I'm mostly a reader (and writer of thrillers) but I have always enjoyed good stories of fantasy.
The author, S.M. Carrière, is a friend of mine, though we've never met. I smile when I recall our first communication via a LinkedIn writing group ... S.M. scolded me on an opinion I shared. (grin)
She wasn't nasty, she was just strong with her convictions ... an unafraid to stand firm on her beliefs. S.M. has a very unique background and upbringing that allows her a very unique perspective and world view. To a Brooklyn-bred guy like me, I knew we'd be friends.
That aside, I'm not one to write many reviews. My personal feelings are that - I will only publish my thoughts on a book if I like it. If I don't like a work, I won't write a negative review. I simply won't write any review. There's enough negativity in the world. To me, a book with no reviews could be just as telling as one with a bunch of negative criticism.
With that said, since you're reading this, you can tell already that I enjoyed _The Dying god & other Stories_!
_The Dying god_ is a collection of the author's writings – some short stories, some poems but all laced with the author's voice. By reading them, one can enter her dreams. That is an admirable quality for any fiction author.
From the enchanting ride on a Roc in _Do You Believe_, to the mysterious, old-fashioned key in _Her Father's Eyes_, Carrière shows herself as a wonderful fantasy tale-spinner.
In _Lady of Shadow_, the author brings an entire island alive – it speaks its mind and it spoke to me. The story is dark yet the heroine Scatha brings brightness to it. She's portrayed as brave and vulnerable – believable character traits in fantasy tales make them all the more entertaining to me.
Probably my favorite quality about S.M. Carrière's writings is the way she weaves an underlying gentleness into even in her most terrifying storylines. That quality above all others, allows the reader to really see these fantasy worlds through her eyes, for I believe the gentleness is one of the author's strongest personal traits – a powerful quality, indeed and one that compels me to read on.
_For My Sister_ is a poem that shows the author's humorous side, yet another rare quality in fantasy authors nowadays. While _Imp_ showcases Carrière's eerie ability to write dialog between human an non-human characters that "feels" natural – which also makes it that much more spooky to this reader.
Real "girl-power" comes through in Carrière's two-part _The Taming of Man …_ (Parts 1 & 2). There's something about the way S.M. develops female characters that allows them to be strong but not butch – really tapping into the essence of the unique strengths of a female. That's very cool to me!
There are other fine pieces contained in this book, but my personal favorite remains the first one I ever read – which is the last story in this collection … and from where the book's title comes … _The Dying god_.
It's a touching story about a friendship forged between a young girl and a powerful, old being. It's brought to life by Carrière's artful literary painting of the story's settings. Though I read this story months ago, I'm still haunted by the being's house and the being's thunderous voice.
In the end, what touches me the most with all of S.M. Carrière's writings is how she brings gentleness to haunting tales, humor to sad ones and thoughtfulness that challenges the popular view.
Fantasy lovers and anyone else who would enjoy escaping into other fantastical times and other mysterious worlds … fill your belly with this collection of writings. It will leave you quite satisfied!
(reviewed the day of purchase)