- File Size: 4415 KB
- Print Length: 357 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Undaunted Publishing (January 22, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 22, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N370BP4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,804 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Lone Wolf Anthology: A dark fantasy story collection Kindle Edition
|Length: 357 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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The book, published by Undaunted Publishing leans more towards heroic fantasy fiction, fiction where one often stands against many, or where one is thrust in a perilous situation against insurmountable odds with only the wind at their back. For starters Undaunted must be congratulated on the cover art. I think it's great...but what about the stories inside?...
Things get off to a great start with 'The Iron Keys', a tale that features an ostracised mage called Farden who is sent to the front lines where a fierce battle is brewing against a blood-thirsty horde of minotaurs! Action-packed and exciting, this is a great way to start. The second story was also very solid. A kind of dark fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast that is a little different and quite enjoyable but it is 'Birds of a feather' that I really enjoyed. It features a man called Aleron, who is a Gryphon-rider. Aleron becomes an unwilling champion to one of his enemies in a battle against automaton knights that march across the land. This story has some solid characters and great pacing, I really enjoyed it. The fight scenes are excellent and the story flowed really well. The next story was very different in that it had a western edge to it. A young boy enlists the help of a bounty hunter called Cactus Rose to help him track down and exact revenge on a group of outlaws. The dialogue was good in this story and it was a solid idea too. Not my favourite, I'll be honest, but very readable.
We are nearly halfway through and there hasn't been any d***ons mentioned yet! But, fear not 'The Rules of the Game' has duelling dragons and an enemy that seeks to manipulate and control out hero - dragon-rider, Rasa - via mind-control! This story is heaps of fun. The battles are great and so are the characters, bravo! 'The Dwarfendam Run' is really quite odd, but brilliant. The Dwarfendam Run itself is an obstacle course that people run in order to reach a special chalice. Few survive the treacherous run, but when a local musician finds the secret to completing the course unharmed the story takes on a real feel-good vibe to it. Excellent and original.
'In Telling the Legend' is also very good, despite being the shortest of the stories it is quite emotional and the ending is superb, I really didn't see it coming. It's the story of a village hermit who isn't who he appears to be. Very well-written and a real highlight for this reader. 'The Black' is rich in folklore and myth. A watch-tower guard awakes to find all in the village have vanished. This leads towards an unexpected journey and some Lycanthropic action! Pretty good. A coming-of-age story is next up featuring betrayal, warring tribes and a magical spear that can cut through anything. Interesting take in that it utilises some Indian folklore to good effect. I could do without the quotes sprinkled through the story. I felt it interrupted the flow a little but it is a good story.
'Wayward Knight' is fairly run-of-the-mill in its execution but there is nothing wrong with this story of a grizzled old knight who offers his services to a local farmer in exchange for a roof over his head and a feed. The locals are having a fair bit of trouble with somebody looking to buy their land and things take a bloody turn as things are settled with the clash of steel. The final story 'Senthyd' also features dragons, though uses them sparingly. I liked this story too but it didn't feel like a short story, more of a novel prologue and it does feel a little rushed towards the end.
All said, this is a fine anthology. There are some great ideas and although some familiar tropes appear, the stories are strong enough to give fantasy fans something to smile about.
Like most anthologies out there, where you come across stories you like, stories that are good but could be better, stories that are just 'meh', and stories that you do not finish for one reason or another, Lone Wolf doesn't stray from the path. Most of the stories presented are good reads but there are a few that leave something to be desired. The stories here are about society's outcasts trying to make names for themselves, whether by understanding the powers they have been bestowed with or proving themselves on the battlefield. Each author has a different writing style and different approach, which makes for an interesting read.
The Iron Keys - MINOTAUR ALERT. Great story about a mage named Farden and his folly while in the Iron Keys Regiment of Arka against a horde of Minotaurs. A story about ambitions getting the best of you and the complications that arise after, but glory is just around the corner.
Loved this story. Galley is definitely an up and comer in fantasy. Heart of Stone comes out later this month!
The Beauty, The Beast and The Butcher - a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. A man is in search of his niece and asks a hunter named Grimm to help find her. Though the Beast is found and suspected as the culprit, there is another who hides in the shadows.
Birds of a Feather - GRYPHON ALERT. A lone gryphon rider named Aleron and his gryphon Sunflash come to the rescue of a young girl, only to be captured by a tribe called Unghan-Vo. But there is another danger just a matter of days away, the Smelterborn, that will require the tribe and Aleron to work together in order to live another day.
Cactus Rose - A man named Brody recruits the help of a female warden named Fanny, otherwise known as Cactus Rose, to help him find six horse thieves. Though she may be tough to get along with, she is good at what she does.
The Rules of the Game - DRAGON ALERT. Rasa Belaahn is an up and coming dragon rider and, though his superiors scold him much for being dangerously willful, they know he shows much potential. But there are more pressing matters. The dragon he is given as his mount is much the same way: uncontrollable, fierce, and has killed its past 2 riders. They must travel into the North in order to bring an end to the long and strenuous war that has plagued the Kingdom of Tressor.
Another great story in this anthology. Definitely one of my favs.
The Dwarfendam Run - It's like American Ninja Warrior made by dwarves, a mechanized gauntlet that few can hope to defeat. Entrants go all out for a chance to win the King's Chalice and Bounty. Allemande, a musician by trade, takes a turn on The Run and the reason may surprise you.
In Telling the Legend - Kuhlar, a old hermit and treasure hunter, searches ruins with his dog, Halberd, for relics to repair and sell. When he is called upon to return to a land he was banished from, a legend returns to the forefront.
The Black - WEREWOLF ALERT. Tvan, a watchmen in the city guard of Donnerbaum, awakens to find that everyone in his town has vanished. A mysterious girl still lurks, searching for what happened to her people. Tvan travels to find shelter and work, but he doesn't travel alone. Wasn't a huge fan of this story, but that's because werewolves just aren't my thing.
Dreamwalker - DNF. Just couldn't get into this story. You may have better luck than me. Sorry, no description.
Wayward Knight - A soldier named Karn arrives at a small farm and is taken in by the owners, working the land to earn some wages and some warm food. A man named Parlem continues to harass the family, stating that he owns the rights to their property. But Malcolm isn't going to give up his land without a fight.
Senthyd - Rasmin Blacksmithing, a popular blacksmith in a small village, is home to a stranger named Doiron. He knows nothing of his parents, and what he does know died with a clergyman six years prior. Who am I? Why do I look the way I do? What is this magical power I wield? But as it turns out, he is not alone. There is another just like him and he is about to reveal something thought unimaginable.
All in all, if you like sword and sorcery, there are some stories in here from some up and comers that you'll want to keep tabs on. If short stories are your thing, definitely grab a copy and give it a try.
Lone Wolf is an enjoyable read, especially as it may introduce the reader to previously unknown writers and give the reader an introduction to more of the talent which is out there. A recommendable read.