Mightier than the Sword and Other Stories by Bill Ward
S.E. Lindberg rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mighty Legends and Creepy Tales:
Bill Ward is an accomplished author who has recently released a series of anthologies (2013). Mightier than the Sword and Other Stories proves to be as equally entertaining, dark, and varied as The Last of His Kind and Other Stories. Here Ward has eight more tales (two published for the first time; see the content list below.) Again the author uses strong, illusionary narrative to tour the reader through fantastic realms, most featuring a prominent sword. A “ward” in the fantasy genre refers to an iconic symbol that protects against evil magic; Ward the author emerges as the opposite, his books delivering magical, dark adventure.
I was completely enthralled while reading “Shadow on the Edge of the City of Light,” “The Witch Queen’s Tower,” and “The Wolf of Winter.” Others like “Mightier than the Sword,” “Unmaker,” and “The Sea Kings’ Champion” are as entertaining, but are less trippy. The duo of General Boa and Shan “Spirit-Slayer” appeared in Mightier than the Sword and Other Stories too, but I cared for them less in this new episode (“Race to Dragonhead Rock”); the levity they bring to a the series is welcoming, but Ward shines brighter (ironically) when he drags us through darker adventures.
1) “An Imperfect Swordsman,” originally published at Every Day Fiction on April 4, 2008
2) “Shadow on the Edge of the City of Light,” originally published in Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms from Pill Hill Press, September 2009
3) Race to Dragonhead Rock - appears here for the first time, Mightier than the Sword and Other Stories, 2013.
4) “The Witch Queen’s Tower,” originally published in Morpheus Tales Issue 1, July 2008
5) “Mightier than the Sword,” originally published in Flashing Swords Issue 9, Winter 2008
6) “The Sea Kings’ Champion,” originally published in Flashing Swords Issue 10, Spring 2008
7) The Unmaker - appears here for the first time, Mightier than the Sword and Other Stories 2013.
8) “The Wolf of Winter,” originally published in Rage of the Behemoth from Rogue Blades Entertainment, June 2009
The Last of His Kind and Other Stories and Heartless Gao Walks Number Nine Hell and Other Stories
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