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REVIEW: “In the Days of the Witch-Queens” by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt –

REVIEW: “In the Days of the Witch-Queens” by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

Tuesday , 18, October 2016 1 Comment

So you want more old school swords and sorcery fiction in the same vein as Thune’s Vision and The Last Witchking? This is it!

I know it’s tough these days. Fantasy is ubiquitous, but the sort of raw barbarism that Robert E. Howard captured is nowhere to be found. In the Days of the Witch-Queens features competing prides of anthropomorphic lions existing in a state of almost constant warfare– and lead by femme fatale Witch-Queens! It’s brutal.

This is not an attempt to slavishly recreate the feel of the iconic Weird Tales of the thirties. Nothing strikes me as being self-consciously “retro”. The sorcerous abilities are thoroughly modern; they come off more like superpowers than anything truly uncanny, for instance. On the other hand, the emotional beats used to establish the likability of the protagonist and the unlikeability of the heavy are straight out of the pulps. That’s the exact point that so much of modern entertainment falls apart on now for some reason. (See Stranger Things for just the most recent example.)

Beyond that, I think you’ll find that this is just a flat out good read. It’s so good, I’m astonished that the author doesn’t have piles of books for sale on Amazon already. And one interesting thing about the lists of upcoming works in the back: it appears he’s warming up to release multiple novella series at once. It’s not just the style and the ethos of classic pulp adventure are set to make a comeback, but the format and methodology as well!

If you need a break from sprawling epics that never seem to go anywhere, this might be just the thing. And note that if you need something to tide you over until the next installment breaks, you can find more of Donald Jacob Uitvlugt’s work in Cirsova and Roll the Bones.

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