- File Size: 1677 KB
- Print Length: 274 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Undaunted Publishing (February 1, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 1, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01BD7M2JK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,274 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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Swords for Hire: A Frontier Fantasy and Medieval Western Story Anthology Kindle Edition
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First off, the book opens with a short story called "Goldseeker" and the first five chapters of New World: A Frontier Fantasy Novel, by Steven W. White. Goldseeker is a nice introduction that, before the real story starts, gives you a brief but entertaining rundown of the setting and elements you can expect to find: magic, dragons, untamed wilderness, and a race called vivets, who can be poorly summed up as green forest-dwelling halflings. We also get a sneak peak of an important character from the book proper. Keeping in mind that I wasn't aware this was a collection, I can tell you I was maaad when it cut off after five chapters. Luckily, the full book was available for free on Amazon, and when I finished that, I went ahead and bought the second.
My biggest, and pretty much only, real complaint is the seemingly pointless inclusion of new words. The names for the cardinal directions stand out the most. East and West, Eost and Hest respectively, are fairly simple to figure out, but it wasn't until I was looking online for clues that I determined whether Aust or Sept was North and which the other was. The clues provided, "Sept means seven, and comes from Septentrionalis, the seven stars of Arctos, which are always in that direction. And aust comes from Australis, which means a kind of wind," implied, to me at least, that both were North until I learned the Southern Lights were called the Aurora Australis. The only Australis I had known previously was the star is located within Ursa Major, which we use as a guide to find the north star. Possibly nitpicky, but I'd have much preferred to have seen the common-use names for directions. The only impact this had on the story was my confusion and a break from the story as I spiraled into Google.
Fantastic series, I can't wait to read more. Hopefully there will be more.
Next up was "Weeping Stone" and "Cowards of the Setting Sun" by James Downe, which have a sort of Old West setting but also have crossbows and armor, which are usually more medieval-oriented. More words in these two that make no sense at first but that you pick up through context, but that's not such an issue. I'm not sure if it's every edition, but the .mobi copy that I read had odd formatting in parts of "Weeping Stone" that made a few words at a time in a few places appear in grey instead of black, which sent me frantically skipping around trying to figure out if it was just a simple formatting error or if there was some significance to the words that showed up differently. I've concluded that it was a formatting issue, but if I'm wrong, please let me know.
Again, fantastic stories, and I was mad when they ended because I just want to know more about this world. It's not even the particular characters the stories follow, it's just the world they take place in that snatched me in and made me not want to leave, but in the end the words ran out.
Third we have "Plaincrow" by Chris Adams. Another well-written Old West-style story, this one a story of loss and vengeance... at a price. I can't say too much without giving away too much, but definitely worth a read. There isn't really much I can say bad about it, either.
Last, but definitely not least, we have "Way Up North" and Into Exile: A Teutevar Saga prequel by Derek Alan Siddoway. "Way Up North" was a short but interesting tale of a gold rush and the consequences, and is another definite recommended read. Into Exile, while definitely interesting, came off as a cross between Dune and the early-mid-portion of The Princess Bride. It's not exactly like, or even exactly close, to either. I did get the feeling that this was not a book intended for those unfamiliar with the series, as I've no idea what I'm supposed to take away from the characters; I know one has some future destiny I can only assume will be important and I know their story continues into the next books, but other than pity for refugees and an urge to root for the underdogs, I don't know why I'm supposed to care about them. I feel like I would care more and be more invested in the story if I had read the previously published books, but this anthology was the first time I'd ever even heard of the Teutevar Saga, though I will most definitely be picking it up next. Siddoway, like every other author in this book, left me wanting to know more, and luckily, there's two books chronologically later for me to read.
Overall definitely worth a read, though there were some minor grammar errors here and there throughout that, while not major, did jar me out of my immersion in the stories and their worlds. I'm not sure if this is just the edition I read. I did receive a copy free in exchange for my unbiased review.