Dolan wants nothing more than to escape his village
Valcone is the reclusive prince of Auric.
Losha is tasked with killing the dragon
Alice would do anything for her father
Xander attempts a risky robbery which goes bad
However busy we are with everyday life, however tough we are or we seem to be or occupied, we will still find a moment in our lives when we can let our mind to take a little off... but I mean it in a good way. That is, to be able to return to the state of bliss of childhood. And what's better for a child than dreaming about stories with knights, wizards, damsels in distress and the noise of engaged swords? And, after many years of being "bombarded" with stories such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or Game of Thrones, and that's referring only to the worldwide –successful film adaptations, I can assert that the fantasy genre, doesn’t really have an end.
Now, let's go back to our current subject, the fantasy anthology Braving the Elements, A Medieval Fantasy Anthology. Do not be sad ... it's an anthology of 5 short stories and not of fragments taken from different novels. So, one more point for the anthology and… for you. You already hear how the swords are pulled out of sheaths, don’t you? But hang on! The key word is in the title, so this time the knights with their shining swords will not be the main heroes. Do not hurry to sigh... you will still enjoy the stories of this anthology.
And because the rankings are still in fashion, it’s a personal view allowed? I know it's not probably fair, but the subjectiveness marks us almost in all, and even more when we talk about art. That doesn’t mean that I disregard some of the stories, but in my opinion, the value order is the reverse order of the stories in the anthology. Taste is not to be discussed, is it? This is my own opinion and you have the right to have yours. Anyway, I think every one of you, the readers, will undoubtedly find your favorite style amongst these stories. From this point of view it is interesting the selection of those who have put together this anthology; something for everyone, yet respecting a particular theme.
Now, let’s meet the protagonists: Terri Rochenski, Kelly Said, Claire Davon, Rebecca Hart and Michael Siciliano; and their stories are: Mist Weaver, The Mith of Mt. Agony, The Dragon, the Witch and the Swordswoman, Alice and the Egg and Forging Mettle.
For me, they are the first works written by these authors that I read and they are quite interesting. Don’t be mean! I didn’t use the adjective “interesting” in a depreciative way. I really want to read more of their stories!
My recommendation is to give a try to Braving the Elements! Who knows, maybe you’ll like all the stories, but even if you not, definitely you’ll find something on your taste. Definitely!
It is really worth trying!
Release Date: September 8th, 2017
Mist Weaver by Terri Rochenski
Dolan wants nothing more than to escape his village for the big city where his small stature and unpleasant features won’t make him the recipient of constant ridicule by the lord of the manor and his heir, Gilroy. The mist that dances to the sweet notes of Dolan's flute is his only camaraderie and the only beauty in his life—except for Keavy.
When the kind milkmaid is faced with unwanted attentions, Dolan must defend her honor with a choice that will ultimately change his life.
The Myth of Mt Agony by Kelly Said
Meadow’s mere presence ensures the Morningstar farm produces with preternatural abundance. A dirt-dusted foster-child, she hungers for harmony with Auric’s lands.
Valcone is the reclusive prince of Auric. Confined to his room—for the safety of his subjects—he craves control over his persuasive powers.
The prince and the farmgirl’s powerful personalities will collide with epic force when a war erupts between Auric and a neighboring kingdom. With Auric’s fate on the line, Valcone tests the limits of his ability. He amplifies his steady push into a forceful shove against Meadow’s gentle Nature. The Earth-shaper finds herself between a rock and a hard place, literally, where the only choice to save her family may lie in surrendering to the destructive force of her ground-breaking ability.
The Dragon, The Witch, and the Swordswoman by Claire Davon
As the person responsible for calling the bronze dragon that destroyed her village, Losha is tasked with killing it. Failure to do so means she will be outcast from everything she has ever known. Yet one she is on the road, two local women in tow, she finds that she is strangely reluctant to harm the beast that lurks in her mind.
After an encounter with an oddly familiar old woman and a knight in a small hamlet Losha is more confused than ever. On one hand, failure to slay the dragon means she cannot return to the promise of marriage from a local boy yet the more she learns about the dragon the less she wants to harm it. It, like the bronze sword that is her only defense, speaks to her in a way nothing else has.
The stage is set for a final showdown between knight and beast when the knight’s true quest is revealed and Losha must choose between all she has ever known, or the companionship of an old woman…and a dragon.
Alice and the Egg by Rebecca Hart
Alice would do anything for her father, the only parent she’s ever known since her mother’s death in childbirth. When he falls ill, Alice doesn’t hesitate when the opportunity to barter her life for his is presented by Jayden, the prince and only heir to the Dragorean throne.
It doesn’t take long for Alice to realize the palace has secrets. Ones that relate to her own past more than she could ever have imagined. If she can find a way to play the game of secrets well enough, not only could she save her father, she just may manage to save herself as well.
Forging Mettle by Michael Siciliano
Xander, a teenaged street thief in the grimy slums of Low Town, discovers he has an innate magical talent on the same night his father is killed. Intent on getting revenge, he attempts a risky robbery which goes bad. Rather than face the hangman’s noose, Xander agrees to accompany a group of soldiers intent on finding a powerful magical artifact. But the Beggar’s Hand isn’t what the King’s sorcerer thinks. Deep in the mountains, Xander must make life and death decisions, not just for himself, but the Kingdom he calls home.