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The Court of Lies, by Mark Teppo
Genre: Mixed Genre
Publisher: Fairwood Press
Published: 2014
Review Posted: 6/23/2014
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

The Court of Lies, by Mark Teppo

Book Review by Jeremy D. Carr

Have you read this book?

The Court of Lies by Mark Teppo is a collection of various short stories covering a wide scope in the sci-fi/fantasy genres. From mermaids to werewolves to Orwellian future-scapes to Santa and the North Pole at Christmas time, this collection shows the power of Mark Teppo's imagination and his prowess at bringing it into the world.

I enjoyed a majority of these stories, however, in a few cases, I did find the writing to be a bit ostentatious and overly enigmatic. Mark Teppo is obviously a "big idea" guy, and I think some of these stories just were not big enough to fit the idea. This was my first time reading Mark Teppo, and although I only gave this book 3/5 stars, it did pique my curiosity in his longer work, and I look forward to checking out his Codex of Souls series to see what his imagination can do when given plenty of room to run.

If you are a Teppo fan definitely give this book a look, and if you are not maybe give it a shot anyway if it sounds like your thing. Here is a quick look at the stories in the collection to help you decide.

"How the Mermaid Lost Her Song" - some problems are universal, a battered mermaid pays the ultimate price for freedom

"The Transformation of Nickolaus Caspian" -- a disturbed artist faces the source of his madness... and his destiny

"Chance Island" -- a gothic tale of a fisherman who sets foot on the wrong shore

"The Nihil Nation Manifesto" -- kill your television and learn to LISTEN!

"Mallory's Quick-Quick Seduction Cookies" -- a world famous chef with most dangerous tastes

"The Queen of Faith" -- seven poker players enter a game where the stakes get higher than any of them bargained for

"Wolves, In Darkness" -- a glimpse into the truth behind the myth of werewolves

"Death" -- behind the scenes of the ultimate performance

"Sequence" -- every sequence of events takes a turn at some point, this one a sharp one

"Upon Drinking a Half-Glass of the Olde Saturnine Toade" -- beware when imbibing an alchemist's brew, and always maintain your faith

"The Surgery of Self" -- some problems can only be fixed from within

"The Lost Technique of Blackmail" -- an Orwellian Google-scape where information is the most valuable weapon

"De Orso Meo Ad Venticum" -- a soliloquy on the deconstruction of belief

"Heart of the Rail" -- an old train man finds new life in his work

"Hauntvine" -- a singing plant that gives voice to the dead

"The One That Got Away" -- sometimes lies are easier than the truth

"A Christmas Wish (redux)" -- Santa Claus is real, and he is a total bad-ass!
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