Lost Lore: A Fantasy Anthology

Series: stand alone Rating: 4/5
Date of Publishing: January 15th 2018 Genre: fantasy, dark fantasy, anthology
Format: Kindle Available: Amazon
Number of pages: 381 Author’s website:

Quote of the Book

“A story is a dangerous thing, Felton Herder. We must value them, we must be careful with them. Set one loose on the world, and you lose all control over your own creation.”

– And They Were Never Heard From Again by Benedict Patrick

 

Blurb

With an introduction by Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns and Red Sister.

Hidden pasts. Secrets untold. Legends half-remembered. Fifteen fantasy writers gather to bring fifteen tales to life, each one a unique glimpse into a wholly original world.

On the Emerald Road, a dead Sage triggers a brutal trial beneath the forest floor. There, a young man must fight--and kill--both friends and enemies to become the next wielder of the fabled Emerald Blade.

In Midgard, a priestess of humble birth forges a strange bond with an ancient being as she searches for justice in a land that often rewards cruelty, betrayal, and bloodshed.

And in the Yarnsworld, the Magpie King teaches two brothers a dangerous lesson about the power of stories. Sticks and stones may indeed break bones...but they cannot hurt the Bramble Man.

In worlds ravaged by flood, fire, and frost, mere mortals strive to make their own legends amidst demons and deities a like. And in lands racked with human strife--where evil endures and no one is ever safe--scarred heroes fight forces even darker than their own personal demons.

Why do they fight?

Some seek to better the world, or themselves. Others are out to right old wrongs. But whatever their goal--reward, redemption, or just respite--the truth will out eventually. For no story is ever truly lost so long as there exists one to tell it.

Personal notes

I’ve read this book back in February. Actually, this was the only book I’ve finished that month. Let’s just say I’ve been in a serious book slump and considered stepping away from reading for a while. But this book came around and also a read along on Goodreads which was fun and I could connect with the authors. Which is funny looking back at it, because I absolutely had no intention to have a blog. 1 month later I went and had one. As they say, the rest is history.

Anyway, this book is FREE on Amazon, and it will stay that way.

Review

When I plunged into reading Lost Lore, I only knew two of the authors’ work beforehand: Benedict Patrick, who clawed his way into my favorite authors list last year and Steven Kelliher. Others I heard about but haven’t gotten around to read their work: Dyrk Ashton, T. L. Greylock, Timandra Whitecastle, Michael R. Miller, Ben Galley, Phil Tucker. I looked forward to read their stories, and discover some new authors to keep my eyes on. Thankfully, this book give me plenty of them: Laura M. Hughes, Alec Hutson, Jeffrey Hall, Bryce O’Connor. But I’ll come back to this in a minute.

Usually I’m not into anthologies and/or short stories, because they always leave me wanting more, and unsatisfied. Plus, the quality of the stories tend to vary too much. Well, in this case all the stories were well written, and although not every one of them was up my alley, I could find something to enjoy in every one of them. Some will stay with me for a while, because of their uniqueness, their wit, their concept, their style of writing.

My 5 favorite short stories (in no particular order):

Paternus: Deluge by Dyrk Ashton

I was always fond of mythology and found them fascinating. The imagination of humankind is pretty awesome. Some elements can be found in most nations’ tales and mythology. The Flood is one of those. I liked the approach of that well known biblical story in Deluge and that it wasn’t only about Cessair and her people, but we also got a glimpse of how the whole world was affected. I can see a lot of research behind this one and I always appreciate it. This was my first time reading one of Dyrk’s writing and it appealed to me, so it lead me to reading Paternus: Rise of Gods and later Wrath of Gods.

The Light in the Jungle by Jeffrey Hall

I quite enjoyed this story and liked the totem magic system, which was an interesting concept. I would like to learn more about that and what can be achieved with it. This story is about a band of treasure hunters who go into the abandoned city called Hathis to retrieve something. But what they found didn’t make them happy all that much. That they have a strained relationship is an understatement. They all have their own agenda and although Scrape, the MC considered them friends or even family, none of them were that, save for Tama, his best friend. They were all driven by their own greed. Scrape no exception of course. But they all would have abandoned him the moment their treasure was in danger. Still not talking about Tama who was the real hero here. I think his treasure was the real one: his friendship with Scrape.

The name Flaw, which haunts the city seems like an interesting choice of name. It made me think of Hathis as the symbol of treasure, something which is desired and the Flaw as the human greed, which destroys everything in order to get what it desires no matter the consequences. As Tama said, Scrape’s hubris was indeed their fate as the Flaw was the result of humankind’s hubris when they built Hathis. At least that’s what I was thinking while reading.

As for the characters, I had a hard time picturing them. I couldn’t decide if they were animals, humans, humans with animal characteristics or what? Considering everything this was an interesting read and despite its flaws (pun totally intended, hah) I pretty much enjoyed it.

I, Kane by Laura M. Hughes

Well, this was something else entirely. At first it was confusing to only read one side of the conversation, but by the end I pretty much enjoyed it. Kane, our MC talks about his time on Earth during WWII, while in prison. Liked how the story played out and the different approach to the well known story of creating the world. And the few twist Hughes added to it, beginning with the dragons. Also, I loved the humor! I chuckled while reading. This was hands down one of my favorites of the whole anthology.

The Prisoner by Phil Tucker

Now, this was a surprising little gem. Short, effective, emotional, interesting, a punch in the gut. I am kind of ashamed I never read anything from Phil Tucker before. I will definitely check his work out.

I adored Enderl at the beginning, as he tried to be a good knight, to be noble and everything he read in books about them. Then he faced reality, that there is no honour in battle and unless he receives respect from the Wolfes they will never acknowledge him as their leader. Only then can he show them his ways. Maybe a better way even. So he made decided to make sacrifices. I guess at that point he made peace with himself and learned that sometimes you have to do things against your better judgement to be the man you are supposed to become. This short story really showed a large scale of emotions, and I didn’t want it to end. I was pretty much drawn into it.

And They Were Never Heard From Again by Benedict Patrick

We are back in the Magpie King’s Forest! Yay! Benedict had become one of my favorite authors last year so I was pretty much looking forward to his short story. I wasn’t disappointed at all.

I think there are only a few writers out there who can put together a short story which leaves you with the feeling of completeness. I mean we’ve got an interesting story, fully fleshed out characters and some things to think about. A story about how stories are made. Nice one. I think this is how most of humanity’s mythological tales came around with time. Two boys are lost in the forest and they have to face the consequences of their actions and learn how powerful words can be together with faith. This story had a few lessons you had to let sink in at the end.

Let’s not forget about the others, whose stories I also enjoyed but couldn’t make it to the short list:

  • No Fairytale by Ben Galley
  • A Tree Called Sightless by Steven Kelliher
  • Barrowlands by Mike Shel
  • Into the Woods by Timandra Whitecastle
  • The Huntress by Michael R. Miller
  • A Simple Thing by Bryce O’Connor
  • Palesword by T.L. Greylock
  • Black Barge by J.P. Ashman
  • Making a Killing by David Benem
  • The First Thread by Alec Hutson

You are looking for something new to sink your teeth into? Don’t look anymore! Lost Lore has it all:  mythology, epic fantasy, grimdark, twisted fairy tales, cool assassins, unusual worlds, humor and a lot to think on! Sure, some of them has flaws, and won’t be your taste, but on the other hand, you’ll find some treasure which will make it worth. Besides, it’s free and all of these indie authors are talented as hell. Give them a chance and you might find your next favorite author/series!

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