Snowbound, by Mark P. Kolba
Exciting fantasy short story. Lleyyanir, an elven messenger, has a vital message to deliver; at stake are the lives of thousands of innocent people. But a shortcut through the mountains turns into disaster as he's trapped in a cave with no way out. Honor struggles with necessity as he must decide whether to open the message he was given - an unforgivable crime - and learn the truth of the errand he was sent on.
Tense and exciting, with a real sense of claustrophobia as Lleyyanir comes to terms with his plight. Lleyyanir and the other characters are distinct and interesting, and just enough of the world and the back story is given to fill in the blanks without having to wade through lots of infodumping. Like all of Mr. Kolba's short fiction, the world is interesting and the characters engaging. I've enjoyed all of his short stories I've read so far, and I'm lookng forward to reading his longer works.
Lady of the Woods, by Mark P. Kolba
Cute story about magical beings living in the woods, and how sometimes a threat is only a threat if you think it is. Kind of short on plot, but as with all of Mr. Kolba's short fiction, I enjoyed spending time in his fantasy world with the engaging, interesting characters he writes.
And while I'm at it, here's a plug for Mark P. Kolba's other work. I've read "Dragon's Draught" and "The Power to Heal", and enjoyed them both muchly, and I just now bought "The Star of Amalore". You can also get all five of his stories in the collection Fantastical Tales. I'm also looking forward to reading Awakening from the Shadows, the first novel in his Mirynthir Chronicles series, and he also has an interesting-looking thriller out, Shattered.
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