The Otherworld takes shape in this collection of stories told on a rich, fairytale tapestry of swords, sorcery, romance, dreams, visions and verse. Ancient gardens, lost temples, cosmic alignments, immortal predators, assassins, shapeshifters, warriors and maidens will transport you to realms where the rules are different, nothing is as it seems and the heart keeps the balance of ages.
Click on the following stories for illustrations and excerpts.
The Trouble with Tansy – An orphaned girl on the threshold of womanhood inherits a splendid, mysterious garden from three generations of wisewomen. When a roguish wizard attempts to impress her by disrupting the seasons, she must turn to the old powers for help.
The War God Sleeps – When a lush, fertile land is seized by drought, a lonely hermit’s son ventures deep into the hills in search of water and there awakes a beautiful, yet terrible god whom the world has learned to live without.
The Bridge – A visionary who spent her life preparing for a planetary alignment that will materialize a beautiful nature spirit only she can perceive, descends into her blackest fears when she is abandoned to a war for which she is indirectly responsible.
The Fifth Verse – An ancient immortal entity defies the rules of her kind by falling in love with a mortal warrior, an indiscretion that leaves her grieving, pregnant and dependent on the help of a wizard whose army was responsible for the death of her beloved.
Deathseer – Under the influence of a mysterious observatory, the commander of a fearsome army is trapped in a conflict that eventually costs him his honor and the life of his brother, and drives him to accept an inborn magical ability that changes his destiny.
Eating Crow – A masterful, wayward shapeshiftress angers a wizard who curses her by summoning a diabolical immortal hunter that puts her near death and forces her to seek the wizard’s cat, a gentle, mystical creature that alone can heal her wounds.
Marked – The mother of a fey child learns the pitfalls of mingling with immortals when her boy is taken by a ferocious winged monster at the request of the god who fathered him.
The Origin – A woodsman discovers that he is a god who created everything around him to know the love of a woman whose mortality drives him to the brink of annihilation.
“All the stories are interesting and fun to read… This author gives her stories depth and gave this reader the feeling I was actually in that time and place…” – Long and Short Reviews (Read Entire Review)
“These are short stories but there is a lot of story in each one. They are well told and I enjoyed every one. I will be buying more McKinstry books.” – Review on Amazon
“If you enjoy a book for sake of an interesting story, this book is for you. If you enjoy a story for sake of how well it’s written, this book is even more so for you. F.T. McKinstry writes in a way that involves all the senses. It’s not something I read line by line, but sensation by sensation. Highly recommended.” – Review on Barnes and Noble
“The series of short stories that make up this book are filled with poetic imaging and storytelling that breathes more than just life into the stories…elevated the telling into the fantasy realm even without subject matter that also took place there.” – Review on Goodreads
“Short stories that run the gamut from humour, fantasy all the way to science fiction. I found it a very easy read and would highly recommend it!” – Review on Goodreads
“Each story is set in a fantasy setting, in a world full of magical elements and mythical beings. They are told in a language that is richly descriptive and in my opinion, it helped to make the reader get into the atmosphere of the stories.” – Review on Goodreads
“I think my favorite story was Eating Crow, involving a shapeshifting female who rarely takes the form of a mortal woman. Then there is The Bridge, which was a rather sensual tale between a priestess and a hunter. In another tale entitled The Deathseer, there is such a memorable quote by an assassin of all people: ‘Love is the difficult choice, Thorn said quietly. Fear is easy.'” – Jessica Nicholls, author of Into the Arms of Morpheus. (Read Entire Review>)
“The backdrop of fantasy settings, magic and wizardry form metaphors for how people make deep connections and accept life-altering realizations, often through great pain and confusion.” – Michael D. Smith, author of the Jack Commer Series (Read Entire Review)
Wizards, Woods and Gods,, Wild Child Publishing. Eight dark fantasy tales exploring the mysteries of the Otherworld through tree and animal lore, magic, cosmos, love, war and mysticism.
Wizards, Woods and Gods, print edition.
© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.