest desire.
In the end, it’s Maronda who must learn to live with the consequences of his decision.
Mexmur, the Huntress by Anna Simpson
Blurb: Long ago a dragonkeeper betrayed his charges. To bring back magic, to set things right, Mexmur is sent through the portal.
Can she succeed armed with only a poem, talon and blade?
Entrance of Lost Souls by Echo Shea
Blurb: A guardian to the entrances between worlds, Gladys has been called to bring a little girl back from Fairyland. Passing through the Entrance of Lost Souls is no fun, neither is hunting down a deranged banshee, but what is a guardian to do?
And, is the banshee really kidnapping the girl...or saving her from something else?
Where Once were Hearts by Havva Murat
Blurb: After losing both his parents, his entire fortune and his childhood sweetheart, Master Bartholomew Battlesby sets out into the wilds of Northern England to make the acquaintance of his only surviving relation, the landed recluse, Mr. Horatio Grimsby who has an eerie penchant for both tinkering and clockwork. But, on finding his relation dead, with a gaping hole in his chest, and the beautiful, but scornful, Miss Evangeline Witherop ruling in his place, Bartholomew learns there is more than one way to lose your heart.
Can Bartholomew reignite the spirit of love and mercy within Miss Witherop, or will he suffer the same fate as his poor, heartless cousin?
Ordinary World by Laurie Treacy
Blurb: Imagine a new neighbor moves next door, a creepy guy who gives fifteen year-old Amy Silva the willies? Amy wonders what the stone archway in the backyard is for. Her life becomes even more stressful when her family reveals they’re witches. Could Amy’s new neighbor have anything to do with a local girl’s disappearance or be a threat to her magical loved ones?
The Lunatic Queen by Michael Siciliano
Blurb: The land of Mershinka has been thrown into perpetual night. Their King is dead and a moon witch, known as The Night Queen, rules from the royal palace in Grosnov. An endless fog shrouds the land, killing crops and starving the populace. Cold-eyed enforcers put down rebellions while volksa, twisted wolf-creatures, roam the mists looking for prey. Many have given up hope and wait for the inevitable end. All seems lost.
Two teenagers, Pavel and Tamara, devise a plan to kill Vazya the Night Queen when the moons Kainsk and Seresnya are down, end the stifling enchantment, and bring the sun back to their dying land. But, they need a watch to tell time, a compass to guide them through the mists, weapons to fight off Vazya’s minions, and all the courage they can muster.
I originally agreed to read this because one of the author's approached me asking if I would be willing to review her story as well as the others inside. As most of you know, fantasy can be so hit and miss with me. I have a complete love hate relationship with it. If it isn't done right I get so lost and frustrated with the world and story that I end up grudgingly pushing through it and then regret I ever tried it.
If done right and well, then of course I devour it and can't stop talking about it. But, it is always those bad ones that stick with you the most and make you leery to ever pick up another one. With this being an anthology I figured I had about a fifty fifty chance of at least liking something that was inside and hopefully more than one story would stick out and truly wow me.
While I should probably break this review down into my thoughts and feelings about each story, I'm not going to, instead I am going to tell you that this, like all anthologies, has good stories, weird stories, and then those stories that are truly not for you. Some you will love and others you will dislike..strongly.
I am happy to report that I didn't hate or even strongly dislike any of these stories, in fact, they were all very much original and unique. Some unlike anything I could ever even dream up let alone imagine and envision.
But one story in particular stuck out to me and thankfully for the author that asked me to review it, it was her's, Mexmur: the Huntress.
I loved the blending of old classic tales with dragons and danger and a girl no one has ever heard of before. Someone strong and brave and definitely not a damsel in distress even if she is the smallest in the land.
Overall this was a very fun and imaginative collection of short stories that I am glad I took a chance on.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the authors or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*