Book Review: Four Summoner's Tales by: Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry


Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Format:  Trade Paperback

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Four terror-inducing novellas from acclaimed bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry beginning with the premise: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.”

In Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children,” an acute diphtheria outbreak kills most of the children in an isolated village in nineteen-century Ontario. Then a stranger arrives and offers to bring the children back to life. He wants money, of course, an extravagant sum, but more importantly, but for each child resurrected, one villager must voluntarily offer his life... 

In David Liss’s “The Good-Natured Man,” a con man on the margins of eighteenth-century British society discovers a book that reveals the method for bringing the dead back to life. After considering just how far he would go to avoid bringing his violent father back, he realizes the real value of this book. Instead of getting people to pay him to revive their departed, he will get people to pay him not to...

In “Pipers” by Christopher Golden, the Texas Border Volunteers wage a private war against drug smuggling by Mexican cartels in a modern-day South Texas town, complete with an indestructible army of the risen dead...

In “Alive Day” by Jonathan Maberry, a US Army sergeant must dive into the underworld of modern-day Afghanistan to try and barter for the release of his team, never dreaming of the horrors that await him...

Review: ‘Four Summoner’s Tales’ is a collection of 4 novellas which are based on the same premise: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.”. Each author (Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry) definitely puts their own stamp on the premise. My favorite out of all four is Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children”. It was super-creepy because you really felt the emotional punch of the village losing their children and their desperation to have them returned. ‘Four Summoner’s Tales’ definitely reinforces the sentiment that some things are way too good to be true. Pick up ‘Four Summoner’s Tales’ and be chilled – definitely read it with the lights on!

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