“Fantasy from the Rock” is a collection of short stories from authors who love telling folklores about humans, fairies, trolls, dwarves, elves, witches, and fortunetellers. There are a few stories that don’t quite fit, nevertheless; due to their strangeness, they still fall into this fantasy genre. What they all have in common, however, is their entertainment value. The authors are experienced writers and storytellers and obviously, they love their craft. Many of the stories reveal moral lessons, which folklores of ancient time had often taught us. Like human beings, magical creatures have their negative and positive sides. They’re flawed just like us human beings. Those who allow evil and negative spiritual forces to dominate them threaten other beings as well as the environment in which they live and share with others. My favorite stories are the ones with moral lessons. Thankfully, many are teeming with them.
For example, “The City that Hid from Time Itself” shows that the world is a dangerous place and Zahn, Arvelle and Brayda must help Zahn’s brother, Antitus, to act as arbiters to protect the world and all the creatures within. As different species with different personalities they learn how to work together to accomplish their common purpose.
In “Snow White and Red Rose,” a mean dwarf gets his comeuppance, beautiful twin sisters with drastically different personalities and physical appearances get their princes at the end, and their mother—a woman who was abandoned by her lover and shunned by society for having a one night stand and having babies out of wedlock—witnesses her children happiness and live happily with them. Moreover, when you treat your offspring and other people kindly, you will be rewarded. The girls learn about kindness from their loving mother. Thus, “Their mother brought cuttings of both rosebushes with her when her family moved up into the grand old manor house. She planted them in lovely oriental pots and tended them as carefully as she had her daughters.”
Meanwhile, in “Quiet Cove,” a young woman finds out that, in the real world, she would never find the perfect man who loves her unconditionally and attends to her every need. She has only but one night to decide if she should stay in this hidden enchanted forest or go back to the real world. Which place must she choose? Will she make the wise choice?
These are just a few samples of the collection from “Fantasy from the Rock.” It’s like listening to the masters telling stories by the campfire. It’s magical, entertaining, and didactic. I highly recommend it.
Sambath Meas is a alternate history detective fiction writer. Her latest book, The Governor’s Daughter, is on sale now.