Tag Archives: Louise Cooper

The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic edited by Mike Ashley

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic
Author: Mike Ashley, Steve Rasnic Tem, Richard A. Lupoff, Doug Hornig, Tom Holt, Tim Pratt, Diana Wynne Jones, John Morressy, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Kurland, Michael Moorcock, Robert Weinberg, Darrell Schweitzer, Ralph Adams Cram, Ursula K. Le Guin, A.C. Benson, Lawrence Schimel, Mike Resnick, Esther M. Friesner, Tim Lebbon, David Sandner, Marion Zimmer Bradley, James Bibby, Louise Cooper & Peter Crowther
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic, Short story collections
Dates read: 8th January – 7th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “I heard all you field hockey chicks are lesbians,” Curly said, still smiling.

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Synopsis

23 spellbinding tales of sorcery, wizardry and witchcraft.

From Gandalf to Harry Potter, sorcerers and wizards have always enthralled us. It is their power, above all, that we covet – the ultimate wish fulfilment of being able to do whatever we want – to fly, or make ourselves invisible, or to conjure something from nothing.

Here, from some of the most outstanding writers of fantasy, is a wonderfully varied collection of stories which explores the tensions and dilemmas in dealing with magic, from a child’s first struggle to control magical powers to epic clashes between the forces of good and evil.

Thoughts

It took me a little while to seriously get into this collection. But, once I did… I was completely hooked. I quite obviously love fantasy from the books that fill my shelves. But, as I’ve gotten older, I have found that I am drawn again and again to fantasy of a darker bent. Although not all of these short stories suited that desire, they just weren’t that dark… this collection was still seriously brilliant.

The stories in this collection just completely run the gamut. There are some serious, dark and twisted stories. Some that are fun and light. And a few that make you question the state of the world as we know it. All the stories were enjoyable in one way or another, although maybe not as memorable as some of the other short stories that I’ve read.

This is a great little collection. One that is interesting and fun. There was a lot surrounding ideas of chaos throughout, which makes it one of those collections that I’ll probably want to read again. There always seems to be this sense of confusion and intricacy about chaos stories that just makes me want to read them again and again.

<- The Mammoth Book of CthulhuTen Things I Know About the Wizard ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Last Rites by Louise Cooper

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: Last Rites
Author: Louise Cooper
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Death, Fantasy, Magic
Dates read: 30th April 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: Again the warning gesture, but now the sly humour was back.

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Synopsis

They’re in a world surrounded by chaos. And their leader is about to pass on… who will perform the last rites?

Thoughts

This was a seriously tripped out story. I did enjoy it. But I can’t really remember much of what happened… I suppose many of the more trippy stories that I read are like that though. They have this ethereal quality that makes you feel like you’ve forgotten what you’ve read… even though you only just turned the last page. And it’s kind of suited that a story about chaos does this so well…

I think that this is one short story that I’m going to want to read again and again. It is intriguing and was most certainly enjoyable. But I felt like I was constantly missing things as I went through the story. There were so many symbolic moments interwoven throughout the story and tales of chaos. Moments that may have a little more clarity to them after I read through this story a second time.

Definitely an enjoyable short story. One that I look forward to reading again in the future. It is the kind of story that will intrigue and enthral. The world of chaos and the questions it raises at the end… well, it was really quite intense.

<- The Last WitchThe Eternal Altercation ->

Image source: Hachette Australia