I've been reading and enjoying Keith Chapman's Westerns written under the name Chap O'Keefe for several years, but his recent e-book WITCHERY: A DUO OF WEIRD TALES proves that he does a top-notch job with other genres as well. After an interesting introduction that addresses the genesis of these tales, he produces a fine Clark Ashton Smith pastiche set in Smith's evil-haunted French province Averoigne, "Black Art in Yvones". A young protagonist, a beautiful blonde, and a sinister femme fetale even give this tale a slight noirish feel. In the second novelette in this collection, Chapman ventures into sword-and-sorcery territory with "Wildblood and the Witch Wife", featuring a very likable pair of adventurers reminiscent of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It's set in historical England rather than a fantasy world, but there's still plenty of sorcery and action.
These are excellent stories and I'm looking forward to more fantasy from Chapman. In the meantime, this duo is well worth the very affordable price.
Celeste Ng: By the Book
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