S. E. Lindberg rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ghostly, macabre adventure; highly recommended for any read reader willing abandon hope and enter an abandoned Dark Tower
“This world in made of stories, to its core. And because the world is made of stories, you must be very cautious which tales you believe, which ones you tell and which ones you listen to. The right story, or the wrong one, can change you forever.” Russell Novotny co-author
Vargo’s History of Splendid, Dark Design:With that quote, a reader should expect a set of well designed, interconnected tales, and the anthology Tales from the Dark Tower delivers. Illustrated and co-authored by Joseph Vargo, this extends to Vargo’s media empire (the illustration portion shared with co-author Christine Filipak who form “Monolithic Graphics” … makers of spooky calendars and The Gothic Tarot, and the music brand “Nox Arcana” discussed below). This book was inspired by James Pipik (another coauthor) who proposed connecting Joseph’s art with a string of stories. Vargo agreed. In all there are eight collaborating authors (six from Ohio) teaming up to deliver thirteen ghost tale/adventures.
Connecting all these tales is the titular Dark Tower looming over the town of Vasaria. Prepare to venture with: ghosts, crusaders, succubi, vampires, gargoyles, and humans (both pitiful and honorable). Each successive story builds on the previous to unveil a rich history of a truly wondrous, dark place. The underlying story-arc is so well designed, the “voice” of the stories seems the same (despite the variety of authors). Some read as classic ghost stories; some as fairy tales; some as high-octane Sword & Sorcery. All are aimed at chipping away at the fantastic mystery of the Tower.
More Dark Tower: You’ll be left satisfied about Lord Brom’s (main character) inclusion into the Dark Tower, and still you will want more! Thankfully, there is an illustrated sequel : Beyond The Dark Tower.
But wait…there is even more! A Dark Tower Soundtrack: Vargo’s music talents fuel Nox Arcana Music, which has decades of experience producing Movie Soundtracks and Concept albums saluting all things weird (Edgar Allen Poe, Lovecraft, Zombies, Haunted Houses, Spooky Carnivals, Bram Stoker's Dracula, etc.). Many horror and fantasy writers listen to his work as they create. One may expect a Dark Tower album, and there is! The music album has 19 tracks, most with names corresponding to the chapter titles.
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