A Review of Winter’s Edge: An Anthology of Historical Fiction

36580289Winter’s Edge includes seven stories written by seven authors in a literary “Where’s Waldo.” The stories recount the travels through time and across the globe of three daggers forged in sixth century Rome. In each story, set in a different century and a different place, one of those finely-crafted daggers, each with a silver, snarling wolf’s head atop the handle, plays an important part in the experiences of characters who come alive on the page (or screen, if you will).

Paul Murphy’s “Wolf of Saturnalia” introduces the daggers in an action-packed adventure in ancient Rome; “Vielle,” written by Prue Batten, puts a dagger in the story of a twelfth-century musician in French King Phillip’s court at a time when tensions were high between England and France; T.C. Hester offers “DiPaolo and DaVinci” in the sixteenth century when the famed artist uses one of the daggers in the service of life; “Sweet Nightingale,” by David Neilson, features his eighteenth-century heroine, Sophie Rathenau, once again solving a crime in Vienna in which the dagger makes a surprising, but satisfying, appearance; “Bingley and Darcy,” by Martin Rinehart, fills in the details of the relationship between Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennett which are missing from Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice; in the Kansas Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the dagger makes an appearance in a stunning story of friendship, love, and survival by Lena Maye; and, finally, in present-day New York, the three daggers are re-united in “Warm Me Softly,” a gentle love story by D.M. Davis.

This anthology is cleverly conceived and expertly rendered. Very impressive work from a stable of fine writers.

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What Makes a Book a Keeper? Part 1

booksSome books are meant to pass time on my shelves before getting swept into the donation box for the local library or the thrift shop. Others have the distinction of permanent residency on what might be dubbed my “shelf of honor.” Those books are the ones that have somehow made a difference in my life. Maybe they were books that left a profound impression on me through their content and the author’s craft. Or they might be personally and professionally important–those that I had the honor of editing and designing for publication (or even writing), for example, or one that marked a life-passage for me. Continue reading “What Makes a Book a Keeper? Part 1”