Explore the medieval kingdoms of Erdhe, raid the tomb of the first emperor of China, and unravel the enigma of Dark Space in this collection of fantasy and science fiction tales from the author of The Silk & Steel Saga. The two signature stories, Prophecy s Twist and The Assassin s Tear, are set in the fantasy realm of Erdhe. Prophecy s Twist discovers the dark deceitExplore the medieval kingdoms of Erdhe, raid the tomb of the first emperor of China, and unravel the enigma of Dark Space in this collection of fantasy and science fiction tales from the author of The Silk & Steel Saga. The two signature stories, Prophecy s Twist and The Assassin s Tear, are set in the fantasy realm of Erdhe. Prophecy s Twist discovers the dark deceit that started the War of Wizards, forever changing the kingdoms of Erdhe. The Assassin s Tear follows the exploits of a petty thief whose ambition leads him to unravel the dark secret of the Mordant s Citadel. The Emperor s Shadow is an international thriller in the style of Indiana Jones, combining the power of superstition with archaeology in a desperate attempt to end World War Three. A Man s World is a post-apocalyptic adventure set in Australia where coal miners discover all the rules have changed. Pieces of the Truth is a time travel story where a young physicist discovers a forgotten truth. In Snakes and Ladders, Lynn Gallant sets out to shatter the glass ceiling by taking a walk to the dark side of New Orleans. In The God Planet, universal dreams spark a religious frenzy, summoning humanoid kind to the riddle of Dark Space....more
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. The title story expands on the worlds of Erdhe, (from the author's books The Steel Queen and The Flame Priest), which I loved. I bought this collection for that story alone, but was pleased to find the rest of the collection was just as well written and captivating. Some of the stories are so well constructed, with great plots, conflicts, and surprising resolutions, that I would like to see them made into movies. As a professional woman, I partiI really enjoyed this collection of short stories. The title story expands on the worlds of Erdhe, (from the author's books The Steel Queen and The Flame Priest), which I loved. I bought this collection for that story alone, but was pleased to find the rest of the collection was just as well written and captivating. Some of the stories are so well constructed, with great plots, conflicts, and surprising resolutions, that I would like to see them made into movies. As a professional woman, I particularly liked Pieces of the Truth, and Snakes and Ladders. It is amazing that Azinger manages to convey the profound insights she does, in such short pieces, and with such different settings. I don't want to give anything away, but the way the problems resolve is unexpected and brilliant. The Emperor's Shadow was a great action adventure tale, and The God Planet is science fiction mystery at its best. A Man's World is at once apocalyptic and brimming with the promise of redemption. All in all, some of the best reading I've found in a long time. Highly recommended. Love this author and cannot wait for more from her. ...more
A while ago I read and reviewed Karen Azinger's The Steel Queen, which is the first book of The Silk & Steel Saga. It was an interesting fantasy book and a good start for an enjoyable fantasy series. Now that I've read Karen Azinger's short story collection, The Assassin's Tear, I think that she's an author to watch, because she has her own writing style and she has a talen for writing entertaining and addictive short stories.
The Assassin's Tear is a charming short story collection, which ofA while ago I read and reviewed Karen Azinger's The Steel Queen, which is the first book of The Silk & Steel Saga. It was an interesting fantasy book and a good start for an enjoyable fantasy series. Now that I've read Karen Azinger's short story collection, The Assassin's Tear, I think that she's an author to watch, because she has her own writing style and she has a talen for writing entertaining and addictive short stories.
The Assassin's Tear is a charming short story collection, which offers something for everybody, because the stories range from fantasy to science fiction. Two stories (The Emperor's Shadow and Snakes and Ladders) are almost mainstream stories, but they contain speculative fiction elements.
The Assassin's Tear contains the following short stories: - Prophecy's Twist - The Assassin's Tear - The Emperor's Shadow - A Man's World - Pieces of Truth - Snakes and Ladders - The God Planet
Here's more information about the stories:
Prophecy's Twist tells what started the War of the Wizards (the events take place before the war). It's a story about a Kiralynn monk called Tyock who travels to the city of Azreal and finds out that everybody has been killed. He finds a memory stone and uses it to see what happened to the city. He sees how Emrath tries to save her city, but she is betrayed and the city is doomed to die in a horrible way. In my opinion Prophecy's Twist is a fantastic story, because it reveals what happened before the great war and what events led to the war. Karen Azinger demonstrates her writing abilities in this story, because it's a touching and well written story about what happened to Azreal and its residents.
