So I think I’m slightly obsessed with this series! The Blandford Candy series is witty, humorous, realistic and engrossing, so when I saw that there were short stories I knew I wanted to read them! I absolutely love Jemahl’s writing.
These short stories cover a variety of areas within this world and intertwine to grow your background knowledge of this world and those in it. There are five short stories:
The Mercenary Creed: A mercenary is placed in an impossible command.
Davenant’s Egg: A poet seeks redemption for his past crimes.
The Gravediggers: Digging is hard work in a town besieged.
A Dowry Cow: A cheesy love story.
The Red Regiment: Two boys follow their hero in search of glory.
(The above was taken from Jemahl Evans’ website which you can find here)
My absolute favourite story has to be The Red Regiment, and surprisingly it isn’t due to the cameo present. I love the reality check that is given to these young boys who think that they are going to have a fun and entertaining story to tell their friends and that the stories given about the war are true. In reality, it is a bloody and gory mess which will screw with your head and dispel any myths you have about the glory of battle.
A Dowry Cow is a quick and casual tale, which is placed perfectly within the set of five. It breaks up the tension and provides as silly and easy story to ease your mind a little, it’s nice and funny and I enjoyed it.
The Gravediggers starts off as more of a silly story, with the local homeless drunkard and an innocent man. The ending caught me off guard and was surprisingly touching, for such a short story.
Davenant’s Egg and was probably my least favourite section of this book, and yet I still really enjoyed it.It was interesting seeing Humpty Dumpty’s possible origin story and also seeing this annoying man fail when his ego has been boosted so high.
The Mercenary Creed was an interesting start to the book, one which plays a larger role throughout the collection than I had assumed at first. There are some really interesting characters which would be interesting to hear more about.
This is such a good novella with interesting characters, lots of development and addition of extra material into this ‘world’ (a term I use loosely as this series is so historically accurate that it feels like a lie). I will shout about this book needing more recognition until so many more people find it, the historical accuracy mix with the humour and the engrossing characters is a mix which works so well together, with Evan’s writing style really pulling the whole thing off. I’m really looking forward to reading more from this series, if there are any more books (God I hope so!), and finding more out about these characters and how they develop and react to the end result of this war.
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