I’m a big fan of Nix’s Old Kingdom series, but haven’t read any of his other works. This is sold on the back of that world but only contains one story relating to it, the rest are a series of unrelated, self-contained shorts.
As with any compilation, some are better than others. There’s plenty of fantasy, featuring everything from knights to vampires to Hellboy. There are even some science fiction stories too (John Carter gets a mention).
Truth be told, I was a little disappointed there weren’t more relating to the Old Kingdom, that’s what drew me to the book and what I was interested in.
The stories are all competently written, though some feel a little rushed. Some would make good full-length novels and many allude to larger narratives or backstories.
They’re just not all up to Old Kingdom levels for me. Some are a little cliche, some a bit bizarre. The ones featuring pre-existing characters are just odd.
To be fair, I’m not a massive short story fan, although I have read my share.
There are some solid stories here, and they’re interesting enough, but they left me unfulfilled. Part of that may have come down to my own expectations though.
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Paperback copy of the book
Reviewed: 23rd September 2016