My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Air and Nothing press, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The blood of four Gods and other stories is a collection of short stories from author Jamie Lackey. Some stories are only a matter of pages long, others substantially longer. These stories had Eastern, Native American and African influence from what I assume to be different myths,stories, and legends from these various cultures.
I have to admit that I loved every single one of these stories. Which is rare in an anthology type novel, generally there’s a least one story that I don’t take to, this collection however, every single story was enthralling. Even though these stories were quite short the author still managed to connect with the reader through their characters. I felt connected to every single character I read about, being able to instil this feeling through a short story can be quite challenging, Lackey aced it. There’s no other way to put it. Being able to convey depth to a character in such a small amount of pages is definitely a gift. You hated the villians, you loved the heroes and you were enthralled with the Gods and the magic.
I found myself wishing for an extension of a few of these stories. The first one, of which I can’t remember the name, was only around 5 pages long but I really wanted to see the story that lead up to the scene that was shown to us. The female sacrificing herself to the water God who was a dragon in order to save her village. I would LOVE to see a complete story of this. I want to see what lead to her taking these steps. The blood of four Gods was another that stuck in my mind, a short journey and a massive adventure, but I would love to see a longer story come from this, maybe a rewriting. I’d also love to see what happened after she collected the blood of the four Gods. Another that stuck in my mind, of which I can’t remember the name, is the story about the young daughter who has no magical ability so feels shunned and unloved by her mother, so she goes on a quest to find her mother a suitable apprentice to take her place. Again, I’d love to see a longer story surrounding this one.
The writing style was beautiful and easy to read, no unnecessary wordy prose, which is a pet hate of mine, just simple, descriptive awesomeness. There was not one flat character or scene in any of these stories. Even the one story that at first I didn’t think I was going to like dragged me in and I fell in love with it.
This collection of stories has given me a need to look more into the myths and legends of eastern culture to see possibly where the basis for these stories originated from. I’d be interested to see another point of view on them.
What more can I say? A fantastic collection of stories and characters, I would definitely re-read this no doubts about it. The stories stay with you long after you finish reading them which to me illustrates a great story and author.