This post discusses “From a Foreign Shore” by Andrew Knighton.
I did my best to keep it spoiler-free 🙂
“What if someone had conquered the Vikings, someone claiming to be their gods?
What if King Arthur’s knights met a very different metal-clad warrior?
What if you were ordered to execute a statue, and hanging just didn’t seem to work?”
– taken from Andrew Knighton’s blog
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I certainly thought so! I’m not really an impulse buyer, but after a couple weeks went by and I still felt curious by those story pitches, I figured it was time to buy the collection and ended up enjoying them immensely. So, here’s just a bit of me gushing / boosting the signal about “From a Foreign Shore” by Andrew Knighton.
My favorite in the collection was “Odin’s Mirror” – the Viking story referenced in the loglines above. I don’t actively seek out Viking stories, but I have a healthy appreciation for the culture. It’s always interesting to read about a mentality SO different from ours, and I thought the story really captured that well. All of the little side thoughts of Thorvald were oddly amusing because they made all of the violence seem so commonplace.
Also, it’s one of those “I know something you don’t know!” kind of stories, which can be just delicious if done properly. It really had me invested in the character and wanting Thorvald to figure things out before it was too late. (And DOES he??? Well, gee, I promised no spoilers. Sorry, guys…)
Sometimes it’s tempting to rely too heavily on that one element, but the story also had some really neat subplots and supporting characters. There was a theme of mirrors and ‘other versions of oneself’ that I just died over because it was used so well! And finally the last line… I am such a sucker for stories with last lines that really punch you in the face, and this one totally did.
I won’t go into the other stories, but I thought the collection worked really well together. They touched on a variety of topics / time periods, and I found the variety of lengths strangely refreshing. There are even a couple of flash pieces in there, which were particularly yummy.
I guess I’ll wrap up with a small flood of links… If you want to read the stories, you can buy them from Amazon Here, or see Andrew’s other collections Here, or check out his blog (which I highly recommend!) Here.
Happy reading, everyone!