Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Bookwyrm's Review of Blackest Knights edited by C.T. Phipps



Edited by: C. T. Phipps

Length: 264 Pages

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Publisher: Crossroad Press

It's funny, I don't read many anthologies anymore, but I do have a history of being a fan of them from my younger days, whether it be Thieves World, my all time favorite, or ones like GRRM's Wildcards or David Drake's The Fleet series. When I was offered a chance to review a new anthology edited by my favorite author working today, CT Phipps, I jumped at the chance. The fact that it has stories written by so many authors I have read and enjoyed over the last two years, that was icing on the cake.

The premise of the various stories is that while fantasy and sci-fi is filled with dashing, noble knights of valor, there are lots of jobs that need a dark knight willing to get his/her hands dirty, since the ends justifies the means, among other reasons. in 19 stories by 15 different authors, these themes are explored in a variety of different ways. From dealing with wicked witches, fighting a rearguard action to try and escape from an undead horde, handling an evil god's cultists to dueling competing gods earthly proxies, the stories run the gamut of dark themes, some with dead seriousness and some with twisted humor.

While I did enjoy all 19 stories in the book, I thought there were a few standouts. CT Phipps' Honor is Just a Word is my favorite of the bunch. Set in his Wraith Knight universe, it deals with Jacob Riverson, the new God of Evil, granting a wish to a ghost, with unexpected results. Paul Lavender's The Black Bastle, set in his Orcslayers universe, is another favorite, using two characters from the series in an adventure dealing with bandits of the worst sort. 

Newcomer Mathew Johnson's Plainswalker is a fantastic story, dealing with an army, and specifically an immortal soldier, on the run from an invading army of the undead. My final highlighted selection is Jesse Teller's Weathered Soul, an excellent story dealing with several God's proxy warriors battling on earth in single combat. These are just some of the excellent stories included in this collection. Any fan of darker fantasy should find something to enjoy in this collection.

2 comments:

  1. I'm really glad you enjoyed the book! It was a big risk branching out into an unknown like editing an anthology.

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  2. You did a fantastic job, both as author, story selector and editor.

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