Book Review: Knee-Deep in Grit short story anthology from Grimdark Magazine
Grimdark Magazine is an excellent digital publication chock-full of articles, reviews, discussion and short stories all focused on the darker and grittier side of fantasy and science fiction. This collection of 25 stories has been collated from tales that have appeared in the mag over the past two years. And WOW, there’s been some good’uns!
Book Review and Author Interview: Song (The Manhunters Book 1) by Jesse Teller (published by Jesse Teller)
The author Jesse Teller kindly agreed to answer some of my questions! So below is my review and after is the interview.
Song is a dark fantasy that follows the story of a thousands-of-years-old wizard called Rayph Ivoryfist in a world called Perilisc. Rayph is a powerful guy and, before the novel starts created a magical prison that could hold some of Perilisc’s most vile villains. He rounded up said villains and put them in prison. So confident is Rayph in his prison that he leaves it to travel, only to find out that there’s been a prison break. This is where the book opens, as Rayph discovers that the dangerous inmates are on the loose once again and a couple are out to get their revenge on the wizard, as well as take control by doing away with the King.
Many epic fantasy worlds are loosely based on medieval Europe – for example the bulk of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. There’s lots of reasoning for this, and, personally, I like reading this type of setting. However, it’s always refreshing to read fantasy worlds set in, or inspired by, non-western settings such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
My new fantasy novella, The Sand Scuttler, is set in a desert. The action takes place in Parchad, capital city of the desolate, desert country of Drome, as well as on Jhabia Ridge, a snaking length of rock that juts out of the sand not far from the city.
The inspiration for this setting has come from my travels around the world, and my time living and working in the Middle East in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Below I round up some of the specific locations and experiences that have helped me bring my world to life in The Sand Scuttler.
Jakira sat in the black desert and willed the Sand Scuttler to her. She was running out of time. Her first blood was upon her and when it ran dry, the master would have his way.
Tonight was the last time Big Bulai would allow her out and soon Jakira would be required to warm beds for Master Rasheed, his sons, his male relatives and friends. And then to pleasure Big Bulai. The thought repulsed her, so she quietened her mind and willed it to her.
She knew the creature existed. It had to…
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