Through The Suffering of Others: A Fictiongarden Anthology
Much like the first anthology, Through The Suffering Of Others features established authors such as Lindsay Buroker and Tony Healey as well as returning faces like M. Todd Gallowglas, S.M. White and Tristan Gregory.
We start things off with the aforementioned best-selling author Lindsay Buroker's Shadows Over Innocence, a prequel short story to her Emperor's Edge series. Fans of Buroker will be familiar with the tale, but those who haven't read her work will find an intriguing starting point.
Next comes Kal S. Davian's Branding of a Heretic, the first story in his Nihilan Effect series of shorts and a cleverly written introductory piece about a scholar who uncovers a revolutionary secret that others wish to suppress.
This is swiftly followed by A Man With Purpose by best-selling science fiction author Tony Healey. Set in the same world as his Fallen Crown series, it serves as an excellent introduction to his grim and inhospitable The Bloody North.
Continuing the dark tone, S.M. White's The Last Battleground tells the story of a man who simply refuses to die upon the battlefield, but there's more to this brief tale than meets the eye.
Ogre by Tristan Gregory mixes faith with monsters, as a forgotten cleric returns home having succeeded in his mission to bring the monstrous ogres to his faith.
Michael Watson's western-themed Justine (The Sum of Stories) is the recollection of a self-professed tongue waggler and his encounter with the legendary Justine. It chronicles part of her journey and the subsequent conflicts in a storyteller style.
The Purifying Flame by Christian Warren Freed is a tale of duty and honour as one young man attempts to warn those around him of what it is he has foreseen. The Flame must be defended at all cost, but conflict from within may prevent their latest stand against a monstrous foe.
The Cave by J.R. Karlsson is set in a dark and cold cavern with a group of people who have no escape save for the inevitable death at the hands of their captors. It is their interactions and actions within the titular cave that make things interesting.
Lassie Came Home by Bruce Blake is a deeply twisted reunion story bordering on horror that involves a shape-shifting creature that takes the form of a beloved childhood dog for reasons unknown.
Sichana – Apex Rising by Tom Wright is a hostage pit fighting scenario set in the same Africanesque world as his popcorn fantasy series, where humans and animals are bonded together in pacts, with those bonded to predators seeking to dominate others.
D. Thourson Palmer's The High Red Country is a fantasy western that could have come to our screens in the western's hey-day. It's about justice, or so we're told...
Ken Lim's entry is Thaumaturge, an urban-based fantasy pursuit tale detailing the activities of the Fae Liaison Unit and their latest attempt to apprehend the titular thaumaturge.
Davis Ashura's Prank does exactly what it says. It's a light-hearted tale of the construction and execution of a prank at a military school.
Dragon Company by Patrick J. Loller has an intriguing setting: what if there were genetically altered dragon-like humanoids in World War II?
M. Todd Gallowglas shines in a brief story about an irritable narrator detailing a bedtime tale called The Two Pickpockets. A scenario every parent of a demanding but awake child will relate to.
Talonfall is a full-length novella kindly donated by SG Night and set in The Dominion of Io, the very same world (and with some of the same characters) as his début, Attrition.
Last but most certainly not least is another full-length work by V.M. Jaskiernia, the macabre pseudo-European entanglement of Larkspur: A Necromancer's Romance. The first introductory novella to her much-anticipated Larkspur series.