The Orchid Gown by Mason Frey

The darkness has no teeth or claws, it is a formless thing, much abused by stars and persecuted by fire, aided only by time, which has no eyes to despise it.

I was all set to do my obligatory October Lovecraft post for my second official book recommendation, when I saw this collection of short stories somewhat bashfully promoted by the author on /r/fantasy this morning. I liked the title and thought the cover was pretty cool and it was free, so I downloaded it expecting to read through like ten pages and then ignore it like practically everything else that I find promoted on reddit. 

Instead, I was totally engulfed and blitzed through the entire thing in one four hour sitting. It’s hard to describe these stories. It basically feels like Hans Christian Anderson, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Elder Scrolls writing team got together to pen a bunch of dark fairytales. It’s definitely high fantasy in the sense that it’s one contiguous universe, but the stories leap around in time and location to provide a kaleidoscopic view of a gruesomely beautiful world. It’s not exactly horror, but most of the stories are pretty dark (I guess the subtitle calls them “grim tales”).

One of the most rewarding things about running this blog is promoting the work of new artists that I’m excited about. This little book is smart, intricate, beautifully written, and definitely worth a read. Highly recommended.          

*As always, I receive no ad compensation or affiliate sales for anything posted on this blog. All works and citations are the property of their respective artists/publishers.

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