Adventure! Drama! Mystery! Humor! It’s all here in the forth TALES OF FORTANNIS anthology, A BARD ACT TO FOLLOW.
“Michael Ventrella’s Fortannis setting has produced a lot of fine fantasy fiction, and the fourth collection maintains a high level of quality throughout,” says Ryk Spoor, author of the Balanced Swords trilogy.
“Some of the stories are simply amusing (Curso and the Wizard’s Apprentice), some tragic (The Consistency of Small Minds), and others heartwarming (The Mutiny of Broken Things and Ventrella’s own Remembering the Future). Our protagonists range from courageous knights and cynical adventurers to an absolutely chilling, self-justifying sociopath. Taken together, they give us a picture of a living, immense world which can cover the span of human (and biata, dwarf, elf, ogre, and goblin…) endeavor and passion.
“A BARD ACT TO FOLLOW does not merely continue the fine tradition of Fortannis; it elevates the written world to the next level, and indeed, as the title plays upon, will be a hard act to follow!”
I was thrilled with the great selection I was able to solicit for this edition. It contains the following stories:
Remembering the Future by Michael A. Ventrella: Terin and his fellow squires perform a task and then have their memories erased, only to face the consequences of what they had done — but what had they done?
The Consistency of Small Minds by Bernie Mojzes: Maris risks everything to help goblins revenge a murder.
Garg the Good by Dominic Bowers-Mason: A lawful good sword falls into the hands of an ogre who doesn’t like being told what to do.
Thieves Among Honor by Mark Mensch: In order to hunt down and find out who is plotting to kill him, Nigel needs to hunt down and talk to a man who has sworn to kill him. With a knight-errant looking over his shoulder, what could go wrong?
A Poet’s Heart by Derek Beebe: An obsessive loner traces his descent from pathetic stalking into true super villainy — all for love (or so he says).
The Mutiny of Broken Things by Beth Patterson: A werewolf artist and a bat-kin discover untapped powers when faced with danger.
The Arrangement by Henry “The Mad” Hart: A squad of righteous warriors who hunt the undead are distracted by the oldest form of manipulation and evil –political ideals.
A Charming Encounter by Tera Fulbright: Out of all the rat holes in the city, why did she have to pick Crites’? Then of course, she offered something he couldn’t resist … gold.
Something Happened on Old Troll Bridge by Jon Cory: Dangerous things can lie hidden in abandoned old fortresses…
Chatter by Shane Porteous: After a disturbing act, a soldier capturing slaves learns just how cruel chains can really be.
Curso and the Wizard’s Apprentice by Roy C. Booth and Brian Woods: Curso the hobling learns that sometimes it is best not to mess with spells you don’t understand…
Shapes of Destiny by Laurel Ann Hill: Sometimes one has to embrace and accept one’s destiny if it means you can help and protect loved ones.
The Chronicles of Duren Ironath and Vaeallan by Tom Haswell: Duren the quiet scholarly elf had been aiding the head-strong and slightly mad dwarf Vaellan for years when they discover an old enemy thought long dead has returned
Another Round for the Table by Mike Strauss: Events nearly seem to repeat themselves as throughout the decades a mercenary company celebrates victory in battles with good food, good company, and stories of heroism.
Filed under: writing |