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Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists

(Annwn Cycle #0.1 - The Darkness Within the Li)

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Experience your favourite fantasy worlds through some of the most fearsome, devious, and brutal antagonists in fantasy. Villains take centre stage in nineteen dark and magical stories that will have you cheering for all the wrong heroes as they perform savage deeds towards wicked ends. And why not? They are the champions of their own stories—evil is a matter of perspective ...more
Paperback, 522 pages
Published March 31st 2017 by Grimdark Magazine
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Adrian Collins No, they all work as stand alone stories. The reading experience is added to if you have read books from the same world, but you'll still get a kick o…moreNo, they all work as stand alone stories. The reading experience is added to if you have read books from the same world, but you'll still get a kick out of them if you haven't.(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Petrik
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grimdark Fantasy fans
Review copy was provided by the editor in exchange for an honest review.

Grimdark fantasy fans, this anthology is the perfect place for you to find a new hidden gem in the genre.

Let me start off by saying that this anthology has one of the best production values you can find in a book; stunning cover, nineteen short stories. Not only most of the stories are quite excellent, if you're reading this from the physical book, each story even has their mini-cover done by Jason Deem.

Picture: The Syldoon
...more
Petros Triantafyllou
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Evil is a Matter of Perspective is, by far, the best anthology I've ever had the joy to read.

"Evil is a matter of perspective. To appreciate this fact is to surmount the tribalism that is our inheritance, to join those who refuse, as far as they are able, to play groupish games. To write grimdark, to pursue complicated moralities in fantastic settings, is to risk the universal instincts of one's fellows in a manner no other genre can."

Adrian Collins outdid himself with this project - you woul
...more
Nimrod Daniel
I'm going to update this review as I progress. This way I'll share my thoughts as the stories are still very fresh on my mind. My reviews will include my thoughts only, you better find out for yourself what the stories are all about :)

Gems: Marc Turner, Jeff Salyards, Shawn Speakman and Courtney Schafer have the best stories so far. Teresa Frohock's story was quite good. Adrian Tchaikovsky's story is good too, but relies too much on prior knowledge of Shadows of Apt world.

There are two introduc
...more
Bookwraiths
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, e-books, grimdark
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

Grimdark lovers gather around! Followers of the most foul follow my lead! The ultimate anthology of the genre has arrived, and it perfectly captures the despicable, rotten, violent worlds and people of all our favorite authors. And whether you’re a dedicated reader of Grimdark Magazine or not, its creator Adrian Collins has put together a damn fine collection of stories with Evil Is A Matter of Perspective, one every fan of villains must read.

Once the book open
...more
Stefan Bach
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The main reason why I took this book in consideration was for the opportunity to learn something new about my favorite sub-genre grimdark, and subsequently read new stories and learn about those authors I was unaware of so far.

So, what this book is actually about, and why should you read it if you enjoy reading grimdark?

Right from the start, in very foreword, R. Scott Bakker, author of The Second Apocalypse Series, tries to explain differences between:
high fantasy stories that have chara
...more
Jenna Kathleen
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The ultimate grimdark anthology that introduces what the genre is. A collection of all of the grey characters you could possibly want, all gathered in one place. Of course, some of my favourites were from fantasy universes I've experienced before, but it is not necessary to have prior knowledge of the settings. Some of the stories I ended up loving were from authors I've never read or even heard of.

Forward and Introduction - R. Scott Bakker, Adrian Collins
Nice introduction to the anthology that
...more
Alissa
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
4.5 stars. I liked the foreword very much, it's savvy and bleak, very fitting to the collection and interesting on its own.

The book opens with a Manifest Delusions story, I'm not familiar with MICHAEL R. FLETCHER though I've read good reviews about his work. Not an easy going but after all it's not a linear story and it is very dark and tantalizing. Sanity is optional.

"We live. We die. But we all want to leave our mark. We all want to be remembered after we are gone."

