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Book Reviews: The Man With The Golden Torc + Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears + Werehunter

The Man With The Golden Torc by Simon R. Green

The 1st in the ‘Secret Histories’ saga. Eddie Drood is doing his part, defending humanity from supernatural threats. And then his family cast him out and declare him a traitor.

As Eddie fights to discover why his family turned on him he learns of dark deeds afoot and the ugly truth of the source of the Drood’s power. Something is rotten in Drood Hall and Eddie and the annoying witch Molly have to deal with it. This was good.

Best Lines:
“In my day, no one would have dared. We’d have tracked them down, ripped their souls out and nailed them to our outer walls.”

“If the family can’t identify their traitor, they might just choose one...”

“But who? The Stalking Shrouds? The Loathly Ones? The Cold Eidolon? The Mandrake Recorporation?”

“I was the enemy now, and I had good reason to know how the Droods treat their enemies.”

“I’m not locked in; the family’s locked out.”

“Our fiercest enemies, defeated and put to use. Their bodies hollowed out and filled with straw while they were still alive, and then bound by unbreakable pacts to defend The Hall, to their destruction if necessary. Not dead, any of them. They couldn’t still suffer if we let them die.”

“Oath Breaker was ancient and awful, made when the world was young, specifically to undo things that could not be allowed to exist.”

“We’re not what we thought we were.”

“I’m your god!”
“Bad god,”

Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

The 3rd in the collections of fairy tales for adults is a mess that only has one good story in it. That story is ‘Summer Wind’ which is a twist on Sleeping Beauty. As 100 years pass, everyone in the castle sleeps except Sleeping Beauty who grows old.

Werehunter by Mercedes Lackey

A collection of short stories originally published in 1999.

A tale of a shape shifter and her stalker love interest. Okay.

SKitty/A Tail of Two SKitties/SCat/A Better Mousetrap
These 4 sappy tales centre on Dick white and his shipscat SKitty. This is too sappy.

The Last of Season
A perv abducts a girl but he’s not the only monster in the room. Creepy.

Satanic, Versus
A ‘Diana Tregarde’ story which sees the smug witch foil a demon raising carried out by a bitter rival romance writer. This was good.

Best Lines:
“Whoopie witches sit under a pyramid they ordered from a catalogue and watch Knot’s Landing...Whoopie witches call up the Hideous Slime from Yosotha to eat their neighbor’s poodle because the bitch got the last carton of Haagen-Daaz double-chocolate at the Seven-Eleven.”

Another ‘Diana Tregarde’ story which sees her take on vampires. Weak.

Wet Wings
A Mary Sue fantasy writer is persecuted by the PC brigade. Good if annoying.

Stolen Silver
A ‘Valdemar’ story about how Alberich became a Herald. This grew into the books ‘Exile’s Honor’ and ‘Exile’s Valor’. Very good.

A man encounters a malevolent piece of trash that is actually a toothy shape shifter. Excellent.

Best Line:
“They don’t permit it.”

Operation Desert Fox
A sentient tank does stuff. Awful.

Grey/Grey’s Ghost
Children in a Victorian boarding school take on evil with the help of their parrot. These were good and lead to the book ‘The Wizard of London’.
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