- File Size: 1579 KB
- Print Length: 381 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Terrible Ten; 1 edition (January 15, 2018)
- Publication Date: January 15, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B078YH28M6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#7,680 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
- #30 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies & Short Stories
- #32 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Mythology
- #56 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
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Lost Lore: A Fantasy Anthology Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Ben Galley - No Fairytale
Look past the horrible title to this story, and you’ll see that it’s quite an intriguing little tale. And intriguing is what we want here, right? This story follows the plight of a young girl who’s brought into the resistance through tragedy. At first I thought this might be a kind of … origin of a female Elminster, but instead, it’s more of a … day one in the struggle against the monarchy sort of thing. There are quite a few characters introduced in the second half of this story, so I won’t say they all popped necessarily, but they all seemed interesting enough that I was curious about more. It made me invested enough that I bought the Emaneska collection.
“An orb of white fire interrupted him. It sprang from the darkness between the trees and blasted his almost clean off.” - oh, no, not his … !
“My mother’s temper on my lips. It was a meagre tribute to pay her.” - I thought this a nice line, if a bit on the nose (or the lips).
“Your building your own army, then,” I asked of him. - much like the first quote, this just points out that as good as the writing is overall, I feel like a fair amt of these stories could have used some more polished editing.
And They Were Never Heard from Again - Benedict Patrick. This dark tale ties in (I’m not sure how closely) to Benedict’s Yarnsworld tales. This story has a darker edge, and is also intent on separating itself from “the stories.” In fact, this one is sort of a cautionary tale about becoming trapped inside a story. This both heavily reminded me of the subplot to an RA Salvatore book (they all blend now, but the one where the young farmhand falls in love, and the girl he’s in love with is like, ‘It was one night, dude, get over it.’) and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village (people living in the forest & acting strange, w/what appears to be a human in a creepy mask wandering at night).
The fairy tale aspect definitely made me shy away from this, but the writing and the underlying mythology are interesting enough that I’ve put the first Yarnsworld book on my wishlist.
“In the stories, when the young lover had spent time keening after his heart’s desire, spent so long focussed on gaining what he wanted, things always turned out well in the end. In the stories.” - It fits here, but there is a LOT of focus in these stories about … stories, and how reality differs from those stories. This story drives it home the most, I think, because it becomes part of the plot, but many of the tales here seem very interested in setting themselves up as NOT your typical fantasy story, even though many of them are (not in a bad way, necessarily).
“...not paying any attention to the crunch underfoot when he trod on the wing of a glass magpie, grinding it into pieces.” - Felton participates in a bit of over-the-top symbolism here. Not sure if I love or hate this, but it made me smile.
A Tree Called Sightless by Steven Kelliher - This one did not work for me, and I did not get very far in it.
Barrowlands by Mike Shel - This is the story that made me grab this book (I’m on a mailing list of Shel’s). Since it’s the first one I read, I didn’t think to highlight any passages, but I’ll say that I dug it and it made me really intrigued about Shel’s upcoming book in this universe, Aching God. There are hints of adventuring leagues and otherworldly horrors lurking in ruins … everything one could crave from a good fantasy tale. The story doesn’t necessarily … DO … anything, but it certainly is a fun little read and is filled with tantalizing teases of a world overflowing with depth and weight.
Into the Woods by Timandra Whitecastle - We are firmly back in dark fairy tale territory here, with a kind of … Little Red Riding Hood by way of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with a dash of Ranma ½ and just a sprinkle of Takashi Miike’s short film “Imprint,” I guess is the most succinct way to put it. A young girl becomes a woman, and her grandmother tells her a story about the Summer Queen & Winter King … with a twist! At least, I hope it was an intentional twist and not a lack of editing, which I kind of worry about with this collection.
One of the shorter entries, which is not at all a bad thing. This pulled me in, but seems to have nothing to do with Timandra’s Living Blade series. Still, I enjoyed the writing enough that I put Living Blade on my wishlist.
“Am I telling it wrong, lyubasha? My own story?” - Again that story imagery. This whole story is about a tale within a tale.
“Are you sure this is the right story you’re telling, Nanna? It sounds like a strange mixture of stories to me.” Meta.
Paternus: Deluge by Dyrk Ashton.
I couldn’t get into this story, mostly because I think it was set in the real world, though far back in ancient history, but also because the writing just didn’t sit well with me. It happens.
I, Kane by Laura M. Hughes
Then another story set in the “real” world, though this time it’s in modern history (!), 1945. Kind of a wackier remake of Harlan Ellison’s “Deathbird Stories,” this one wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s eminently readable.
