Myriad Lands: Volume 2: Beyond the Edge

By David R. Stokes

Rating: 3 stars

Like the first volume, this anthology tries to have a diverse set of voices and non-traditional settings, to try and widen the field for everybody. To be honest, I don’t think this volume succeeded as much as its predecessor. I think this may be because this contains stories set in secondary worlds, where there’s not a direct connection to place to help give a sense of setting.

This collection also felt darker than its predecessor, with stories like The Rounds (although that is lightened by its dark humour); Hollow, about the hopeless fight of “whole” men against the “hollow” men; and the, to me, incomprehensible Night Child, which couldn’t seem to make up its mind who its protagonist was and seemed to be lifted directly from some larger work, and felt incomplete to me. Against this, there are some gems including Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Language of Flowers involving an assassins’ guild with a horticultural bent; Tanith Lee’s I Bring You Forever which was a beautiful read; and (my personal favourite in the collection), God-Daughter by Melissa Mead which is a fun little story about a previously absent father coming into his daughter’s life and a lovely way to close the collection, leaving a smile on my face.

So, to me, not as strong as its predecessor but still a lot of good stories (if many of them too dark for my tastes – although they’re not necessarily all dark in their own right, it’s just that too many in a row starts to wear heavily).

Book details

ISBN: 9781911486084
Publisher: Guardbridge Books

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