In The Assassin's Tear the author tells about the city of the Mordant, the dark Citadel. It's a story about young Dolf, who wants to find a better place for himself and is willing to take risks for it. He's a resourceful thief and he knows that he can do what he wants to do. It's a story about courage and survival in a hostile environment. I think that all fans of The Silk & Steel Saga will love this story, because it's nice to read about the dark Citadel.
I'm sure that these two stories will be of interest to every fan of The Silk & Steel Saga.
The Emperor's Shadow is an archeological adventure story about a group of Americans, who try to break into the tomb of the first emperor of China in order to make the Chinese believe that their sacred tomb has been violated. The purpose of this mission is to destroy China and its power. I'm sure that fans of Indiana Jones and the new Mummy movies will like this short story very much.
A Man's World is an interesting post-apocalyptic story about miners, who notice that they're the only men left on Earth. It's a story about Danny and Bart, who try to survive in the new world without women (they encounter trouble, but they don't give up). I like this story very much, because the author explores what can happen when only a handful of men survive a mysterious catastrophe.
Pieces of Truth is a story about a time traveller called Linus, Einstein and Einstein's wife, Mileva. Linus has traveled back in time to meet Einstein, because he wants to know more about him. This is an interesting short story, because the ending is surprising.
Snakes and Ladders is a fascinating story about a woman's place in the oil business. This story tells about Lynn Gallant, who works hard, but never gets what she deserves. Because Lynn is fed up of being treated badly, she seeks help from a Tarot card reader. I like the way the author tells about the woman's place in the oild industry and how hard it is for Lynn to become accepted and get recognition for her work (the author explores difficult themes surprisingly well). The mystical elements of this story are intriguing.
The God Planet is a story about a group of Seekers who travel aboard the Psalm Singer to a mysterious God Planet to learn its secret. The Seekers don't have much in common, because they're different from each other. Each of them will have to travel to the surface of the planet alone to find out the truth. The God Planet is one of the best stories in this collection, because the author writes fluently about religion, beliefs and artifical intelligence (the android Varjis is an interesting character, because he's almost a human-like android).
It's a bit difficult to choose my favourite stories, but if I had to choose three stories, they would probably be the Erdhe stories (Prophecy's Twist and The Assassin's Tear) and The God Planet. These three short stories are excellent stories and their story arcs are satisfying. Snakes and Ladders is also a great story, because it's easy to imagine how hard it must for women to have successful careers in certain business environments.
The cover art by Peggy Lowe looks nice and it fits the book perfectly.
The Assassin's Tear is an almost shamelessly entertaining short story collection. I can highly recommend this short story collection to readers who enjoy reading entertaining fantasy and science fiction stories. I'm sure that several readers will find these stories fresh and interesting....more
The following views are of my own and have no influence of anyone whatsoever.
*****WARNING - THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS*******
I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads and I have to say that this book didn't disappoint me. I hadn't heard much about the author so I was eagerly waiting to just plunge into this book and it was a fun-ride. The book 'The Assassin's Tear' is a collection of short stories written by Karen Azinger, author of The Steel and Silk Saga. These short storieThe following views are of my own and have no influence of anyone whatsoever.
*****WARNING - THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS*******
I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads and I have to say that this book didn't disappoint me. I hadn't heard much about the author so I was eagerly waiting to just plunge into this book and it was a fun-ride. The book 'The Assassin's Tear' is a collection of short stories written by Karen Azinger, author of The Steel and Silk Saga. These short stories are a mix of fantasy, science fiction and and includes some history too. These short stories are one of the best I have read so far. I would provide my reviews on each one of the stories.
1. Prophecy's Twist This story is a kind of prologue to The Silk and Steel Saga. In this story we get to know that what were the kingdoms of Erdhe like before the War of the Wizards. 'This story takes you to the very cusp of the War of Wizards, to the deceit that started the war, forever changing the kingdoms of Erdhe.
