Friday, May 12, 2017

Chasing Magic: A review


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Having spent a fair amount of time researching magical systems for my own books, Queen of Heka and Reeds of Times, the topic holds genuine interest for me. Moreover, I'm always interested in how other writers incorporate it in their works without resorting to the heavy-handed, gee-whiz kind of writing that curls my hair. So, when I was offered the opportunity to review an ARC of Chasing Magic. the fourth anthology by CW Publishing House and the first in the Fantasy genre, I jumped at it.

Synopsis:  CWPH presents twenty-two Fantasy stories by international authors, both established and new to the trade. This collection features some of the familiar elements with a twist—from elves and unicorns to witches, talking trees, and dragons—mixed with reworkings of some classics from previously unexplored perspectives and new fantastical tales with their own distinct flavor.

Delve into these extraordinary worlds and experience the magic, mayhem, mystery, and wonder of Chasing Magic.

My take: This collection's approach to magic is eclectic; in some cases, magic only lightly touches a story and veers  toward classical fantasy in a realm where magic is possible. This approach worked for me, because immersing myself in pure magic for extended periods of time makes my head swim. Both fantasy and magic aficionados will enjoy the variety of stories in the Chasing Magic collection, because each one takes you to a different world, as this small sampling of the stories indicates.

Honor by Jennifer Della’Zanna begins with what might be an ordinary tale of  sword and sorcery and a warrior, albeit a woman with some characteristics of an amazon. As you learn about how she became a hero as she awaits her Confirmation, you think you know where this story is going. You would be wrong.

MorrĂ­ghan by Stacey Jaine McIntosh retells the King Arthur story from Morgan le Fey's POV and is reminiscent of Mists of Avalon, one of my all-time favorite books.

Aomedus Fell by Kathrin Hutson is wonderfully sardonic.  I mean, you have to love this kind of writing:
 Aomedus—goddess of independent thought and strength. She was only a replacement deity, having been created just a handful of centuries before. The Olympian gods had returned to their Mount long ago, when the fall of Greece had become an imminent tragedy.