Shadow Lantern by Gareth Lewis
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This story was found in Bestseller Bound Anthology Volume 1.
Shadow Lantern is a very short story about two people in a darkened room. We never know the names of the two people. We only get to know that they are both on the shady side and one is trying to sell something to the other. This story also has another one of those twist endings that I am partial to. The rug was slipped out from beneath my feet and I didn’t see it coming.
You can feel the magic in the air along with the dust. For some reason my brain filled in that the room was dusty. I think that was because the two characters obviously work in black market magical artifacts. Where do characters who obviously work in black market magical artifacts conduct business? In grimy, badly lit rooms. Everyone knows that right?
This story will take you all of ten minutes to read and it will be the best ten minutes you spend today. The story is entirely dialogue but you always know who is speaking. The only description is in what the characters say to one another. This story is one of my favorites that I’ve read this year because it was entirely unique. I wish I could give it a 10.
PG Very mild language. There is a story within a story here and the guy in question becomes liquid. That’s not even the gross part. Trust me when I say you need to read this.
The Viscount and the Witch by Michael J. Sullivan
It is our understanding that this short story is included in The Crown Tower. You can also get it from the authors site.
Michael J. Sullivan
The Viscount and the Witch is the perfect place to start if you have never read any of the Riyria books. It’s also great if you have read them. It really illustrates who Royce and Hadrian are. Royce is the master thief and schemer. Hadrian is the former professional soldier and current mercenary. Together they make quite the team. This story was interesting because they’ve only known each other for a year. In Riyria Revelations they have known each other for maybe a decade or more.
This story is really funny. Royce decides to teach Hadrian a lesson about helping people. It shows that Royce likes to be one step ahead of everyone else and that Hadrian is the people person. They grow to know each other so well in Revelations that is was nice to see how they were when they didn’t know each other so well and how they describe each other.
When Hadrian stops to help a witch, Royce knows they’re in for trouble. He also doesn’t want to stop because a dog bit him during the previous job and his foot hurts. Hearing them bicker was like visiting old friends. They do that in the other book. They recount the story of the dog and how Royce tossed it out of a window. Hadrian tells him he can’t be all bad if he tossed the creature out a window with water beneath it. Royce is a little shocked to learn that there was water beneath the window and that the dog swam. That story kind of says it all about Royce, Hadrian and their partnership.
When they get to the barn that the witch says a vagrant is hiding in Royce decides that Hadrian needs to learn that people are trouble. He knows the witch is going to walk off with everything they have. It takes a thief to know a thief.
I won’t spoil the story for you by telling you what happens. We try hard not to do that. It’s a free story that you can get from the author’s site or Amazon. You’ll finish it on your lunch hour and you’ll be glad you read it. It’s quick and it will make you want to read both Riyria Revelations and Ryria Chronicles.
PG Hadrian pulls out a serious looking sword that is so long he has to carry it on his back.