Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Review of "The Bone of St. Isis," a single story in a collection by Chris Turner
A collection of twelve original fantasy-adventure tales:
. . . a thief with a conscience takes on the formidable Magistrar
. . . a warrior monk avenges his fallen master after falling prey to a mysterious seductress
. . . an upstart swordswoman battles a mechanical abomination at a famous tournament
. . . treasure hunters disturb an ancient menace – who will appease the guardian?
. . . a healer must wield the infamous Tithys to protect her clan
. . . and more!
I was very impressed with Turner's grasp of the fantasy genre. He clearly gets how to set that kind of mood. If you've ever tried to write fantasy you will know that it's not easy creating this type of universe. Authors will frequently resort to using lots of terms th'at h'ave excessi've com'mas. Because commas are exotic. Or something.
Turner falls into no such trap there. His scenery descriptions are rich and detailed and his characters are interesting. As a chapter from a larger novel, I feel like this story would have been excellent. As a short story, I would say that Turner was a bit too verbose.
This particular story is just shy of 10,000 words. So it's bordering on a novelette. In my opinion there is just a little too much lingering on the scenery before we come to what ends up being a very well-written action sequence involving a creepy labyrinth.
Short stories must be precise and to the point. So in that sense, "Bones of St. Isis" is lacking. But this verbose quality is actually what makes Turner an excellent fantasy writer. So if you're into the genre, this is definitely an author worth checking out.
Revewied by Alain Gomez
Buy this collection on Amazon or B&N.