Lois Tilton at Locus has reviewed the Clockwork Phoenix 4 anthology, including a pretty good rap for my story “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter”:
Aghor the bargeman is a scary fellow, who intimidates most everyone he sees.
“Aghor planted his feet wide to face the soldiers, ignoring the rain, his sleeveless vest exposing the black bramble tattoos coiled around his arms, fists on hips to pull back the vest and reveal the belt around his thick waist, made from the mummified foetuses and umbilicals of Behra’s sisters.”
Because Behra is his ninth daughter, she is allowed to live, in chains, because of the magical power her blood gives him. Now a doll-sized golem has come onto the barge, involved in an intrigue into which he lures Aghor, with the promise of reward and taking revenge on an old enemy.
Adventure in a richly-imagined fantasy world, full of intrigue, cruelty, and magical combat. Most striking is terrifying figure of Aghor, a villain of consummate ruthlessness. Nothing subtle and postmodern here, just good old straightforward secondary-world dark fantasy action.