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Four Summoner's Tales

(Joe Ledger #4.3 - Alive Day)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  449 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Four terror-inducing novellas from acclaimed bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry beginning with the premise: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.”

In Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children,” an acute diphtheria outbreak kills most of the children in an
Paperback, 321 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Gallery Books
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  449 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Four novellas that all base their plot around raising someone from the dead. Unexpectedly, all four stories are a little dark, a little gruesome. I've read books by Kelley Armstrong and David Liss before and they're the reason I picked up this book. But one of the best aspects of reading these types of compilations is the chance to discover new authors, without committing to a full-length novel.

On to individual reviews:

Suffer the Children
In a 19th century village, all the children have been tr
Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Paranormal Romance fans,Urban Fantasy fans, Kim Harrison fans
Recommended to Samantha wickedshizuku by: other anthologies
This is what I've finished so far...

“Pipers” by Christopher Golden
Oh my, this just super grade A creepy! Though you get at a closer look at what is really going on with the Mexican Cartels, and the people that it immediately affects.

David Liss’s “A Bad Season for Necromancy,”
Oh wow! Wow, wow, wow, wow! Where the hell do I start? This story is amazing!
There is so much to learn from this, and now I'm going to go find more of this writer's work now.

“Alive Day” by Jonathan Maberry
Holy freaking crap
Four strong stories from four great writers.

I was initially attracted to Four Summoner’s Tales because Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite authors. I loved Ms. Armstrong’s urban fantasy series and I always look forward to new books and stories by her. I’ve also read Jonathan Maberry’s young adult zombie series and enjoyed that immensely. So Armstrong and Maberry = Win for me.

If the opportunity to reanimate a recently deceased loved one presented itself, what would you do? And at what cost? T
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
My review below is solely based on having read Kelley Armstrong's Suffer the Children in this anthology.

Frankly, I didn't know the other three authors and I really wanted to read this book because of Ms. Armstrong. So there you go, that was my confession upfront.

In Suffer the Children, we were treated to a story unfolding in a remote town somewhere near Toronto (Canada, I assumed), the people had an epidemic of diphtheria and 36 people had died of this disease, most of whom were children. When t

I really liked this! This was a strong anthology. I liked all of the stories. I think it was cool how they all created a story based on the same premise, and how that same premise can go in so many different directions. I also liked how it was four novellas, how I got a more fleshed out story than a short story would have given me. This was great. My favorite story was probably Kelley Armstrong's story, it was suuuuper dark. This was a win for me.

Story #1: Suffer the Children by Kelley Armstrong
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tales by 4 authors with one theme: Raising the dead. Ah, but what’s the price and what exactly will be raised? I read this as an eBook ARC, but each story appears to be 80-90 printed pages long, giving enough world and character building, emotion and a sense of horror (for one reason or another) that you won’t feel like you’ve been short-changed.

I read this because of Kelley Armstrong and am new to the other authors. I found that I enjoyed all of the stories and am looking forward to checking o
All Things Urban Fantasy
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

SUFFER THE CHILDREN by Kelley Armstrong

This story is heartbreaking and tragic as it demonstrates just how far a town of people are willing to go to save their children. It was shocking how gruesome the story became when the price for raising the townsfolks’ loved ones was. While this story was filled with darkness and blood it had a bittersweet ending for Addie and her foster mother.


Set in 18th century England we
Kathy Davie
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, horror
Four short stories of horror revolving around the basic plot of someone offering to raise the dead...for a price.

“Alive Day” (Joe Ledger - 06.5)

My Take
All four were horrorific in varying degrees. And all four were well written as complete stories with backgrounds and developed characters.

The Stories
Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children” is a nasty bit of complex betrayal in a small village outside Ontario in the nineteenth century, and I cried so at the end.

Christopher Golden’s “Piper
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
There was a 50/50 split between good stories and bad in this collection. The stories by Kelley Armstrong and David Liss are intriguing and atmospheric. I particularly liked the way Liss flipped the concept of the Summoner from one who summons back the dearly departed to one who threatens to summon those whose passing was more cause for celebration than anything else. The other two stories are less successful. Christopher Golden's "Pipers" never seems to really go anywhere but round in circles (w ...more
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This review is about Kelley Armstrong's "Suffer the Children" only. I picked this up just for her story.
I liked the idea behind the novella (each author had to write a story based on this: "A strange visitor comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead- for a price..."). Story is in 3rd person throughout, but there are segments told through Addie, Preacher (Benjamin), and Browning's point-of-view. I enjoyed that because it let me understand things from that par
May 10, 2013 marked it as to-read
*Recvd via Edelweiss 05/10/2013* Expected publication: September 17th 2013 by Gallery Books
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Death is just the beginning...
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All good, solid stories, but I think I enjoyed the first most of all.
Kelley Armstrong's tale really made me live in her world.
And, of course, the Joe Ledger tale is awesome.
Nicole Monachino
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I initially bought this book because Kelley Armstrong is one of my top three favourite authors. After reading her novella, which was darker than most of her other books and short stories, I was completely hooked on the premise of this collection.

I felt that "Pipers" had a heart wrenching and unique approach to the premise, however the ending felt rushed and somewhat unsatisfying.

