The Glass Elephant's Prison by Ben Peek
Two mysterious men, one a prisoner, the other a killer, head toward an inevitable confrontation. And who is the mute, illiterate girl? The story begins slowly, but is well written and descriptive, though it suffers from several of the aforementioned typos. The mysterious nature of the two main characters is engrossing, leading the reader to a fine climax. A solid read.
Swords in the Waves: A Tale of Dog Company by Christopher Sloan
Scholar and the men of Dog Company set out to slay a force of Water Mages. But have they taken on a contract too large for even their renown? Told in the first person, the narration is rough and edgy, but perfectly suited to the story. The characters are varied and well presented, and it's not hard to be drawn into this enthralling tale. Reminiscent of the Black Company series.
The Chronicles of Helmar and Jukka: The Loremaster's Warning by Robert Bee
Scorned for their slovenly appearance, Helmar and Jukka are much more than they seem. And when they rescue the Loremaster, they learn a disturbing truth. The writing and plotting is a bit uneven in this otherwise entertaining tale. There's a major twist, though it's not hard to figure out. Still, the events leading to the climax make for a fun read.
Seedlings by Joy V. Smith
Two children cross the desert from the west, fearful and hungry. Juul is determined to discover why. I wish I could have liked this story, but the narrative was confusing, and the entire tale felt like it was written 'on the fly'. The demise of the antagonist was original, though.
The Metal Mages by Robert Burke Richardson
Onark can't understand why the girl is reluctant to become an Automaton, thus achieving immortality. And then young Luje attempts to save her. This science-as-magic tale is well written. A nice, smooth read with a disturbing finish.