The Huntress by Michael R. Miller
I’ll start with the quotes here: “We can’t let a legion of dragons run unchecked in the Dales” & “If we can’t defeat three thousand dragons, what hope do we have against the rest?” If mediocre, unengaging writing about fighting dragons is your thing, do I have the short story for you …
The Prisoner by Phil Tucker
Phil was 50% of the reason I grabbed this collection. This is a very short story about a young man who will soon lead a legion of fighters. He uses an unorthodox method to show them he’s worthy of following.
“He was a stranger to himself.” - Phil has a way with words that I admire.
A Simple Thing by Bryce O’Connor
An assassin’s first kill. Ho-hum.
Palesword by T.L. Greylock
Though I find Norse mythology so dull and overdone, I was so pulled in by Greylock’s characters here (the villain is a bit two-dimensional, but extremely fun to watch nonetheless) that I’m honestly considering getting the main series (The Song of the Ash Tree) because I enjoyed this so much. A priestess-in-training learns the truth of her apprenticeship, and gains unexpected allies in the struggle to regain her pride.
‘“Help me, Kolli, or watch, I care not. But do not think to tell me what is best for me.”
‘He watched, of course.’ - Haha.
“We will never be safe, unless her wicked spirit is destroyed!” - Damn, man, the villain might be one-dimensional, but he is COMMITTED.
The Light in the Jungle by Jeffrey Hall
OK, so this is a difficult one to talk about. At its core, it’s a dungeon delve to retrieve a variety of items for a variety of characters. We get hints of exotic races and different magics. Eh, sure, I’m good with that. Without getting into spoiler territory, once we get to the actual theme here (essentially … if people on a dungeon delve have different goals, can they work together when those goals aren’t 100% aligned anymore?), I really liked the IDEA at play in this story, but two things kept me from enjoying the story itself.
One, it tries too hard to separate itself from “known” fantasy terms and types. One of the characters is a “Boarling” rather than a half-orc. Which … WORKS, but I found so ridiculously adorable I kept envisioning that character as a plush doll. Also, at times, things were changed so much that I kept having to scrabble to figure out what the hell was going on. Not NECESSARILY a bad thing, but …
“Scrap felt his own pack of totemic bullets hanging from his hip.” - OK. There are totems in this, which I believe work kind of similarly to ritual magic, and Scrap has a sling which he puts bullets in. But they’re … exploding wood bullets. A Wood War is referenced. Wood apparently acts differently in this universe, but I’m still unclear as to how or why. Whether this is interesting or ridiculous, eh, YMMV.
“Your botamancer just … <redacted>” - I highlighted a spoiler line to point out that there’s a character who can talk to plants, and he’s called a botamancer. Again, I found this utterly silly, whereas I at least admire the attempt to try something different.
Secondly, the editing here is atrocious. Literally the last sentence of the story has a typo in it. Other examples:
“But there is still one challenge that alludes me ….”
“I just asked it to the hold her gem” (this comes at an extremely dramatic point, totally ruining the moment)
Still, get a better editor and tone some of the silliness down, and I think the heart here is solid.
Black Barge: A Black Powder Wars short story by J.P. Ashman
I’ve tried reading Black Powder Wars and disliked it, so I figured I wouldn’t dig this. I was not disappointed. In my head it felt like a much dirtier version of “Steamboat Willie” for the first few pages, but still a Disney-approved dirty. “You butt-skuttler!” Not for me.
Making a Killing by David Benem.
When this story started off with Fencress Fallcrow getting something to drink at a bar in Raven’s Roost, I thought for a moment this would be a YA tale. I was, of course, wrong. Two things about this story. First, I must again ask where the editor was. I swear I could make a mint off of just explaining to people the difference between “breath” and “breathe.” (“She watched him breath.” HOW? HOW????) Secondly, this is an odd little tale about an assassin and his sidekick … performing an assassination. Normally with a story you expect a twist of some sort, a hook to make it stand apart from the stories we already know as “the norm.” Not this one. They get a job, and perform it. … Kay.
The First Thread by Alec Hutson
So if you take all the postmodernist commentary away from “Cabin in the Woods,” then apply a veneer of Mongols on the outskirts of China on top of it, that’s what you get with this story. This story takes its time, and is not magic heavy until the very end - so much so that I thought perhaps some historical fiction had snuck its way into this anthology. Instead, it’s a solid ghost story that does the job of making me interested in this world and the writer. Crimson Queen is on my wishlist now.
“False friends were as common as worms after the rain.” - gorgeous, thematically appropriate imagery. And the only editing mistake I noticed was the word “harken” rather than “hearken.” A great end to this collection.
