M.H. Thaung's Reviews > Alchemy and Artifacts

Alchemy and Artifacts by Lorina Stephens & Susan Mac...
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This is a collection of fantasy short stories which are based on historical (or legendary) events and situations, but as an added factor include a (usually physical) artifact.

The stories are ordered chronologically from the distant past (Greece of around 1100 BCE as depicted by Homer) to relatively recent times (America and Canada of the 1960s and 1970s). Unsurprisingly, they have different styles and flavours, from the rather functional prose of "Caligula's Eagle" by Tony Pi to the heavier descriptions of Bev Geddes in "The Witch of Glencoe". Nothing was overdone, however: despite my personal preference for lean text, the stories were all very readable.

What I enjoyed about all the stories was the sense of an underlying history that could have happened, as if there were hidden mystical influences on recorded events. If I had to pick favourites, they would be: "The Berlin Golem" by Geoffrey Hart, "Things Better Left Buried" by Chris Patrick Carolan and the first story in the collection, "Cleaning House in Ithaca" by Leslie Brown. Of course, an advantage of short story anthologies is that if one story doesn't appeal to you, you can move on to the next one.

If you enjoy historical fantasy/alternate history, I think there will be something for you in this collection.

I received a free copy of the book from the publisher. This is my honest review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 24, 2019 – Shelved
October 24, 2019 – Finished Reading

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