A lot of stories rely on a character that is completely removed from their familial life. Whether it’s an orphan, someone who has been removed from their clan, or they’ve watched everything around them die and go up in flames, most good characters have nothing they can return to in their past. They either have nothing to lose, or everything. Lily in The Girl with No Name takes this one step further. This story is a literal journey of self-discovery – a girl who is unable to remember her own name, let alone her past.
The use of the tale of Adam, Eve and Lilith was a unique way to approach of tale of paranormal fantasy. A lot of mythologies and beliefs seem to inform fantasy stories, but very few utilise the Christian faith and stories to do so. The use of Lilith, and even the name Delilah have its roots in Christianity and the use of the two sisters’ names in their characterisation was a great reminder of the importance in naming one’s characters.
I love to read about mythologies reimagined for the modern day, and this was an excellent way in which it was done. Where Riordan takes Greek mythology and spins it so that teenagers have a place in the world, Diver gives the tales of Olympus a much more adult and sensual twist. A tale of Apollo, Arachne and gladiators, there really isn’t much more that you could ask for in a short story inspired by the Gods of Olympus.
I’ve read a lot of vampire novels and a lot of werewolf novels. It’s actually incredibly difficult to pick up a paranormal fantasy book that doesn’t have some aspect of these two beings interacting. But I have never read a book on a hybrid between the two. It was refreshing to have a slightly new take on the topic, although, much of the storyline seemed slightly familiar.
This short story was nothing like I expected. Although, from the title, I’m really not quite sure what I expected – something about going fishing and catching a ginormous fish I suppose? Well, other than the very conclusion, there was really nothing at all about fishing in the story. But, before you begin to feel disappointed about such a lack, the amazing writing and unique journey that Nix takes you on in The Strange Fishing in the Western Highlands is well worth the journey.
Bonedancer has been an incredibly cheeky enigma of a character since his conception in The Emperor Mage. So, as with all series, it was incredibly fun to read a short story that featured this slightly obscure creature. That it is also pared with the reproductive cycle of Spidrens, and an eventful day out that involved pursuit, rogue mages and theft just helped to make this short story all the more enjoyable.
Lady Knight is a fantastic conclusion to Protector of the Small quartet. All of Kel’s hard work has finally led to becoming the first recognised Lady Knight in a hundred years (that is, after Alanna’s secret journey to this position). And, although it means travelling to the war-torn border, Kel is finally on her journey to complete the quest outlined to her by the Chamber of Ordeal. The hand of fate is on this story, and although it twists and turns in so many ways, it is a journey that is almost impossible to put down.