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The Adventures of Corwyn
Chad Corrie
Aspirations Media, 312 pages
The Adventures of Corwyn
Chad Corrie
A Minnesota native, Chad Corrie has written a wide array of material from such varied genres as horror, sci-fi and contemporary fiction along with comic scripting, poetry, screen plays, stage plays and more. Chad has also been an editor and writer for an online magazine, and explored the world of publication with a selection of previous business ventures. Currently he is writing comic scripts, prose novels and recently moved into short dramatic skits as he continues working on a new publishing venture as well as seeking out more avenues in which to see his work get published. His books include the novels The Seer's Quest (2004), Path of Power (2006), and Gambit's End (2007), and the graphic novel Tales of Tralodren: The Beginning (2007)

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A review by Georges T. Dodds

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Chad Corrie's The Adventures of Corwyn consists of one novella "Rainer's Legacy" and 4 short stories: "Maiden Rock," "Where Dreams Go To Die," "Charity for Halflings," and "Sellswords and Snake Oil," all set in Corrie's fairly conventional pseudo-mediæval land of Tralodren. In his introduction, Corrie states that, besides their obvious qualities, the conciseness and ability to span a wide time scale of Robert E. Howard's Conan tales inspired him to try his hand at some short fantasy tales, after penning a trilogy and a graphic novel. While neither Corrie nor anyone else before or since has written quite like R.E. Howard, these stories are well constructed, entertaining, have engaging characters, and use standard fantasy tropes with humour and a modicum of originality.

"Rainer's Legacy" is the sort of adventure that Conan could have had, perhaps on a return trip to his native Cimmeria. However, Corwyn is a largely pacifist bard who gets himself and his adventuresome colleagues out of trouble more by brains than by brawn -- and there's plenty of nasty trouble on a northerly island said to house the fountain of youth. While Corrie doesn't follow the pulp idiom of the 1930s, thematically "Rainer's Legacy" wouldn't have been out of place in a Weird Tales issue of that era.

Of the remaining adventures of Corwyn, "Charity for Halflings," and "Sellswords and Snake Oil," are pretty standard fare, and not particularly remarkable -- in particular, the former doesn't seem to have much of a point besides highlighting Corwyn's cleverness -- it might be a fine passage in a novel setting the scene for further occurrences or in developing Corwyn's character, but alone it doesn't do much. However, the two remaining stories ("Maiden Rock," and "Where Dreams Go To Die"), while in a decidedly non-sword and sorcery vein, evoke something of the pagan and classic mythologies of older fantasy (e.g. Arthur Machen)and inquire into the role of the bard in society. Both are lovely pieces in their genre. In "Maiden Rock," Corwyn communes with his muse on a remote hillside, and evolves to a new level of understanding of his craft, while "Where Dreams Go To Die" tells of a strange inn where untold stories and songs are passed on, in the tradition of the bards, but satisfy a further noble purpose.

Corrie's The Adventures of Corwyn if a bit uneven, is worth a read as an entertaining, diverse, often humorous, yet thoughtful set of tales, with an interesting fantasy hero who doesn't need swords and wizardry to effect his ends.

Copyright © 2008 by Georges T. Dodds

Georges Dodds is a research scientist whose interests lie predominantly in both English and French pre-1950 imaginative fiction. Besides reviews and articles at SFSite and in fanzines such as Argentus, Pulpdom and WARP, he has published peer-reviewed articles in fields ranging from folklore to water resource management. He is the creator and co-curator of The Ape-Man, His Kith and Kin a website exploring thematic precursors of Tarzan of the Apes, as well as works having possibly served as Edgar Rice Burroughs' documentary sources. The close to 100 e-texts include a number of first time translations from the French by himself and others. Georges is also the creator and curator of a website dedicated to William Murray Graydon (1864-1946), a prolific American-born author of boys' adventures. The website houses biographical, and bibliographical materials, as well as a score of novels, and over 100 short stories.


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