The Law of Wolves: A Short Fable by Schuyler Hernstrom

lawofwolves

Two years ago I was brought out of my crap-fantasy induced ennui when I discovered Cirsova and the budding indy scene that was beginning to develop around that awesome magazine. The top issue, so far unsurpassed, was Cirsova #5. The centerpiece was Schuyler Hernstrom’s The First American. It blew my fucking mind. Here, after all this time searching for that elusive fantasy goodness I craved I finally found an author that delivered.

I immediately looked him up and bought his short story collection Thune’s Vision. Pure fucking metal.

This is hands down one of the best short story collections I’ve read in a long time. Hernstrom writes like a savage clone abomination of Robert Howard and Jack Vance. Barbarians, reptilians, shamans, witches, walking dead, and all sorts of dark gonzo madness fill the pages of this collection. Thune’s Vision is the Fantasy version of an underground death metal LP that you can only pick up at an invite-only exclusive show held in some cave in the middle of a dark wood. I read the whole collection in one sitting and immediately had to run to the gym to knock out a few sets of deadlifts so I could feel somewhat worthy. Read it now.
Last year I was fortunate enough to get a chance to check out an early draft of one of his stories, The Law of Wolves. It was the best short story I’ve read all year. It stuck with me and I thought about it and its critically important moral numerous times since reading it.
Finally a few weeks ago Hernstrom decided to publish it along with the first in a series of Mutant & Motorcycle post-apocalyptic novellas called Mortu and Kyrus in the White City.
The Law of Wolves is Hernstrom’s at his best. His take on the traditional Medieval European fable through a lens tinted by Lord Dunsany and Black Metal. The Law of Wolves is a moral fable that tells the truth, a much-needed antidote to the diabetes-inducing fantasy force fed to us by the House of Mouse. The Law of Wolves is a story about the price of turning your back on family, duty, and tradition. An honest truth about what happens when you play with fire, or in this case wolves.
Schuyler Hernstrom is the best independent fantasy writer out there. Read his collection Thunes Vision, read Mortu and Kyrus, and most of all read The Law of Wolves.
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