Book Review: Swords of Steel Vol. I & II
The excellent "Swords of Steel" and it's worthy 2016 follow-up, "Swords of Steel II", are collections of short stories, poems and even an essay from some of the heavy metal's best writers. They were both sent my way some while back and in all honesty it has taken me longer than I expected to get through them. Given the sheer depth of these two books that is understandable, but even so I would like to apologize to DMR Books for the delay. Of course it should probably be mentioned that by "sheer depth" I am not talking about the overall size of these two paperbacks, but rather the overwhelming quality and in-depth nature of the source material at hand. In book one you have amazing stories from members of Bal-Sagoth, Manilla Road, Twisted Tower Dire, Cauldron Born, Walpyrgus, Funeral Circle and Solstice (to name just a few!) and it is topped off with a great introduction from writer David C. Smith (author of the Red Sonja and Oron novels)! Meanwhile book two features a stand-out short story from The Lord Slough Feg's Mike Scalzi and a solid introduction by David DeFeis of Virgin Steele fame! Some of the same talented authors from book one show up and in book two (E.C. Hellwell, Howie K. Bentley, Byron A. Roberts, and Scott Waldrop!) and that makes for a nice and consistent reading experience. Each volume features tales of "of terror and heroic adventure" (their words) or if you will "sword-play and ass kicking adventures!" (my words!). Again, as far as the quality of these stories and poems is concerned both "Swords of Steel" and "Swords of Steel II" offer plenty of bang for your buck. The fantasy and horror elements that you will find in these two paperbacks are great and the stories are easy to comprehend and follow. In other words they are both highly enjoyable and they make for great reading no matter if you are old or young! I know this because not only did I read through these two well-assembled paperbacks, but so did my two teens! For me at least the only downside was the small print of "Swords of Steel II", but that has more to do with my failing sight than anything else! A better pair of glasses on my end would easily fix that small concern, but in no way WHATSOEVER does that take away from how good these collections are! Hopefully there will be a part three to this series as this is such a great idea. You can find both anthologies by visiting DMR Books Storeny page and as a final word of praise I'd just like to add this little tidbit. These short stories come from artists that have already given us some incredible traditional and epic metal songs so if you like the actual song lyrics of some of these unbelievable bands then chances are you will love what these musicians have to offer as far as storytelling goes.