A good story has a magical quality to it. It teases your sense of wonder and envelopes your attention. For a short time it almost casts a spell. It bewitches you and the story becomes your world. And that’s exactly Game of Crones is full of: magic, wonder, spellcraft and above all good stories.
The stories follow a sort of rigid structure; there is a witch, there is a problem, and there is a twist ending. It really doesn’t deviate from this style. Which, could be a problem, if the author didn’t use it so effectively.
Game of Crones is like series of fantasy themed campfire fire stories.You know with such a tongue in cheek title, this isn’t going to be a prestigious work of literary fiction. But it doesn’t attempt to be. Author Jay Raven isn’t exploring the depths of the human condition, they’re not touting exciting new literary techniques. The book isn’t groundbreaking literature, is just good old fashion story telling.
Part of the way the author keeps things fresh is by not relying on any one preconception of a witch. Some are benevolent while others are petty and cruel. There are tales of swords and sorcery and tales of a more gothic nature. Some even take place is a more modern setting. The unifying theme and structure allows these short stories to sit comfortably next to one another.
The book also does a surprisingly good job of talking about adult themes in a more family friendly manner. This isn’t a book I am going to read to an eight year old, kids 12 and older may find a lot to enjoy. Sexuality and violence distance but are never explicit.
Recommend if you like: H.P Lovecraft, traditional folk tales, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, The Princess Bride, Fantasy and Gothic horror.
Author Bio – Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.