I love heroic fantasy. In a measured amount it is one of the genres that relaxes me the most and although in time it had fewer appearances in my readings I still enjoy such stories from time to time. I would never give up on them. One of the heroic fantasies I liked the most lately is Brian Ruckley’s short story, “Beyond the Reach of His Gods”, first published in Jason M. Waltz’s anthology, “Rage of the Behemoth”. The story has an interesting main character, Rhuan of the Grey Hall, found in a luxuriant jungle, a totally different and strange sight from his homeland, while he is on exile.
“Every one of these men had willingly followed Rhuan into exile after his father’s execution, but he was not so foolish as to assume that their undoubted loyalty to him was the sole star by which they steered. Many had faced the same choice he had: exile or a hard death on the Blood Wheel. All had hoped that he would lead them to adventure, and glory, and plunder; discover for them fresh lands to raid, perhaps even rule.”
And adventure they will find, only of another sort.
“Beyond the Reach of His Gods” has the flavour of Brian Ruckley’s “Godless World” trilogy, but it is more straightforward and focused on action. That doesn’t mean it is not a good story, on the contrary. It is a heroic fantasy of the best sort. This month, Lightspeed Magazine published “Beyond the Reach of Hid Gods” too and you can buy it together with other 7 stories in electronic format or you can enjoy it for free on the magazine’s website (released on Tuesday, 16th October). Also on both electronic and free edition of the October issue of Lightspeed Magazine you can find a small interview with Brian Ruckley.