Monday, March 17, 2008

"Altar of the Moon" by Stacey Berg from RotS

I received my copy of The Return of the Sword on Saturday. The cover looks even better up close and soon I found myself digging in to the introduction and the first story. In the next few weeks, I plan to post my thoughts on one of these stories each week day, until I have covered them all. There will be no spoilers, but as usual I will be looking mainly for things I can learn as a writer by examining my reactions as a reader. After reading the first few stories it became clear that the hype is well deserved. So let's get to it.

Altar of the Moon by Stacey Berg is the first story in The Return of the Sword. Bam! A magic sword and the blessed/cursed warrior who wields it. This sword had a hint of Arthurian tragedy and a great twist on the magic sword trope, with a tip of the hat to Moorcock. A fun, brief read.

For my taste, the character names in this story were a little plain and it took a little effort to overcome real world associations with the names. If they had been a little more fantastic, I think it would have helped with the 'other-worldly' feel of the piece. And one last nit, the second paragraph is actually the one that grabbed me, I feel like the story should have opened with the sword and dealt with the travel description second.

Buy the book! The Return of the Sword: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure
Further reading at E.E. Knight's blog
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