Overall, yeah, Lost Lore wasn't perfect, and could have used a hell of a lot more editing, and based on content alone it's probably more a three-star affair, BUT the idea is strong enough, and the price is right, so I'm giving this four stars. Would love to see more like this out there.
Here are a few favorites of mine from the anthology:
No Fairytale by Ben Galley – This is an introduction to his Emaneska series. It’s the story of a young girl named Hereni who has recently found that she’s got magic powers. She wakes one night to disaster striking her family, and is then saved by another group of magic users, led by a man named Farden, who bring her to their enclave. It was a really well written bit of story, and I’m definitely going to check out the Emaneska series in the future!
And They Were Never Heard From Again by Benedict Patrick – This was a fantastic story to bring someone into the Yarnsworld. It takes place in the forest of They Mostly Come Out at Night, and as such, is pretty dark and creepy. It follows brothers Felton and Tad as they get caught outside after dark, and shows just exactly what harm spinning yarns in the Yarnsworld will bring.
A Tree Called Sightless by Steven Kelliher – This is, more or less, a bit of the background on how the Emerald Blade became the Emerald Blade. It follows some characters from the second book of the Landkist series, primary Maro, the greatest warrior of the Emerald Road, but don’t worry anyone, it doesn’t spoil anything from any of the books in the series. It fleshes out a little bit of background for one of the characters in a way that leaves the main plot well enough alone. Well done!
Into the Woods by Timandra Whitecastle – This story brought to mind all kinds of folktales. Everything from Red Riding Hood to Sleeping Beauty and more. It follows Jalena, who has just ‘become a woman,’ as she visits her grandmother, who tells her a story of a man who ran away from his life into the woods and had a very interesting adventure. This story was riveting, often kind of creepy, and felt very ‘old world,’ if that makes sense, while still seeming to take place in the same world as The Living Blade series.
Paternus: Deluge by Dyrk Ashton – Paternus is a mixture of many mythologies, which is something I have always loved about it. In this universe (and ours, too, but maybe in a different fashion) there are a few large events that happen to and surrounding the Firstborn, usually along the line of an extinction event. Things like the great Flood and Ragnarok and so on. This is the story of one of those (guess which, lol), which follows the story of Fintán mac Bochra, the man who, so the stories say, brought Noah’s granddaughter to Ireland before the flood, and survived it by becoming a salmon. This story has a lot of good imagery. I’ve recently learned what it’s actually like to run from a flood, and this one made me feel like I was there (though I don’t mean this in a bad way).
I, Kane by Laura M. Hughes – What a fantastic little bit of story this is! It is the transcribed notes of one Diabolos Kane, Senior Elder One, Bane of Wizards (and lizards), et cetera, scribed word for word just as he spoke them. He’s clearly a being from a higher plane of existence than humans, but he is among them, just after WWII, being interrogated by one. This story is hilarious at times, and was really unique! It also went from 0 to ‘well, that just happened’ very quickly. 10/10
The Prisoner by Phil Tucker – A short story (shortest in the whole anthology, but that’s not a criticism – it’s exactly as long as it needs to be) that introduces the reader to the world of the Chronicles of the Black Gate. A young Enderl Kyferin is at his first battle, leading his first regiment, and it’s not really going how he thought it would. This is a really interesting look at one of the (probably many) factors that made Enderl the character we all know and love.
Palesword by T.L. Greylock – It started out a little slowly for me, and I wasn’t sure where it was going, but suddenly I was like ‘YEAH EYJA!’ and the rest of it was literally just me cheering for her. This was a great introduction to T.L. Greylock’s Midgard, which seems to me, a lover of most things Norse mythology, to be pretty damn entertaining while staying pretty close to what folklore tells us. The ending of this bit of story was fantastic. This story was only about 20 or so minutes of me sitting there reading it, but my emotions went from meh, to outrage, to cheering, to more outrage to more cheering. 10/10, would emote to again.
The First Thread by Alec Hutson – Wow this story was awesome! I don’t know what I really expected going in. I haven’t ever read any of Alec Huston’s work. I have one on the kindle waiting to go, and I know it’s a finalist in this year’s SPFBO, but that’s all I knew going in. This is the story of a girl from the steppes who is now an imperial consort in the Shen empire. She befriends the prince, and together they go watch a ritual performed by the imperial warlocks that is… not what they expected. And the consequence of the ritual is doubly unexpected. My eyes were riveted to this story from beginning to end, so it’s pretty clear that The Crimson Queen is in my near future!
Great anthology! Well worth the price :)
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