Review: Tales From Gunderland By Mark Coker

Hello again folks, as this is an anthology, I’m going to be doing things a little differently this time.

I’m going to make a brief statement or two about some of the stories, and then give my final thoughts.

The thing of note for this anthology is that while the characters in each story change, it’s the same world setting, with the same background, races and cultures.



Romeo And Juliet,

This follows the original Shakespeare play within reason, up to a point, apart from the fact that, rather then just two feuding families, we have two the race card to add in as well, Juliet being a lithe and slender elf, and Romeo being a short and stout dwarf. All in all, enjoyable, but a touch abrupt in it’s ending.


Chasing Dreams

Yes, no prizes for guessing what is being parodied here. Just as a mini spoiler, a certain other masked stranger appears as well. I didn’t enjoy this story as much as it really seemed to ramble without a lot of direction at times and I didn’t grow any affection towards the characters.


Boggerts Blue

I really enjoyed this, it was a wonderful example of how a short story should be, it as short, sweet and succinct, the story was engaging, the characters were enjoyable and the pacing was spot on. If all of the stories had been like this, it would have been an easy 9/10. The only point of contention for me would be if I were to be picky over established mythology.


The Big Bang

This was another really well done short story, with a noticeably different tone, however the over all theme was quite similar, the off beat hero over coming comedic adversity to come out on top, I enjoyed this perhaps even more then the prior one, because the ending was spot on, it didn’t suffer the shortcoming of the last one.


The Queens Hero

This one hung together rather well, but due to the pacing in my opinion being off kilter, it seemed.. off.. I loved the way the characters were built into what they became, they were easy to like and to grow to care about. The story seemed longer then it was through, I liked the end result, although some of the characters seemed out of character, the princesses for example, while they might have done some of the things they tried while drunk, it seemed out of place at that point in time.




While this book is generally well written,in a likeable style, I think that it missed the boat in one or two areas, the pacing was inconsistent as were the characters, ranging from passable to really good, the rapid changes could be incredibly jarring to your reading experience.

I mostly enjoyed the book however, some stories within it more so then others. While I would like to give this book higher marks, I’m afraid it’s going to have to be a 7/10, an average I worked out over the length of the book.


Final Thoughts.

It’s worth a read, however you will want to pick and choose which stories you read at which time.

Denise Alicea
the authorDenise Alicea
This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

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