Thursday, September 13, 2018
Book Review: 'Petals and Blades Anthology: A Collection of Tragic Fantasy Stories' by Xaneria Ann, A.P. Sessler, Katie Leonard, Russell Hemmell, Kiley Bishop, Vivian St. Crow, and Colby Beattley
"An-and what if, if the dragons not dead..."
Fantasy is defined in the dictionary as ‘the free play of creative imagination, the power or process of creating especially unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological need’. Fantasy is a means of escaping or altering reality and if ever there were a time when fantasy stories were needed, that moment is now. Dreaming Rabbit Press has gathered five talented authors who have the gift of creating fantasy stories and presents them here as a fine means of using our thinking processes to alter current life facts - yet still incorporating the raw edges of today’s changing world to make the stories credible.
The stories are set in prose and in poetic form, the choice being that of the authors. The five authors are Katherine Leonard, Russell Hemmell, Xaneria Ann, Colby Bettley, and A.P. Sessler. A short biography of each author accompanies each work and the variation in themes is at once remarkable, clever in the manner in which we the readers are taken into that fantasy world, expecting HEA endings and discovering that even a rose petal can own a razor edge.
That is what makes this enchanting anthology work so well – the use of expected escapism tinted with mystery if not horror. Each story holds our attention well and though short, each is a finely crafted tale of love and loss and joy, expectation, disappointment and terror. And so much of what is inside this book is suggested by the exquisite art on the cover – by 14 year old Canadian artist Kiley Bishop.
A fine escape, these stories, but also a window to possibilities that what is happening at present may not be as worrisome as we thought….
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.