When I started reading David Liss' novella, I was initially skeptical that I would enjoy his story. However it quick
I read this collection of novellas to familiarize myself with these authors and their different styles/appeal factors. Maybe it was the novella form itself, or maybe the writing prompt, but I don't think this collection showcased any of these writers' strengths. Jonathan Maberry's "Alive Day" reminded me a bit the tales of the supernatural written around the turn of the nineteenth century, except in present day Afghanistan (which worked much better than I expected). I appreciated the attention C ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Moral of these tales - be careful what you wish for.
Margaret M.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-horror
Excellent idea - four novellas, each written based on a single idea, exploring the horror of returning from the dead. How novel!
Panos Panagiotidis
Good stories
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
I enjoyed this story by Kelley Armstrong. I am a fan of her Otherworld series but my love for her work does mostly stop there, so it's easier for me to be objective about these kinds of novellas. I read this novella as part of Four Summoners Tales, a collection of similar stories. And it was pretty good actually.

Set aside from any of her other worlds, this short story features Addie. A young girl orphaned in her village and taken in by a non-believing Preacher and his wife. The town has recentl
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amber at Fall Into Books
As you guys know, I'm not the hugest fan of anthologies, but I absolutely love Kelley Armstrong's work. Therefore, I decided to give this book a try. Unfortunately, Armstrong wasn't enough to save this collection, and even her story fell flat. This book isn't bad, but it isn't the best set of stories I've ever read either. Furthermore, I thought this was a collection of Dystopian stories, but none of the stories really fit the genre, which left me confused. I say read this only if you adore anth ...more
Christy LoveOfBooks
I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not big on anthologies. In fact, I tend to avoid them unless there is an author I absolutely love in it. So when I saw that Jonathan Maberry wrote a story in Four Summoner's Tales , I snagged this bad boy up! What often happens on the rare occasions I do read an anthology, I read one or maybe two stories from it - obviously one being the author I love. However, I decided to give the other three stories in this book a try because I've heard positive things ...more
Pam Winkler
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Suffer the Children by Kelley Armstrong was good.
A Bad Season for Necromancy by David Liss was a bit odd, but overall I liked it.
Pipers by Christopher Golden was a bit strange, because it felt at the ending like it was supposed to be horror, but it didn't feel horrific. The violence was gory and scary.
Alive Day by Jonathan Maberry was nicely creepy.

My favorites were probably Suffer the Children and Alive Day.
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anthologies generally have a common thematic thread (witches, werewolves, unicorns vs zombies...), but this one is a little more complex than most. Each author was given an inspirational sentence: "A strange visitor comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead--for a price..." Armstrong is the only contributor with whom I was familiar, but all four authors spun a satisfying tale, another rarity in the world of anthologies. Each ran with the theme in different wa ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review Four Summoner's Tales, and I found it to be an enjoyable read. Prior to reading this anthology, I was only familiar with Armstrong's writing which is the reason the anthology appealed to me in the first place. However I tend to favor reading anthologies as a chance to "meet" new authors, and this set of tales does a great job at giving the reader a glimpse of some great storytelling. Armstrong's "Suffer the Children" does what I have come ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
One prompt, four authors, four very different stories. This is the concept behind FOUR SUMMONER'S TALES a collection of novellas featuring Kelly Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry. According to the intro, Golden and Maberry conceived of the idea over dinner one evening. Their prompt was just one sentence: A strange visitor comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead - for a price. With that in mind, they chose two additional authors ...more
Feb 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
I'm sure this is not a unique concept, an anthology illustrating exactly how four different writers can take the exact same idea and come up with radically different stories. In this case, the writers were given the sentence, "A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price."

I picked it up because of Kelley Armstrong, and really, her novella was my favorite of the four. It wasn't recognizable from any of her worlds, so a pure standalone story
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
So what do you get when you give four authors the following sentence?

"A strange visitor comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead-for a price."

You get Four Summoner's Tales, an anthology. This is what authors Christopher Golden and Jonathan Maberry did. They met in July 2011 and were discussing ideas for about plots. It was determined that there are only about seven different plots but it all comes down to...execution. Every person has their own idea about th
Cheryl M-M
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Four novella length tales with the same premise.
Anthologies are a great opportunity to discover writers. The reader gets a sense of their individual style and creativity. In essence it is like eating chocolates with unknown soft centres. You never know what you might bite into.
Suffer the Children by Kelley Armstrong
This story questions how far a person is willing to go to bring a loved one back from the dead. Is it worth any price or repercussion? This venture into horror was a little on the wea
Angie Lisle
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for a review - it was Armstrong and Maberry that tempted me into requesting this book so I was surprised when I had trouble getting into Maberry's story, Alive Day, which is based on a series featuring his character Captain Joe Ledger. I've stumbled across a few of Maberry's short stories and have enjoyed them; I was excited for the opportunity to be introduced to this series, which turned out to be very militaristic - a paranormal ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Sirens (Rhonda Parrish's Magical Menageries)
  • Borrowed Power (Joe Ledger #4.2)
  • SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror
  • Evolve 2: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead (Otherworld Stories #10.1)
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  • Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2
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  • A Fantasy Medley (Otherworld Stories, #9.2; Crown of Stars, #7.5; Realms of the Elderlings)
  • Three Legions
  • Smut Peddler: 2012 Edition
  • Blood by Moonlight (Includes: The Asylum Tales #1.5)
  • Dark Screams: Volume One
  • Blood Lite II: Overbite  (Otherworld Stories, #10.3)
Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked a

Other books in the series

Joe Ledger (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Countdown (Joe Ledger #0.5)
  • Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)
  • The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger, #2)
  • The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger, #3)
  • Assassin's Code (Joe Ledger, #4)
  • Extinction Machine (Joe Ledger, #5)
  • Code Zero (Joe Ledger, #6)
  • Predator One (Joe Ledger, #7)
  • Kill Switch (Joe Ledger, #8)
  • Dogs of War (Joe Ledger, #9)