Book Reviews


Anita Stewart

Anita Stewart: Inside Realms

Publisher: A F Stewart Publishing

In Inside Realms, Anita Stewart presents six fantasy short stories. Three, Song Rise, Advent and Kinsharra are set in her fantasy world among the Kinsharra Mountains. Two are stories about King Arthur, and the final one is a vampire tale.

First let me say that Anita Stewart writes with the grace and style of a poet. This is a quote from one of her stories and it describes a meeting between a man and a girl:

"His music permeated her, a fluid brimming through her pores. It reworked every fibre, every stitch of her, until her eyes were stars, her flesh the earth, her hair sunlight, and her soul the first and last notes of the song."

This delicate language which creates magical images out of words is quite deliberate. Anita writes more about magic than anything else. And with her ethereal prose and passionate characters she transfers the mystical craft from her mind onto the page.

But the reader should be aware that for the most part, though the Kinsharra stories, in particular, are beautiful, (and they are very beautiful,) they're not particularly exciting. That doesn't mean that they're dull. They're not. But Anita in one tells us about a meeting between a man and a girl and in another she tells us about how Aristan conducts an experiment, by himself, in the privacy of his own home.

Of all six stories, the one with most tension and excitement in it was about a vampire, and in that one the anti-heroine surrendered meekly! Anita notes that even her central character was disappointed at the vampire's lack of resistance!

And, finally, when an exciting execution does take place, it's all over within seconds!

So, my recommendations with these stories would be: Please read them if you enjoy beautifully and poetically worded stories about fantasy worlds. You'll be very glad that you did.

But, if you absolutely require excitement in your stories, to keep you turning the pages over, be warned that there isn't much of that in any of these stories.

(There may be more in Anita's novel though. I haven't read or seen that.)

Review by Patrick Mackeown, October 2007


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