Inside Realms

Inside Realms

4.0 1
by A. F. Stewart
     
 
A fantasy short story collection exploring themes of love, loss, death and vengeance.
Inside Realms is a compilation of nine short stories, telling the odd tales of wizards, magic, vampires, ghosts and deities.
Come greet the Song Mages, the denizens of Camelot, the Vampire Order, The Undead, the Second World and various other characters.

Overview

A fantasy short story collection exploring themes of love, loss, death and vengeance.
Inside Realms is a compilation of nine short stories, telling the odd tales of wizards, magic, vampires, ghosts and deities.
Come greet the Song Mages, the denizens of Camelot, the Vampire Order, The Undead, the Second World and various other characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781435749061
Publisher:
Lulu.com
Publication date:
08/19/2008
Pages:
126
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
cbsmith More than 1 year ago
A collection of stories does not a novel make. Yet never claiming to be a novel, the stories in this collection do their best to allude to novels in process. Into the swirl we go as A.F. Stewart creates a mélange of characters and locales with such random precision and passion borne of peculiar winds that one is sure of having sighted a pure spirit of the fantasy realm. One to whom the fantasy language is the native tongue. How does she do it? Oh, we can guess and speculate and conjecture to exhaustion but despite our consuming solipsism, she's not telling. Well versed in a tradition of fantasy realm tale spinners that values the perfect articulation of ideas, her worlds abound with voluptuous detail such that one's senses threaten overload. But with amaranthine wizardry extraordinaire, our fantasy guide is masterful in her application. A contemporary Rembrandt, working each niche and fissure to exhaustion, not content until the absolute articulation of ideas have come to fruition.

In this anthology, Stewart delves into aspects of enchantment that extend beyond the supernatural and reside more in the elemental realms. She highlights the psychological and emotional aspects intrinsic in things typically enjoyed for those very real though often unacknowledged reasons. But of course, there is that most magical of all elements, romance and the undeniable allure of the paranormal paramour:
"I spied on the girl, as ordered, and she is a prospect. She clearly nourishes magic, and she has musical talent. Her technique is quite sound, and she has a good ear. In her music there is passion for the song; I think she may have profound potential. It is possible to turn this Sauren into a Song Mage."

The remaining eight tales are variations on this same theme; Hero, heroine, cryptic missions of import, doom doom doom on the rise. Oh, and characters finding their "essence" and music, crystals, whispers, cruel winds, dark menace, water water water, and esssence, every friggin' body seeing their essence. In tale two we find Aristan, another hero on a quest with a load upon his narrow shoulders amid persistent threat of, "There he saw his own essence, and the substance of wizardry." The looming essence. Threaded together by magic, mystery, and music, culminating in a free for all melee, bloodbath, and carnage, a fairly rounded day in the maelstrom is rendered. Essentially. Though, in all fairness, Stewart comes clean and closes out her allusions to love and splendor with a bonafide love story, wanting only for bare chests and ripped bodices; hush little darling don't you cry, mommy's gonna sing you a lullaby...

Now if you have gathered from my ramblings that my enjoyment of this fine collection of tales was a bit low on the enthrallment index, perhaps my contradictions have played too great a role. To my point, it is clear that there are within these tales a smattering of misapplication where the rolling boil of emotion sought was not entirely achieved. Yet at the same time, it is only because of the intense passion and skill of A.F. Stewart that these carefully constructed vignettes hit their targets despite. With all the promise evidenced within these Inside Realms, the promised novel should deliver full force. Fantasy is alive and well, and with A.F. Stewart at the helm, its future is in capable hands.