Heroika takes us on a journey through time and through the minds of 17 authors, all of whom have created a story in which the dragon, sometimes an ally, other times a foe, is seen as formidable and mighty I did enjoy the anthology and found it showcased the skills of the authors who work with Janet Morris perfectly, offering up bite sized chunks and definitely leaving a desire for of their works.
Though all were fantastic, with something to appeal to everyone, my personal favourites though no surprise to anyone who knows me would have to be SE Lindberg s Legacy of the Great Dragon, which is about Thoth and Poimandres, and Travis Ludvigson s Night Stalkers, which features Charlemagne and Roland Both of these stories offer unique twists on well known mythological figures.
Aquila of Oyos by Walter Rhein was refreshing in that it offered the point of view of the Dragon, rather than the humans which are often just as monstrous, if not.
I will also add that I enjoyed Red Rain, by Will Hiles, even though tales set in modern history last 300 years or so and futuristic stories are not my usual read Awesome coverage of an awe inspiring collection of heroism and dragon fighting tales Crests off and swords raised to the editors, authors, and designers of the first in hopefully a long line of heroic anthologies Definitely a title any serious fan of heroism, SS, and dragons as the enemy should snap up Heroika Dragon Eaters, Edited by Janet MorrisI first became familiar with Janet Morris through her stories in the Thieves World Series Morris generally wrote my favorite stories throughout that series, and when her characters from there, Tempus and Niko, appeared in several spinoff novels I also read and enjoyed those So, when I heard of a new fantasy anthology edited by Morris, I quickly picked it up In Heroika Dragon Eaters, Morris has put together seventeen short stories that all feature dragons and some aspect of dragon consumption There are all manner of tales here, including many that use the kind of fantasy setting one might imagine, as well as others set during the Civil War, in the swamps of Louisiana, on a modern earth, and in a post apocalyptic world This is a big book, chock full of stories I read the kindle version but the paperback is apparently 436 pages That means plenty of bang for the buck The stories are also uniformly well done The biggest names are Janet and Chris Morris, who have two pieces in the book Most of the other writers are not household names but are definitely experienced and talented writers I d read and enjoyed material by such authors as S E Lindberg, Walter Rhein, and Mark Finn, and had heard of some of the others although their writing was new to me I m not going to do a detailed review of the stories because I don t want to give things away Here are some capsule comments about things that I found particularly memorable The First Dragon Eater, by Janet and Chris Morris has an interesting structure that reminds one of the ancient Eddas Legacy of the Great Dragon by S E Lindberg is set in an ancient Egypt where the gods are real Great atmosphere and characters in this one Bring Your Rage, by Janet and Chris Morris has some beautiful writing in it When I first saw Rhesos, he came riding a horse white as sunlight, a black dog at its heels Also very interesting characters Aquila of Oyos, by Walter Rhein features the Dragon s point of view, and has a nice twist featuring a second dragon The Wyght Wyrm, by Cas Peace takes us to the age of Stonehenge and the Druids Great setting The Old Man on a Mountain, by Jack William Finley features an aging warrior on his last dragon hunt You really feel a lot of empathy for this character and his suffering Of Blood and Scales, by A L Butcher I liked the concept of the bloodsister Night Stalkers, by Travis Ludvigson takes place in the time of Charlemagne and features Roland in a northern thing adventure Forged, by Tom Barczak features a nice surprise before you see the dragon The Rhyme of the Dragon Queen, by JP Wilder has a great cadre of heroes and rogues, including Spera, an excellent female character The Dragon s Horde, by Joe Bonadonna There s a lot of creativity in this tale and a very interesting twist on who the villains are Wawindaji Joka, by Milton Davis Great character conflict in this one Jimbia is an excellent character and shows some interesting development Against the Sky Tomb of the Earth Kings by M Harold Page wins for best title Great inventiveness and action here Red Rain, by William Hiles Here we have a dragon appearing during the Civil War, and Union and Confederates must join forces against it A lot of emotional intensity in this one and I d have to say it was my favorite piece in the anthology La Betaille, by Beth W Patterson featured the youngest hero and I loved the details of the swamplands and the people who live there Arctic Rage, by Bruce Durham features a kind of Alien and The Thing riff in a post apocalyptic world Sic Semper Draconis, by Mark Finn was full of action Reminded me a bit of David Drake.
