To See a Monster by Ed McDonald, Grimdark Magazine #16, 2018

To See a Monster by Ed McDonald takes place in the same world as the author’s debut novel (the first of a trilogy), Blackwing.

16-monster-1-300x400In this short story, a disgraced soldier deemed a cowered and slandered, challenges his slanderer to a duel. The whole piece takes place in this scene. It’s broken up by memories of the battle the narrator fled from, leaving some of his best soldiers (and best friends) to die, while he made an escape with the bulk of his army.

The world is intriguing. From this piece, I’m not sure if it’s like a gunsmoke fantasy (like guns and magic at the same time) or if it’s more traditionally medieval fantasy. What I do know is that this story piqued my interest in Mr. McDonald’s series, called The Raven’s Mark, released in 2017. The second book, Ravencry will be released next month (August 2018), and I’m excited to dive in and check this story out as soon as I’m done reading Seveneves (about 300 pages to go on that one).

Anyway, back to the story at hand. The narrator is likable and vicious. He’s interesting, cocky, and totally flawed. He’s a bad person for the right reasons. He’s worth reading about and I’m curious if he’s the same main character in the first book. (B-)

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