Review of FANTASY FOR THE THRONE
The back cover of the book instructs: "One sitting, one read." I did not finish the book in one sitting but I did finish it in one day.
This is definitely an anthology to keep. All 40 stories in the book are well-written. That does not mean I liked all stories. For one reader to like each and every story in an anthology is unheard of. There are some themes that I just cannot sink my teeth into, no matter how well-written - themes like zombies and were-beasts. That said, most of the stories were enjoyable and out of the enjoyable stories there were some that I really liked. Here they are, in the order of their appearance in the book.
- Elaine Cunningham's "Plot Problems" is a story of a writer who manages to act as an exorcist and in the process gives new meaning to the term "ghost writer".
- Michael Haynes's "Twenty Seven Rules for Coping" is interesting look into the mind of an extraordinary woman. Interesting woman, interesting rules. This story mentions just about half a dozen rules for coping. I wouldn't mind finding out what the other rules are.
- Ian Creasy's clever "Night Shift on the Support Line" presents a tech support service for magic users.
- Alex Shvartsman's "A Gnomish Gift" is a sensitive tale that twists the tale of Rumpelstiltskin in a thoroughly interesting way.
- Wendy Nikel's "The Girl in the Windmill" is the story of a girl who lives in a windmill with a shape-shifting relative and resembles the most beautiful statue ever crafted.
- S.B. Divya's "Gaps of Joy, and a Knot for Love" is the story of a poor family, comprising of Prakash, his sick wife Devi, and their hard-working and caring daughter, Khushi. Prakash has the power - though quite limited - of bestowing happiness on people.
- Somewhere between "Plot Problems" and "Twenty Seven Rules for Coping" snuggles my story, "Book of Pain". Of course, I like my story else I wouldn't have written it.