book review, fantasy, Rhonda Parrish, short story

Book Review: Forgotten Lore by Blanket Fort Writers

Rhonda Parrish runs a wonderful virtual hangout for writers and readers on Discord, called The Blanket Fort, and last year she and six other writers put together this anthology of short stories based on the theme of Forgotten Lore.

MLD Curelas starts the anthology on a strong note with Nickel-Plated Demon. Ex-cop turned pawnshop owner, Corvid Branson, takes on a case for an old friend and goes undercover at the Mayor’s Gala.

I loved the blend of urban fantasy and noir mystery in this story. Branson lives in a world where werewolves, vampires, fae and demons all coexist peacefully with humans. There’s a lot of skillful world building in this short, and I enjoyed meeting the characters that shared the table with Branson at the gala. The nature of the mystery, and it’s denouement, was particularly entertaining.

Next up is Effigies of Old Gods by Katie Rodante. Set in a fantasy world, Esalin is mourning the death of her sister, Demi. Despite the apparent disinterest of the village, her prayers don’t fall on deaf ears.

The bond between Esalin and Demi is well described, and the grieving sister immediately endeared me to Esalin. The belief system of her village was fascinating, and I would like to learn more about their protector, Votia, and the magical Orion.

Giant Rights by Krista D. Ball hit all the right notes for me. Another urban fantasy full of trolls, orcs, giants, pixies and fae, Giant Rights is set in an alternate earth where dragons mine diamonds and giants live on space stations recycling metal.

The world building is expertly done. I loved the way the giants and other large folk had different cultures and physical needs. For example, the main character refers to herself as Miranda, third of her generation, Ottawa Clan. There are so many deft touches like that which bring the characters to life and add depth to the story.

The theme of this story really resonated with me, and I appreciated how much depth the author brought to this interesting plot, great characters, and fascinating world.

Frostfangs by Katelyn Brehm is an exciting fantasy adventure that brought to mind the thrill of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

Elf Raenn and his best friends set out to stop a clan of frostfangs – huge, scary, magic seeking Sabre toothed cats – that have wandered far from their tundra home and now pose a threat to the peaceful forest of Oakwood.

The frostfangs were great! I’d love one for a pet. Raenn and the other characters were likable. I enjoyed the foreshadowing peppered throughout the story, and the climax was exciting.

The Odin Stone by Rhonda Parrish tells the story of an unnamed narrator who discovers he doesn’t have long to live. The news makes him think of a certain girlfriend, Aslog, and the journey they once took to see the Odin stone.

Tonally this is completely different from the other stories, so it took me a minute to get into the contemporary setting and the hard swearing narrative of a rather unpleasant character.

The author weaves the story skillfully, alternating between the narrator’s present and his memories of Aslog. He’s a realistic and well crafted character. The story builds to a powerful, and immensely satisfying, conclusion.

Syra by Tristan Wolfe is a short, tragic tale about love and revenge. The action is well told, and I enjoyed the inclusion of sharks. There are not enough sharks in fantasy stories.

BD Wilson’s In My Bones closes the anthology with a powerful punch. Uldrich struggles to maintain his self contained station decades after a team was supposed to relieve him.

I was momentarily set off balance by this horror story after so much fantasy, but once I adjusted I fell for its tense, atmospheric dread. There are elements that gave me the same glorious chills as one of my favorite books, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.

I enjoyed all the stories in this anthology. While some made a more powerful impact on me than others, I would be hard pressed to name a favorite.

Forgotten Lore is available as a free ebook in most places where ebooks are sold. All money received by the authors from sale of this anthology goes to the Fauna Foundation to help chimpanzees.

I award Forgotten Lore

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Forgotten Lore by Blanket Fort Writers”

  1. I liked your review of each story, Iseult. Other than the shifts in genre and tone, it seemed like all the stories were worth reading. I think anthologies created by a set group of participants often showcase different styles and genre preferences. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

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