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Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published October 10th 2018
Creation, destruction, death and rebirth
Fire: dragons, demons and djinns, short stories, fantasy anthology, fantasy stories, stories about dragons, djinns

"Because this is where the action is, honey- the energy. The oilsands. The blood of Tiamat the great cosmic dragon herself- in the very soil. Here's where we come through." - From Strange Attractor, by Kevin Cockle

Fire, with its power to warm, transform or destroy, has long been a source of inspiration for writers of many genres. This short story collection, edited by Canadian writer Rhonda Parrish (editor of several previous anthologies including Corvidae and A is for Apocalypse), brings together twenty-one unique speculative fiction tales by various authors, all connected somehow to the theme of fire. While they all stick to that shared theme there is a lot of variety, in both subject and tone. As with any anthology, some stories were better, or more to my personal taste than others, but overall it is a solid collection. Some of my favourites included:

Strange Attractor by Kevin Cockle, the story of a young female truck driver with a secret, who is hired to transport mysterious cargo, 'no questions asked'. This one would make a terrific urban fantasy series.

The Djinni and the Accountant by Hal J. Friesen

This story explores what happens when a Djinni needs to sort out his accounts, sorting out the taxes and import duties on items he produces for people who make wishes and revisits the old conundrum of how to make a wish that won't go horribly wrong.

The Second Great Fire- Laura VanArendonk Baugh
A nice piece of historical fiction about a young American woman who arrives in London just before the WWII, who comes into a mysterious power that she can use to help the city when the bombs fall.

Double or Nothing- Mara Malins- A gambler risks everything she has on a high stakes game using mythical creatures as pawns. I liked the cockiness of the main character.

Ring of Fire- JB Riley
There just aren't enough stories about volcano goddesses.

Cold Comfort- Gabrielle Harbowy
A satisfying story of love gone wrong, revenge, and demons.

Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns is a very moreish anthology, which made me want to go on the next story as soon as I finished one. It's a good read for fantasy fans and anybody fascinated with fire.

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tyche Books, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Published: August 4, 2018
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