Last month David J. West and I swapped books. I really wanted to read his latest collection of short stories that came out the month before. I don't know how much he wanted to read my collection, but he took my book home and I took his.
Dave's book, The Mad Song: & Other Tales of Sword & Sorcery is pretty amazing. If you're a fan of swords, sorcery and short stories, you'll want to pick up this book. West's gift as a writer is only eclipsed by his imagination. The entries, a mixture of short stories and poetry, continually expand the limits of the genre. The book's heroes are larger than life and take on any and all challenges with grit and moxie, which is a good thing especially when facing werewolves and demons and poisonous beasts. As I think back on the book there are so many different storylines and characters, I lose track.
One hero in particular, a tall Swede named Tyr Thorgrimson (which translated from the Swedish means: Tyr is the son of an ugly Thor...) makes his appearance in several of the stories throughout the book. I think I liked the story of the woman needing to retrieve poison from a water beast the best. She was a strong woman willing to give up her own life to save another. It's called The Serpents Root. It's in the middle.
I don't read a lot of this genre, so maybe extra gory tales are normal. Just so you know, it's not a book for the squeamish. The stories have some truly nasty people in them and the body count is pretty high.
I love reading books written by friends. It makes the experience so much better knowing that a person I know created all those stories. Now, I wonder if he's read mine book...