Book Review: Night Winds by Karl Edward Wagner

An excellent collection of Kane stories by the incredible Karl Edward Wagner.

Although most of the stories are of very high quality, two of them stand out as sublime works of brilliance. These are ‘The Dark Muse,’ in which Kane helps a decadent but obsessive poet achieve his ambition of total – and terrible – artistic mastery; and ‘Raven’s Eyrie,’ a morally twisted tale of past transgressions, reversals, surprises – and a black demon hound on the prowl. These stories, and all others in the collection, are graced by Wagner’s cinematic and often restrained storytelling style, in which horrible events and dire revelations are often left for the reader to inevitably infer. Structurally the stories are lean and concise. Wagner’s prose style, as usual, is baroque, sumptuous, and decadent, reminiscent of the best of REH with occasional shades of Clark Ashton Smith. These are not just some of the best Kane stories, but some of the best fantasy stories in general.