As I haven't read the The Silk and Steel Saga, I was knew to this world of magic. I really liked the style of the author. She is really successful in maintaining the air of mystery all through the story, which is very unpredictable. The story is written in third person with the main protagonists as Tyock, a monk of the Kiralynn Order and Emrath, an enchantress. He comes to the great city of Azreal which had silenced suddenly. He goes to the city to unearth truths, but what he finds is really devastating both for him as well as the reader. The story tells us about the fall of two great cities of magic, both in one day. Overall, the story was good and I loved the experience.
2. The Assassin's Tear This story is also set in the world of Erdhe. The inspiration for this story is the Dark Citadel, the stronghold of the Mordant. This story highlights the exploits of a petty thief, Dolf. who wants to rise up the social ladder. This story was one of the best in the book. I loved the author's way of defining the surroundings. It really feels as if the reader is climbing rooftops or making his way in the filthy streets of the ninth tier. The inner conflict in Dolf's mind is represented well and in the end, even I was rooting for Dolf to succeed in his endeavors.
3. The Emperor's Shadow This story is an archaeological thriller in the style of Indiana Jones. In this story, the mystery surrounding the Tomb of China's first emperor is revealed as an Archaeologist and Historian, Dr. Zebastion Cole and his team open Qin Shi Huang di's tomb. The story is fast paced and is very thrilling. I love the way in which the traps are solved in rather simple manners. The atmosphere prevailing in the Tomb is conveyed well towards the reader. The author describes the surroundings with immense detail. The wonders inside the tomb are described very well and the traps barring the way are also very witty. For me, this was the best story in the book and would surely like to see a whole novel on this one concept.
4. A Man's World This story is the author's homage to post apocalyptic stories. In this story a radiation burst from an exploding star wipes out the whole planet. Only few people survive, those who weren't exposed to the radiations, like miners and divers. It is set in Australia and the only question that mattered was "Have any women survived?" This was a good story and wasn't like those usual apocalyptic stories. A new concept is taken up on the story and is executed very well by the author. In the end, the story has a happy ending and the author gives a sure hint of survival of the human race.
5. Pieces of The Truth This is a time travel tale in which a very skilled physicist, Linus time travels to unearth a secret about the greatest mind in history, Albert Einstein. And in the end we discover that another person had a big hand in the success of Einstein Frankly, I did not like the story, that's it, period. It was way out of my league and was dull and monotonous.
6. Snakes and Ladders A dark twist in New Orleans In this story Lynn Gallant sets out to carve a place for herself in the oil industry by exploring the dark side of New Orleans. An okay-okay story for me. It was good, but was too dark for me. I liked the cunningness of Lynn.
7. The God Planet A deep space thriller It was a fantastic story, absolutely mesmerizing. The story is set light-years away from the current time and the author puts many new species in the picture. The God Planet is a planet in the farthest reaches of the Universe. Every year, a group of people from various species, The Seekers go to the planet to get some answers to their questions or to fulfill their deepest desires. The story is very fast paced and many new things are introduced. It creates an absolutely new world for the reader. I would also like this story to be converted into an novel and should be expanded further.
Overall, the book is a fantastic read. I would surely recommend it to readers who are fans of various genres. It is a thrilling book with a mix of the best genres. A book surely worth reading. I sincerely thank the Karen Azinger for providing me with such an awesome book.
The prequels for Silk and Steel were fantastic. I also liked the different styles of story. Unfortunately, I can't give this 5 stars because I just didn't like the end of the one taking place in space. I can't quite put my finger on what I would have preferred. Anyway, great short stories. Please keeps writing them, Karen!
Most readers read more than one genre and love more than one author so I wish more authors would publish books of short stories so readers can get the best of both worlds; a new genre from a favorite author, or vice versa.
ANALYSIS: Karen Azinger first came to my notice last year with her debut The Steel Queen. In the penultimate months of last year, I was alerted to her new short story collection The Assassin’s Tear which seemed like a nice mix. When the author requested a review, I readily agreed as I had enjoyed reading her debut offering and now I wanted to see how she would do with shorter side of fiction. The collection opens up with a nice Introductory note in which Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic
ANALYSIS: Karen Azinger first came to my notice last year with her debut The Steel Queen. In the penultimate months of last year, I was alerted to her new short story collection The Assassin’s Tear which seemed like a nice mix. When the author requested a review, I readily agreed as I had enjoyed reading her debut offering and now I wanted to see how she would do with shorter side of fiction. The collection opens up with a nice Introductory note in which Karen does a fine job of telling the reader about the background of each story. I enjoyed knowing how one of the stories was inspired by a fan or that another one was inspired by the history channel and lastly one which spanned the use of three cards and the images they carried. Karen Azinger enthusiastically cracks open about each story and therefore it fires up the reader for the forthcoming stories.
