S.E.Lindberg Rating: 4 of 5 stars
“There is a monster for each of us to face. Some we conquer; some we flee; some we negotiate with; some we suffer; some we… become.” So opens the preface by editor Jason M. Waltz.
And what would life be without behemoth challenges? And what would fantasy fiction be without monsters? Cripes… why are so few anthologies devoted to them? Rogue Blades Entertainment (RBE, publishers of the superb Return of the Sword) filled this much needed gap in literature.
Rage of the Behemoth has 21 quality tales from contemporary authors. Many heroic fantasy anthologies feature the deceased masters, but RBE consistently focuses on showcasing today’s authors. Few will disappoint. I highlight my personal favorites for each of the five environmentally-themed categories:
Depthless Seas: “Black Water” by Sean T.M. Steinnon
Frozen Wastes: “The Wolf of Winter” by Bill Ward (my favorite of the entire anthology)
Scalding Sands: “Black Diamond Sands” by Lois Tilton
Mysterious Jungles: “Yaggoth-Vor” Bruce Durham…and “Beyond the Reach of His Gods” by Brian Ruckley
Ageless Mountains: “The Rotten Bones Rattle” C.L. Werner
Some of the behemoths: The list below has names conjured by me (not the authors), and are not listed in order of appearance…to avoid spoiling the fun: Ursine God, Behemoth Boar, Cockatrice, Djinn Storm, Dragon, Eldritch horror, Griffin, Human Centipede, Ice Hydra, Loch Ness Leviathan, Lovecraftian Giant Crab, Lyncanthrope, Manitcore, Mineral Snake, Roc (Giant Bird), Rock Golem, Scaled Pachyderm, Serpent, Shape-shifting Demon, Skeleton Titan, Wolf God.
Given the number of tales, their quality, and their variety, this is a definite recommended read.
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