Vox Day may singlehandedly save Fantasy as a genre. While this is obvious hyperbole, this short story is a great addition to Fantasy, as is the whole world it represents. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, Day uses the various fantasy races that we already know and love. (Although only a mother would love an Orc.)
The first story, "War God's Coin," revolves around a grizzled sergeant who wants to survive the next battle, even though outnumbered more than usual. What makes this story work is the good characterizations of the people. Each one “comes to life.” Too many times the characters in Fantasy are all the same and bear a striking resemblance to the author.
The second story is called “Qalabi Dawn.” While some have critiqued Day for stereotyping of Elves, Orcs, Goblins, and so on, I have liked this aspect of the series. But in this story Day has taken the concept of lycanthropy (ability to change into a animal-like creature—as in werewolves) and given it life. In fact, the culture of these desert peoples is so interesting and believable that I am hesitant to call them were-creatures since they are children of demons, just as others in Selenoth are children of angels. Maybe it would be best, although I have great reluctance to call them this, to call them Cat People-or possibly Demon Cats. The creatures are so alien that they are difficult to quantitify and that is a great part of thier appeal. (I was hoping for some wereseals in Selenoth, but I guess I will have to wait for them.)
I am looking forward to reading more about the tribes of the Qalabi and about the conversion of the Sergeant to the priesthood, if I am reading the story correctly.
Note that I received a review copy for this review.