I read quite a number of books by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, loved the exquisite writing style, and appreciated the detailed expertise in weaponry and horse riding skills that enrich their work garnered over a lifelong experience They are truly inventive in creating carefully defined rules of a universe shared between a team of authors Here, they define the thrust of this anthology using a long stretch of time Now heroes throughout history stalk their legendary foe HEROIKA I allows me to learn about the team of authors and their varied storytelling skills Each one of them has a biography rich with contradictions, across which imagination may be sparked S E Lindberg, Two decades of practicing chemistry, combined with a passion for the Sword and Sorcery genre Jack William Finley has been a cook, an actor, a stunt man, a photographer, built computer hard drives, assembled ball bearings, delivered pizza, stocked shelves, wrapped wire and been a Soldier for the United States Army in Germany Travis Ludvigson, a Warrior Poet who spent his life reading the histories of both real and imagined worlds, the ideas of ancient philosophers and the sagas of the Norse warriors Tom Barczak, an Artist, turned Architect, who s finally getting around to finishing those stories he started writing long ago, when he sat on my front porch as a kid JP Wilder, son of a farmer, a dishwasher, projectionist, paratrooper, Army scout, student, frat guy of sorts , roofer, plumber but not a very good one , grad student twice cooked , professor Adjunct really , accountant, husband, executive, author, father Joe Bonadonna, author of short stories, novels, and screenplays, a former rock and roll guitarist and songwriter from the Golden Age of 1964 1984 Milton John Davis, a chemist who enjoys his passion for writing, M Harold Page, who wrote an earlier book inspired by a conversation with his son, who asked, Daddy, how did the Roman Empire fall Alexandra Butcher William Hiles, who writes for public relations and marketing but is a poet at heart Walter Rhein, who splits his time between Wisconsin and Peru Cas Peace, a folks song writer performer whose first career was as a horse riding instructor Beth Waggoner Patterson Bruce Durham, who writes history, young adult, post apocalyptic, alt historical and Lovecraftian horror, in addition to graphic novels.
These tales are about getting even with the beasts that have been overpowering us for so long Prepare yourself to run wild enjoy adventure, risk, and the fetid smell of dragons in the heat of battle Meet Zombie dragons, vampire dwarves, elves, and animated skeletons Awaken to the ways in which fear triggers bravery Five stars.
What a fun read this was I had an absolute blast getting seventeen lessons on how to kill a dragon, and the heroes that take it upon themselves to rid the world of the evil that is dragons Each of the contributing authors brought a unique and enthralling story to the table One of the best part of this book for me was revisiting some old stomping grounds courtesy of Janet and Chris Morris, and Joe Bonadonna I very much enjoyed reading their stories taking place in familiar settings But THE BEST PART Authors that I had never read before Authors that I will now stalk with a single minded purpose of snagging up all the wonderful books that I have missed out on, because if these short stories are any indication at all, there are some amazingly talented writers that I should be reading right now This talented group led me by the hand as they stalked the ever elusive dragons Honestly, I could make this a long review and talk about each and every story, but I don t have that much space Every story in this book dropped me into the story, immersed me in feelings, sounds, smells basically did everything that I love to experience with a good book You would have to look long and hard to find a group this talented anywhere.
