‘The Bastard of Bolton’

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Bastard in more ways than one, but still I find Ramsay Snow-that-would-be-and-is-now-Bolton very difficult to hate. His obsession of trying to win his father’s approval and even affection is quite depressing to watch, especially knowing Roose is clearly manipulating his son to achieve his own goals. That doesn’t quite forgive the whole torture and flaying thing though… Still as they say, monsters aren’t born, they’re made…

…unless it’s Joffrey. Evil little beggar.

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Illustration for ‘Trash Into Cash’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Trash Into Cash’. Becky Tipper’s tale sees the traditional ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ story being played out in today’s metropolis – the old miller may now be a scrap merchant, the king may be a sharp, clean-cut businessman and the threads of gold may now be made out of green paper – but the heroine’s desperation and love for her child are as strong as ever.

‘Trash Into Cash’ features alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their website.

Illustration for ‘Little Lost Soul’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Little Lost Soul’. Marija Smits’ tale follows Dr. Yelena Belova, a psychologist and Direktor at the Chernobyl Robotics Facility, as she helps a young woman being physically abused in the facility. What starts as a story of compassion soon becomes a tale of suspicion and doubt that forces the reader to question what it actually means to be human.

Read more from Marija Smits at her online blog. ‘Little Lost Soul’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available on their website.

Illustration for ‘Rêve/Revival’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Rêve/Revival’. For centuries human invention has been advancing, harnessing and exploiting the environment, explaining and disproving legends and eradicating our relationship with the natural world. Elizabeth Hopkinson’s tale explores, through a retelling of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, how industry and political feuding affects the land and its people and how rekindling our relationship with nature and myth might help us build a better future.

Elizabeth Hopkinson is a fantasy author and writer of the novel ‘Silver Hands’. ‘Rêve/Revival’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their website.

Illustration for ‘Solstice’

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2′ stories – ‘Solstice’. ‘If I remain here we will continue on in a stupor, winter will reign forever. The sun will not rise’. Deborah Osborne‘s tale is a unique blend, combining a retelling of the Robin Hood legend with Old Father Time’s role in welcoming the New Year – a role that Marian herself must set in motion.

‘Solstice’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their website.

Illustration for ‘Fox Fires’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Fox Fires’. Jane Wright’s nighttime tale is beautifully eerie and one of my personal favourites from this collection of short stories. A tale of a young girl’s overwhelming grief, the ambiance of a cold winter in the far North creates a ‘silence’ that emphasises the emotions so much more strongly, from the sadness of loss to the glimmer of light that is hope.

‘Fox Fires’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their website.

Illustration for ‘How Women Came to Love Mirrors’

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2′ stories – ‘How Women Came to Love Mirrors’ by Hannah Malhotra.
Mirrors – objects of vanity employed by women to preen and pamper and achieve a beauty with which to address the world. Used by women to check their appearance hasn’t faltered should society be paying attention.
Required by women to prove to themselves that they are still visible.
Mirrors – needed by women to convince themselves that the feeling of invisibility is just imagination.

‘How Women Came to Love Mirrors’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their online store.