four summoner's tales

Four Summoner’s tales is a collection of four stories, one each by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss and Jonathon Maeberry. Each story beginning with the premise “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.”  The stories are definitely for adults there are some gruesome and possibly scary parts and a couple of mentions of necrophilia in one of the tales. Not for the faint of heart. But I do not read a lot of horror or watch any, and I loved it. 

Release date : 17th September 2013

4 out of 5 stars


I thought this a clever idea and each story differed from the next greatly. I enjoyed each one for different reasons. All the writer’s had different styles and each was enjoyable. I think some of the names have changed since either putting it on goodreads or my receiving a copy. All the authors have been adding to my to read list. Descriptions taken from good reads.

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

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…

This story left me guessing at what was going to happen. It was the first one in the book so I was not yet sure exactly what they were all about. They mentioned a few times about a trick, so as the story went along I kept trying to figure out how on earth it could have happened.

Fascinating, terrible but beautiful. The ending was a bit quick for me but it was neat and tidy. I was not sure what to make of the character Addie at first but she became a great character and it was great to find out her story. It made a lot of the rest of the story make more sense 4.5 stars out of 5.

Pipers by Christopher Golden

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…

Tragic and gruesome. It was a very emotional story. 23 people murdered in cold blood, this story showed just how far people will go for their loved ones and what grief will make you do. I was getting worried that Enoch was trying to raise a Zombie army, (not the biggest fan of zombies). I liked how when the resurrected dead were described as “broken loved one”, it was a nice touch.

The story ends up turning back on itself, not quite full circle, I found it very endearing. I did not guess what Enoch is until it was made clear.

4 out of 5 stars.

A Bad Season for Necromancy by David Liss

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…

It starts off as a charming tale of love and woe in the 1700’s after a description of the main character’s brutal childhood. I liked how very different it was from the other three. It reads as though someone is telling a story to an audience. There were some gruesome parts, the author thought up almost every death imaginable. The ending was not expected but it fit very nicely.

4 out of 5 stars

Alive Day by Jonathon Maberry

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…

It started and ended really well for me, the middle I found a little dragging. It was the one I enjoyed least. It starts with a man alone in a cave, badly hurt and trying to figure what has happened to him and his crew members. It is set in Afghanistan, in the middle of a war zone.  Some of the imagery in this story is going to give me nightmares.

3.5 stars out of 5