Friday, June 4, 2010
Rage of the Behemoth
Rage of the Behemoth by various authors(anthology)
This is the second antho by Rogue Blades Entertainment (I'm excited cuz I'll be in the upcoming Roar of the Crowd antho)anyhow this has 21 short stories of heroic fantasy-some of them blew me away-edge of the seat awesomeness!
Everyone of these tales deals with some kind of big monster, a behemoth hence the title. Divided into 5 sections-Depthless Seas, Frozen Wastes, Scalding Sands, Mysterious Jungles, and Ageless Mountains; this only changes location for the reader and none of these are cookie cutter tales. I was delighted by how different and ingenious these storytellers weaved their monster ballads. Because there are 21 of them and they are short stories I am not going to go into depth about each one and will briefly discuss the ones that have stuck with me the strongest.
Portrait of a Behemoth by Richard K. Lyon and Andrew J. Offutt-initially I did not like their narrative style (so purple and rambling-and I lOVE Purple prose), but as this tale of the female pirate Tiana Highrider went on I did like it-very satisfying conclusion.
Blackwater by Sean T.M. Stiennon-loved his hero/protagonist Shabak the Kabrisk-I wasn't expecting a lovecraftian type creature to be the hero, plus a great new monster-very well done.
Passion of the Stormlord by Robert A. Mancebo, this one really hit me-such a powerful take on genies and vengeance.
Nothing Left of the Man by Jeff Stewart-brought a lot of resonance for Beowulf and such.
Blood Ice by Mary Rosenblum-a very epic tale that I could have seen being stretched out to be a full novel.
Black Diamond Sands by Lois Tilton-like Blood Ice this was a tale that almost felt like it should have been part of a novel-it was also the story that took me the longest to get through-I did wish the end was more fulfilling.
Yaggoth-Voor by Bruce Durham-excellent tale with twists and turns-I read this one first. It can be tough when the gods play games with men.
Beyond the Reach of his Gods by Brian Ruckley-love this concept, northerners deep in the jungle with doom on all sides-that and the revenge and triumph over the monster.
The Rotten Bones Rattle by C.L.Werner-I loved this oriental take on heroic fantasy-but then I am really into samurai stories too.
Vasily and the Beast Gods by Daniel R. Robichaud-outsmarting the malevolent supernatural forces of a legendary Russia is always a winner.
Thunder Canyon by Jeff Draper-revenge is always a good motivator for these stories and having the monster help you is always a plus.
Where the Shadow Falls by T.W. Williams-Vivid motivations and action set William's protagonist John Humble among the most memorable of the characters in ROTB, I am going to have to find more tales of his.
Overall a great collection, I highly recommend to readers of fantasy. Order a copy Here