Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Review: Tales of Erana, by AL Butcher

Tales of Erana is a collection of around half a dozen short stories set, unsurprisingly, in the world of Erana. This is the same world as The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, reviews of which are here and here, but no prior knowledge is needed to understand and enjoy Tales of Erana. It was also the Fantasy Book of the Month at the Indie Book Club on Goodreads for June 2014.

Probably the single most important event in Erana's history is a plague that devastated prior civilisation and led to a hatred of magic (which was blamed for the disease), and the short stories occur at varying times in relation to the plague. They also cover various species (including the rather likeable trolls).

The writing style's easy to read and does a great job of drawing you into the world naturally, and without info-dumping.

My favourite aspect of the short stories, however, was their variability. They're all quite different and the author has a great knack for the varying styles, and at the tricky task of making short stories engaging and complete. I particularly liked the troll stories, which remained me a little of the approach of The Silmarillion (although much briefer, of course).

It's pretty short but costs a princely 77 pence, so that's fine. The brevity means I can't really go into any details without (more or less) giving away a whole plot but I enjoyed each of them.


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