Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nightspore Forest of Ir

My most recently published story, "The Goblin King's Concubine," has now appeared in podcast form in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Journey through Nightspore Forest of Ir on your commute!

Lois Tilton of Locus Online reviewed the story, and had this to say:
Maugreth is on an expedition to find the lost princess of the house of Adul, there being a reward for her return. After a perilous journey of murder and betrayal, much of it on his part, he discovers her living comfortably in a village of the goblins, here called helborim. She agrees to be rescued but insists on bringing along her half-breed offspring.
"I know what you're thinking," said Minuë. "It's true, we're hideous to them. But to Cheirod I was a peerless prize. He brooks no dissent and consummates his every desire. Several of his wise men objected when he chose to adopt the fruit of my womb as heir. They were promptly impaled."
A dark, cruel fantasy, where the unlucky are devoured by spiders or suffer other gruesome fates. There is a strong retro tone to the tale, as the central image is that of a naked white woman held as a sex slave by a monster – or a creature that most humans would consider a monster. But this princess is a match for human or goblin. There is also a sense here of a larger world beyond the backwater where the story finds itself, nations and races and languages yet unseen. A maugreth, for example, is a term of disgust and we don't know why our character has chosen to call himself by such a name, although it certainly seems fitting, given his actions.
Which I suppose about sums it up. I wrote a bit about the story's inspiration in a previous post. I should probably also mention Heart of Darkness as a rather obvious source of inspiration. As to the sense of a larger world, I appreciate that insight; this is an episode in a cycle of stories centered on Zilla and his fate in Enoch, explored in a number of yet-to-be-published short stories and a complete full-length novel.

UPDATE: Thanks also to Fletcher Vredenburgh for his kind review over at Black Gate. I aim to please!

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