The stories then begin with Prophecy’s twist which is set several hundreds of years ahead of the timeline established in the Steel Queen, these events are crucial to read for fans of the Silk & Steel saga as they detail an event which molds much of the magic happening in the saga. However for readers unknown to these books, this story will seem surprising as in it things happen rather quickly and then the story hurls along to its calamitous end. The story has some nice surprises set in its path and this sets the tone nicely for the opener. The next story is the titular story of the book and is one of the best ones as it focuses on a thief called Dolf who decides to take a shine to the Mordant’s castle. This story is set around the same time as the prologue of the first book The Steel Queen, however while the first book had its moments of darkness , this story is almost covered by darkness stretching to the atmosphere as well as to the thoughts of the protagonist. This was the best story of the book for me as it showcased surprises as well revealed some crucial pointers for the actual Erdhe series (thought they don’t bode well for the heroes in the series).
The third tale seems to be inspired by Indiana Jones as Doctor Zebastion Kole is the protagonist who is given a task and he must use his wits as well as the full extent of his knowledge to help his nation. A fun tale which pretty much acts as a lighter foil to the earlier ones and is one which reminded me a lot of thrillers by Matthew Reilly. A Man’s World is the next tale, which is a post apocalyptic one and one which is based on an interesting premise that is without the presence of women. A group of miners are the focus of this tale, and among them Danny & Burt are the protagonists of this story. The story is about the nature of mankind and how indomitable one's spirit can be. The next story is called Pieces of the Truth and is about time travel, while the tale has the protagonist Linus going back to meet a very important scientist. The ending of the story was a nice surprise and very much enriched this story for me.
Snakes and Ladders is the penultimate story that features various themes such as women’s status quo and exploring them via means of the urban fantasy sub-genre. An interesting piece and one, which sets up the next story The God Planet. This story is the biggest one of the collection and is the only one using the first person perspective. This story focuses on religion, human belief systems and the nature of androids, the author quite skillfully mines these aspects to give the readers some questions to ponder about.
Overall this was an interesting story collection that encompasses various genre pieces and enough ingenuity to keep the readers immersed in the worlds created. Karen Azinger’s prose really helps in the setting of each story and also manages to present a different mood to each piece as well. The only thing that draws a bit of gloss from these stories is that they are predictable to a certain degree and that perhaps is the main drawback about this collection.
CONCLUSION: Karen Azinger’s short story collection is definitely a good way for readers to get themselves acquainted with her work. Focusing on a wide array of themes as well as different genres, she manages to invest a certain amount of gravitas in each of her stories to make them an interesting bunch to read. Definitely recommended for fans of her debut and for all readers who want to read an eclectic collection and discover a new author in the process....more
Karen L Azinger has always loved fantasy fiction, and always hoped that someday she could give back to the genre a little of the joy that reading has always given her. Eight years ago on a hike in the Columbia River Gorge she realized she had enough original ideas to finally write an epic fantasy. She started writing and never stopped. The Steel Queen is her first book, born from that hike in theKaren L Azinger has always loved fantasy fiction, and always hoped that someday she could give back to the genre a little of the joy that reading has always given her. Eight years ago on a hike in the Columbia River Gorge she realized she had enough original ideas to finally write an epic fantasy. She started writing and never stopped. The Steel Queen is her first book, born from that hike in the gorge. Before writing, Karen spent over twenty years as an international business strategist, eventually becoming a vice-president for one of the world’s largest natural resource companies. She’s worked on developing the first gem-quality diamond mine in Canada’s arctic, on coal seam gas power projects in Australia, and on petroleum projects around the world. Having lived in Australia for eight years she considers it to be her second home. She’s also lived in Canada and spent a lot of time in the Canadian arctic. She lives with her husband in Portland Oregon, in a house perched on the edge of the forest. The first four books of The Silk & Steel Saga have already been written and she is hard at work on the fifth and final book. ...more