- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Queen of Swords Press (1 December 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1732583323
- ISBN-13: 978-1732583320
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 458 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) Paperback – 1 Dec 2018
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“It's hard to go wrong with pirate stories that cross time and space, and every story in the collection delivers in full. There's adventure in plenty, but beyond that, these are stories that will stick with you. Highly recommended.”
--Melissa Scott, Author of the Astreiant series and Stargate Atlantis: Pride of the Genii
“Scourge of the Seas is a fast fun read filled with buried treasure and pirates of every description. The strength of this anthology comes from both its diversity and its dedication to adventure on the high seas. Pirate stories are all about the freedom to explore and the joy of new settings and this anthology delivers on that promise.”
–Kelly McCullough, Author of the WebMage and Fallen Blade series
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There are settings ranging from more or less the world we know, to imagined realms, like the living, wandering sea creatures that are Ginn Hale’s “Treasured Islands,” and the wildly imaginative seas roamed by a ship crewed by a heroic rodent crew in A.J. Fitzwater’s “Search for the Heart of the Ocean.” There are long-past times like the post-Trojan War Greece of Megan Arkenberg’s “Andromache’s War,” all the way to the far-future space age, with in between a New York of a possibly all too soon world in “After the Deluge” by Peter Golubock. There are characters of many ages, cultures, and genders with well-drawn personalities, and fierce battles along with humor, tenderness, and sacrifice.
I usually advise reading anthologies one story at a time with time in between to savor one before starting another. I seldom take my own advice when a book sweeps me along like this one. But that’s okay, because this is a book I’ll read again, and maybe even take my time.
There were a few stories like ‘The Doomed Amulet of Erum Vahl’ that I’d really like to see expanded into novella or novel length books. But for the most part being able to take some time out of my day to enter the world of these varied scoundrels was a welcome escape.
Would love to see a volume 2 at some point!
This review is going to be on the short side; I just don’t have a whole lot to say about Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). The fifteen short stories in the anthology tended to blur together into a mishmash of pirate tropes. I didn’t hate any of the stories, but I didn’t fall wildly in love with any either.
The story I liked the most was A.J. Fitzwater’s “The Search for the Heart of the Ocean,” a sequel to “The Wild Ride of Untamed Stars,” originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I read “The Wild Ride of Untamed Stars” over the summer and found it cute and whimsical. The same holds true for “The Search for the Heart of the Ocean,” in which a dapper capybara pirate captain is out searching for a new jewel to place in the Rat Queen’s crown.
Also worth mentioning, Elliot Dunstan’s “Andromache’s War” revisits the Trojan War and the Odyessy. Andromache, the wife of Hector, is taken for a slave, but on the way back Greece, she pushes the captain overboard and manages to seize control of the crew for herself. I tend to be interested in feminist retellings of classical myths (I’m only two classes away from a classics minor), so I was glad to see “Andromache’s War” in the collection.
Judging by other reviews, I’m in the minority opinion on Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). It probably just comes down to a matter of personal preference, and the anthology may appeal more to readers with a stronger interest than me in pirates.
I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review.
My personal favourites were likely "Treasured Island," (the world-building in this story was fantastic) “Andromache’s War" (such a freaking amazing retelling, and covering a time-span in a short fiction piece is done so effortlessly here) and "Search for the Heart of Ocean" (I was not expecting to squee with cuteness overload in a pirate anthology, but there it is).
Honestly, the only real complaint I had here was a few times stories felt like beginnings. Most of the time, there was enough there to enjoy them for the self-contained "prologue"-esque feeling they created, but it was a repeating theme. But being left wanting for more isn't by any means a bad thing, and I'll be seeking out these authors to do just that.
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