There is ancient history, alternative military history, action packed steampunk, folklore, dystopian, fantasy just an utterly amazing variety to please any and all readers Kudos to all the amazing contributing authors now off to do some author stalking The Art Of Dragon Killing Dragons Have Been Eating Humans For Centuries Now Heroes Throughout History Stalk Their Legendary Foe Learn How To Hunt, Kill, And Eat The Wild Dragon Never Before Has Revenge Tasted So Good A Literary Feast For The Bloody Minded In Janet Morris Anthology On The Art Of Dragon Killing, Seventeen Writers Bring You So Close To Dragons You Can Smell Their Fetid Breath Tales For The Bold Among You HEROIKA DRAGON EATERS , An Anthology Of Heroic Fiction Edited By Janet Morris, Features original Stories By Janet E Morris, Chris Morris, SE Lindberg, Walter Rhein, Cas Peace, Jack William Finley, AL Butcher, Travis Ludvigson, Tom Barczak, JP Wilder, Joe Bonadonna, Milton J Davis, M Harold Page, William Hiles, Beth W Patterson, Bruce Durham, Mark Finn Heroic Not being a great myth fantasy reader it took a couple of stories to get into this book, but I m so glad I did There are some excellent tales here I ve been trying to diversify my reading material, not always successfully, but these stories captured my imagination Bring Your Rage was the first one I really enjoyed, but after that they just got better and better I absolutely loved The Wyght Wyrm where the author, Cas Peace, retells the story of Jorj and the dragon on the Highcliffe overlooking the Isle of Wight And by this time there was no stopping me Of Blood and Scales by Alexandra Butcher was another one that caught my imagination.
If I had to draw a negative I would say only that these writers possibly lack the stamina of, say, Tolkien who quietly penned masterpieces over a period of years, in no rush it seems to actually publish until he was 100% sure he d got it right Or perhaps that s the impression short stories give One of a scramble to finish the story in a blitz But on the positive side this hasn t disturbed the flow of any stories in this book at all, and I certainly won t be knocking a Star off my rating for it This is a book you can dip in and out of At times it may seem a little repetitive with plenty of dragon hearts being eaten and shields forged out of dragon scales, but that s the theme of the book There is some truly great writing here My favourite, I would have to say, though, is The Dragon s Horde by Joe Bonadonna, and I may well go searching out books by this author If this is just an example of his imagination and skill then it s clear to me he has a lot to give Absolutely terrific As the book moves on through various tales it tends to metamorphose from fantasy and myth to modern day and beyond and I found myself trying to second guess the authors as to what part of the world they were basing their tale There was no trouble with William Hiles excellent Red Rain, another of my favourites, or Beth W Patterson s La B taille, which takes place in the Bayou But I found myself hypothesizing that Milton Davis Wawindaji Joka was in Cyprus, although possibly only because of the diet described in the tale.
In ancient China dragons were a token of authority, success, dignity, luck and honour emperors entitled themselves exclusively as Dragon but there s no doubt that the dragons featured in Heroika are from the fire breathing European tradition of Germanic and Norse myths Highly recommended collection of heroika tales What does it mean to be a hero Why, in the most dire of times, do some cower in fear while others find strength, courage, and a reason to fight What power from deep within can turn tragedy into triumph What sense of honor will make a warrior sacrifice himself to save another In this exciting new collection of short stories, the master of heroic fiction, Janet Morris, and her team of 17 writers, explore these questions and This is than just an anthology it is a journey deep within the mind of the warrior, examining the heart and soul of what it means to be a hero.
Seventeen stories of extreme heroism spanning many times and locations, but sharing a common catalyst for there be Dragons here Some will be victorious, others will die trying, but in the end it is the dragon who has reason to be afraid A fantastic read, and hopefully the beginning of a brilliant new series from the legendary Janet Morris.
Dragons aplenty in this superb collection, which I was lucky enough to be given as an ARC Dragons are slain and slay in equal measure Myths are re told and every story has something to offer If you like the grand, epic, dragon killing stories in fantasy, this is for you If you like good stories well told, this will definitely satisfy your need.