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Braving the Elements Paperback – September 4, 2017
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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However busy we are with everyday life, however tough we are or we seem to be or occupied, we will still find a moment in our lives when we can let our mind to take a little off... but I mean it in a good way. That is, to be able to return to the state of bliss of childhood. And what's better for a child than dreaming about stories with knights, wizards, damsels in distress and the noise of engaged swords? And, after many years of being "bombarded" with stories such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or Game of Thrones, and that's referring only to the worldwide –successful film adaptations, I can assert that the fantasy genre, doesn’t really have an end.
Now, let's go back to our current subject, the fantasy anthology Braving the Elements, A Medieval Fantasy Anthology. Do not be sad ... it's an anthology of 5 short stories and not of fragments taken from different novels. So, one more point for the anthology and… for you. You already hear how the swords are pulled out of sheaths, don’t you? But hang on! The key word is in the title, so this time the knights with their shining swords will not be the main heroes. Do not hurry to sigh... you will still enjoy the stories of this anthology.
And because the rankings are still in fashion, it’s a personal view allowed? I know it's not probably fair, but the subjectiveness marks us almost in all, and even more when we talk about art. That doesn’t mean that I disregard some of the stories, but in my opinion, the value order is the reverse order of the stories in the anthology. Taste is not to be discussed, is it? This is my own opinion and you have the right to have yours. Anyway, I think every one of you, the readers, will undoubtedly find your favorite style amongst these stories. From this point of view it is interesting the selection of those who have put together this anthology; something for everyone, yet respecting a particular theme.
Now, let’s meet the protagonists: Terri Rochenski, Kelly Said, Claire Davon, Rebecca Hart and Michael Siciliano; and their stories are: Mist Weaver, The Mith of Mt. Agony, The Dragon, the Witch and the Swordswoman, Alice and the Egg and Forging Mettle.
For me, they are the first works written by these authors that I read and they are quite interesting. Don’t be mean! I didn’t use the adjective “interesting” in a depreciative way. I really want to read more of their stories!
My recommendation is to give a try to Braving the Elements! Who knows, maybe you’ll like all the stories, but even if you not, definitely you’ll find something on your taste. Definitely!
It is really worth trying!
It wasn’t until I walked away from this first story that I had my duh moment. It’s at that point that I figure out how this book fits into the title of the anthology. I hope it doesn’t take you as long as it did me.
You can consider these stories as teasers that leave you wanting more. Like Mist Weaver, the story left me wondering what became of Dolan. This collection is a great way to discover new authors and new writing styles. It was a great reminder of what I love about fantasies. Just like some other genres, your imagination and that of the authors can soar. There’s no one there to say that a certain thing didn’t happen because the only place it exists is in the author’s mind.
Maybe you want to read someone new. I had that here and if not for this group of stories I may never have read these authors at all. You will never have a hard time finding a stopping point because the stories are short and don’t take long to read. If you have very little time in your day, you have five stories for five days. They are stories that you may find that you want to read more than once. But they will all leave you and your imagination satisfied.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
All five stories were a source of pure reading pleasure, because all five had elements that excited my inner child and fulfilled its craving for magic and wonder. I loved how Dolan in "Mist Weaver" discovered his power and used it to attain freedom; I enjoyed the beautiful writing style in "The Myth of Mount Agony" and the enchanting plot; I hoped that Losha, the dragon slayer in "The Dragon, the Witch and the Swordswoman" would turn out to be the character I envisioned; I appreciated the mounting suspense in "Alice and the Egg" , created when Alice valiantly agreed to sacrifice her life to save her father, and lastly in "Forging Mettle", I found myself intrigued by the father-son relationship dynamics from page one. A highly satisfying read.
My favorite tale had an earth mover facing off with the prince of the realm and finally teaming up with him to defeat an invading enemy. I could feel the magic running through their fingers and smell the earth, swamp and tears.
Nothing less than three stars in these pages.
Metal dragons? Traitors? Quests? Unlikely heroes? All this and more can be yours with this anthology of stories perfect for an afternoon (or evening) read.