These Dark Faerie Tales are Endless Fun!

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You may have noticed I don’t read many short story collections, but I enjoyed Endless Worlds Volume 1, so I checked this out… and guess what? It was even better!! Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this review, I want to give a shoutout to one of the writers for this- Matthew Wright– for bringing this to my attention- highly recommend checking out his super informative blog! Now onto each of these stories…

The Last Citadel of the Innocent – Matthew Wright

Everyone knows how hard it is to write a convincing world in any fantasy novel, let alone a short story- yet this was so well done that I truly felt transported. The level of detail was perfectly balanced and neatly woven into the story, without being overdone. It was entirely gripping and had a great amount of action to balance this out too. The only reason I couldn’t give this first one 5 bananas was that it wasn’t an entirely contained story- to put it simply: I want more!!

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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Lorelai – Ken Mann

I thoroughly enjoyed the distinctive fairy tale vibe in this one. The writing style for the story was spot on. Plus, it was dramatic and twisty from beginning to end.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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The Liar’s Tale – James Peters

With a great humorous tone, the Liar’s Tale was just the ticket for me. I was already really enjoying this hilarious tale and then the twist at the end cemented my love. I l really appreciated the Russian doll layers to this too, with multiple stories being told at once. Very clever and well executed story!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Gil and the Mystic Quill – Peter Koevari

I’ve always loved these types of “magical pen” stories and this had a great setup. I truly appreciated the complexity here. Strangely enough though, while this had some of the most beautiful writing of all the stories, it also had some clumsier wording.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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RavenDark – N. R. Marxsen

This was inspired by 12 brothers and as I know the original, I can confirm this was a great retelling 😉 Structurally, this was very similar, yet it was way way darker. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I had the thought while reading it that this was so grim, I almost wonder why it wasn’t written this way in the first place, because this perfectly mirrors the vibe I get from a lot of original fairy tales.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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The Blacksmith and the Beast – Anita Templer

Funnily enough, I wasn’t initially all that crazy about this one- for some reason or other, I wasn’t connecting with the writing. However the twists and turns were literally so amazing that it ended up being one of the best. Once it got into the action, I got very into the adventurous feel and then the ending was so good that it blew me away. All I can say is *wow!*

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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The Witch’s Song – Francis Burns

Yes- another one that I loved! But seriously, this one was great- the setup was so unique and tinged with a creepy atmosphere. I especially liked the writing in this one and the poetry really worked for me here. It was also so gripping that I couldn’t tear my eyes away (hence the fact that my notes ran out here…)

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Fairy Tale Hunter’s – Renee Marski

This last one was certainly the most unique, but because of that it was also much stranger and harder to follow. So I didn’t end up connecting with it as much- all credit for the intriguing premise though.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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Overall, this collection was intriguing, dramatic and unique- I recommend it for all fans of fantasy!

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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So do you think you’ll check this out? Let me know in the comments!

What To Read When You Have No Time

Right, so you may (or may not) have noticed my absence in the last few days. I’ve not been online much at all cos I’ve been busy busy busy! This has also meant I haven’t had much time to read- which is no good at all!! (and it looks like my schedule’s only gonna get more manic- ahhh!) But in the midst of all my panicking, I’ve also had a think about the kind of books that are good to read when you have no time- I thought I’d share these thoughts with you. Enjoy!

  1. Fluffy books

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Yes, contemporary romance is my go to relaxation genre- because what could beat a seriously sappy story where the only real drama is “will they/won’t they?” They’re the perfect distraction when you’re too busy to think!

  1. Something you’ve read before

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Okay- the theme here is quickly becoming not having to think- but if not thinking is what you’re looking for, then an old favourite is exactly what you should be reading. Cos when we pick up a beloved book we know exactly what’s gonna happen and how it’s gonna make us feel- and sometimes that’s just what we need.

  1. Novellas

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These were practically designed for when you’ve got no time! Short books make for a brilliant quick read when you’ve only got a few minutes to spare. I love using these opportunities to read something I’ve been meaning to read for ages, but that won’t fill up to much time.

  1. Thrillers that aren’t too wordy

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This is a bit of a curveball- cos a lot of the time books like this are too engrossing to put down. But when you need to unwind, a thriller is just the ticket. And while a slow burning thriller won’t do, I’ve found books that you can just whiz through suit me best when I don’t have much time to read.

And when all else fails…

  1. Children’s books

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Especially when there’s only one or two words on each page!

Hope you liked that! Let me know what books you like to read when you have no time and I’ll see you soon (I hope!)