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EARTHCAST

Caught between a witch and a hard place

By Stable, author of The Archive Of Unusual Events

Sep 16, 2016: If you like your fairy tales to be epic, mixed up and full of feels then this is the story for you.

Earthcast follows a strigoi (a form of Romanian vampire) and a golem in their journey to be free. Free of their past and others’ pasts, free from a variety of dangers and mostly free from some terrifying witches. The two main characters grow together as their innocence or spitting-cat-fury-and-paranoia slowly rounds out the edges of each other’s personality. They tumble from one disaster to the next, but through a mixture of guts, kindness, meanness and brains they’ve so far managed to keep their heads attached to their necks.

The writing is excellent and the chapters are long, but what really made this stand out for me is the sheer variety of folk tales, myths and legends incorporated into one story. I’ve always thought I had a pretty good handle on my fairy tales and folklore, but the author Koryos gives us a schooling in the weird and terrifying creations of various folk traditions. The classics like Baba Yaga show up, as well as my favourite mythological creature (the vegetable lamb), but murderer spirit wolves, bannik and domovoi and a whole bunch of other creatures have been awesome to read about and a real education.

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EARTHCAST

Wonderful

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Sep 27, 2015: Wow! This is an exceptional piece of fantasy writing, evoking awe, wonder, beauty, horror, sorrow, and mystery. I was captivated from the first paragraph. The writing is very descriptive, yet flows so beautifully I was never tempted to skim. I loved being in the innocent mind of the awakened golem, and the more cynical and selfish strigoi’s point of view makes an effective foil. This mismatched pair venture through a wondrous but cruel and dangerous world, based on East European folk tales and history. Beyond this, I cannot add much to lifesharpener’s excellent review, just add my recommendation.

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EARTHCAST

Read this if you like your fantasy stories mysterious and a little dark.

By lifesharpener, author of Man of Last Millennium

Jul 6, 2015: Earthcast is a phenomenal piece of writing, with a fascinating intertwining of fantasy elements from various sources, predominantly Eastern European folklore (Romanian), Hebrew mysticism, and some more modern fantasy themes that I have seen before in Japanese culture (but am unsure of their origin).

A manufactured clay golem (female) with free will and a strigoi (female) that gave it to her, Earthcast switches constantly between the perspectives of these two female leads.

The reader follows the BFG (Big Friendly Golem) and her journey to save her first outside acquaintance, the strigoi. What begins as a business deal evolves into a friendship, and together they travel the region, tackling trials and challenges step by step.

"A strigoi is traditionally a more classical style of vampire, (think Bram Stoker’s Dracula), but the author puts on her own spin, painting the strigoi as more of a normal being(with magical properties and a thirst for blood) that is predominantly preoccupied with her own survival than anything else. (although she is already technically dead)"

This story has so many different story elements that are well done: A thriving ecosystem of mythological creatures. Power/Territory struggles between reclusive witches. Anti-Semitic villagers. Friendship with questionable loyalties. ancient magic with ancient rules. Mysterious whimsical entities.

There’s a lot going on, and sometimes that makes you feel like you’re watching Lost. Lots of things are introduced, and there aren’t too many answers. Unless you are already familiar with aspects of Slavic folklore, it may be a lot to take in. The author puts an intriguing twist on existing stories in folklore, but it’s hard to appreciate her creativity without foreknowledge.

But perhaps this just adds to the rich plot, giving it a cultural depth that you get in a well researched fiction work. It is familiar, yet new at the same time.

In any case, it keeps you reading breathlessly.

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