TERESA FROHOCK's excellent
...more
Stjepan Cobets
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
My rating 4.5
I really liked all story in this compilation Grimdark Magazine. Although some of the stories I liked less than others, in the entire magazine there are still many of them that are great. Mostly fantasy readers will find stories for themselves because there is something for everyone. I sincerely enjoyed a lot of stories from which good novels might have emerged, if they were not written yet. In stories, there are characters that you can easily hate or love, but antagonism and rivalry
...more
C.T. Phipps
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grimdark, fantasy, horror
Evil is a matter of perspective. This is a quality which is extremely relevant to grimdark as it involves making sure even the most reprehensible characters have a point. Jaime Lannister is the Kingslayer but he did so because he wanted to save King's Landing and protect his father. Cersei Lannister has many defenders because her marriage to Robert Baratheon was such a nightmare. Glokta tortures people because it's the only thing left to him by a society which functions on corruption and patrona ...more
K.J. Charles
I picked this up a) because the title interested me greatly (I maintain that you can't write a good villain without understanding their motivation, which will be more than just "bwahaha I love to do bad things") and b) because I've said a lot of rude things about grimdark as a genre without reading much if any so I thought, give it a fair try.

Well.

The introduction has a passionate defence of putting rape scenes in books because moral relativism or rape happens or something. The usual but as a
...more
Anna Spark
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Evil is a matter of perspective. But this book is superb and that's a fact.

A stella line-up of the best of the best in grimdark fantasy. Beautiful colour illustrations to open every story. Wonderful stories. All about the bad guys.

I do like the bad guys. That's possibly not news to anyone.

Actually, of course, it's far more complicated. Anyone can write a nasty story about a nasty people doing nasty things. Gods know, I've tried.  But 'vile bloke is vile to people' wouldn't really fill 500 pages.
...more
Matthew
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title says it all. In this anthology, evil really is a matter of perspective. And damn, it's fucking fantastic! Featuring some of the sharpest stories I've read in many years, this anthology delivers on so many different levels. Enjoy morally demented characters? This tome has you covered. Like cracking action sequences and bloody mayhem? You'll find it in spades. I was enthralled from start to finish as I waded through familiar universes and some that weren't so familiar. In fact, one of th ...more
Chris
When this was announced by Arian Collins over at Grimdark Magazine as an upcoming Kickstarter, I couldn’t wait to jump on board. As I have always found myself intrigued by well written villains/adversaries, I knew this was something I wanted to experience. I’ve discovered while watching the Marvel shows on Netflix that the characters I’m most interested in, (Kingpin, Punisher, and Killgrave) are always the “bad guys”. These shows have great writing, such that they really dig deep into what made ...more
Samir
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Even though I'm a big fan of grimdark, the majority of these stories failed to engage me in the way I hoped they would.
M.L. Spencer
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists was a captivating read from start to finish. Don’t get me wrong; some stories hooked me more than others – as can be expected in any anthology. Overall, I found this a tantalizing read that delivered wholesale on the mysterious and melancholy promise of the cover. The stories within, written by a cornucopia of names easily recognizable by anyone familiar with the genre were, without exception, well written and well edited. Each had a g ...more
Rebekah
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good anthology I would recommend to anyone who wants to try out new grimdark authors. This is my first reading of any of these authors. I was able to follow the stories just fine without prior knowledge of their works. There's a great variety of different settings and styles. Some of them really resonated with me, and I just loved. Others I couldn't get into and ended up scrolling through. But I'm sure those "scroll through it" stories will vary for different people, depending on what kinds of ...more
Mark
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-reads-2017
Not something I read a lot of are anthologies but I did enjoy the stories in this one, some more than others.

Going to look out the authors I have not read yet.
Andy
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-releases
I'm a fan of Grimdark Magazine and Grimdark fantasy in general, so when I found out they were planning an anthology, the decision to back it on Kickstarter was a no-brainer. I'm happy to say that my slavishly servile minions at GdM did a fantastic job of bringing my baby to life (I think I may be overemphasizing the importance of my role as a backer here just a bit).

Fantasy seems like it wouldn't be an ideal genre for short fiction; you would think it requires more context and worldbuilding than
...more
Bogdan
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Beaulieu, Schafer, Marc Turner, Jeff Salyards, and in the end, even Fletcher, all had good stories that I've enjoyed and appreciated.

