So after finishing the Klarkashton cycle I decided I was still in the mood for scary stories so decided to read this volume next. I have to say I think I definitely preferred it. The first few stories were totally brilliant. They were the set in a mythical middle ages where creatures of myth and legend, lamias and vampires roamed the woods, most likely wanting to devour you, possibly just wanting to have sex with you. It was a really good blend of mystery, horror and legends. I have to say I think I definitely prefer Smith's middle ages stories over all his others.
The City of the Singing Flame was next which was a strange extradimensional tale with bombs and a not quite realised threat. It was interesting and different but a little odd. The second entombment was quite creepy but I did enjoy the chain of aforforgomon - a nice story of the doom of a guy throughout reincarnations (or possibly just a bad drug trip).
The last two stories just kinda blended together with horrors and demons and general unpleasantness. I think while I like spooky stories I may not be cut out to read "horror" as I find it begins to bore me after awhile. So much sameness and if you don't care about the characters (as there is no characterisation) no ammount of demons and death will make it more interesting.
Still overall I thought this was a good collection but will be taking a break from Smith for awhile. Though I would like to read more of his stories at some point. Definitely no where near as good as Dunsany or Lovecraft. But when he's on form he's very enjoyable....Continua