Friday, March 4, 2011

Shadows & Light 2 : Book Review

Shadows & Light 2 is a fantasy anthology, that has a story of mine along with 12 others.

It opens pretty strong with Choices in the Dark, by Ray Tabler. It has a Nordic flavor while at the same time the hero of this piece is an Orc-you don't see that everyday and I like Tablers presentation. He catches your attention immediately-I don't want to give away anything more-because it had some good twists.

Master Race, by Gerald Costlow has Nazi's breaking into a fantasy dimension and the havoc an territorial dragon gives them.

Then there is my tale, The Hand of Fate ~ (the actual first pro short story I ever wrote) in case you missed an earlier mention-its about a desert warrior and his code of honor he must live up to-lot of action and sword fighting & Mongolian Death worms transplanted to my fantasy desert realm.

Azierian:The Secret in the Mist by Christopher Heath. This was probably my favorite story in the anthology (next to mine hehe). Heath has great prose and timing and it makes me want to track down more of his stuff which is set in the fantasy world of Azerian.

Mania's Children, by Gustavo Bondoni. I love the concept behind the struggle of Etruscan's against encroaching Romans (this has to be the first story I have read of that historical event) Bondini's writing is great-but I have to admit I really didn't like the ending of this tale~maybe that's why its the one I think about the most out of all of these, now that I have finished.

Champion, by Marc Sorondo is the next tale that juxtaposes fantasy and a at least semi-current setting (like Master Race) This involves a bit of a love story between a couple engaged and touring Europe. An evil sorcerer kidnaps the bride and the fiance must rescue her-to do so he defeats a dragon first which offers him great deal of help in the process. I was lost on the motivations of the sorcerer though.

Night Ambush, by Scott Harper and Diane Smith. I thought this had great pacing and prose, even while I anticipated the ending.

The Tithe of Hell, by Edward McKeown. I love the title and McKeown has flawless style-but I don't care too much for the modern day setting of fantasy tales. I may have missed something, but I had to keep wondering why the Double-D vampire chick was even helping the Templar knight against the gnomes and fairies? Just not my cup of tea.

The King of Sorango, by John Whalen. I liked this one a lot. The setting and characters reminded me of the old Sinbad movies I loved as a kid (and still do for that matter) The story had a great ending and I look forward to the next installment with Whalens S&S characters.

Zhea, by Gregory Norris. This story about a girl named Zhea is also a modern set piece and I had a very hard time getting into it.

Spread Your Wings and Die, by Lydia Sharp. Enslaved dragons are manipulated into being engines of war. I liked the use of copper (you'll have to read the story). Treachery, war, and a good twist at the end.

Son's of Odin, by John Richard Albers. Great prose and setting detailing the struggle of the Northern European pagans and the coming of Christianity in medieval Europe. Again I may have missed something, but the very last sentence made me go "Huh?"

Aquila's Ring, by Cat Rambo. This last tale left me a little torn. Rambo has very fine prose-some of the best in the book-but I just didn't care about the story itself.

Overall its a good fantasy collection and you can get it HERE. Support the Death Worms.

Quick aside in other news~ my novel Heroes of the Fallen has been discounted for the Kindle down to 2.99 ~ SO for the price of a Death Worm sandwich you could read more of me HERE.


Lydia Sharp said...

Great review! I was very pleased with this collection as well. :)

David J. West said...

Thanks Lydia-I look forward to reading more of your work.

Charles Gramlich said...

Great titles. Looks like a pretty good collection. Can't go wrong with some death worms, man. :)

David J. West said...

Thank you Charles. Much appreciated.