The problem was that I forgot some of the characters and I wasn't all the time in tothe knowing factor.

Usually, in this kind of Anthology the big names have stories that disappoint, but in this case the situation was highly reversed.

There were other ok stories, but the vast majority of them didn't interest me one bit.

Still, this is a good project that has a wide ra
...more
Murat
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have met with some authors, that I will start to read, with this book. If you like grimdark then there is no reason not to read it. I must say I have a few stories to read still
Beth The Vampire
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthologies
AVERAGE RATING 3.2 STARS

Okay – First off this book has made me confused about the use of the word ‘antagonist,’ because the antagonist is a character who actively opposes or is hostile to something the protagonist wants or is fighting for, and hence cannot be the protagonist. So this doesn’t mean the antagonist has to be ‘evil.’

Then I found out that the stories are all based on an antagonist of a series written by the author of each short story. Now, I haven’t read any of these series, and it qu
...more
Bart
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
***Reading in progress - Rating will be updated as I read more of the stories***

T. Frohock - Every Hair Casts a Shadow: 5 stars
Paul Lavender
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A mixed bag of Tales. I even had to stop reading at one point, but I persevered and found the last half of the book much better.
Silvana
Overall, a good anthology and a must read for all grimdark fans.
I liked 11 stories out of 19, so I guess three stars are enough.

My top three stories are: The Greater of Two Evils (Turner), A Storm Unbound (Morrigan), The Aging of a Kill (Orullian). It so happens that they showcase strong and interesting female characters.

My bottom three are: Old Blood (Tchaikovsky), Black Bargain (Wurts) and The Tattered Prince and the Demon Veiled (Beaulieu). Well, actually the last story by Bakker is kind of
...more
Melissa (missy)
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
1.R. Scott Bakker (The Second Apocalypse)
2.Adrian Tchaikovsky (Shadows of the Apt, The Tiger and the Wolf)
3.Michael R. Fletcher (Manifest Delusions)
4.Shawn Speakman (The Annwn Cycles)
5.Teresa Frohock (Los Nefilim)
6.Kaaron Warren (The Gate Theory, Mistification)
7.Courtney Schafer (The Shattered Sigil)
8.Marc Turner (Chronicles of the Exile)
9.Jeff Salyards (Bloodsounder's Arc)
10.Mazarkis Williams (The Tower & Knife)
11.Deborah A. Wolf (The Dragon's Legacy)
12.Brian Staveley (Chronicle of the Unhewn T
...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
A fairly strong anthology. Obviously the stories set in worlds I was familiar with were easiest for me to latch onto but they weren't always my favorites. In fact several of the authors I was unfamiliar with left me curious enough to seek out their full-length novels.

Standouts: Brian Staveley, Jeff Salyards, Marc Turner, Courtney Schafer and E.V. Morrigan.

The Broken Dead by Michael R. Fletcher -- 3/5
Zombies and split narratives and not quite polished enough.

Every Hair Casts a Shadow by Teresa Fr
...more
Al Burke
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was one of the finest anthologies I've had the pleasure to read. Not all stories are equal, with some better than others, but there are no duds. The editor, Adrian Collins, and the crew at Grimdark Magazine, deserve the majority of the credit for putting together such a good collection, but RJ Bakker's foreword and closing story kickoff and end the fun in fine fashion. In between are a number of stories from various dark fantasy authors (I'm not sure they all count as Grimdark, but the ...more
Tasha Turner
Backed on Kickstarter
Anindita,  A Bohemian Mind at Work
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
Read half the book, liked most of the stories but some are in line with novels which I haven't read yet. Loved the grey shades and enjoyed the pain and anguish but felt some protagonists/main characters were morally fairer than grey with pretty dark antagonists.

The introduction was interesting.

Especially enjoyed the editor's description of grimdark. Detailed and perfectly suitable for those with doubts like me. A must-read, as important or probably more than the stories themselves.

I will get bac
...more
Paca Sad
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! thanks so much for putting this anthology together. Every story a winner, so much so I googled every author to get news and updates and info on their works, awesome
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