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Reviewed by Nicholus Schroeder for Readers' Favorite
Tales of Asterra is a collection of short stories set in a fantasy world. Michael Frank Rizzo’s anthology has tales of heroism and loss, triumphs, and defeats. Each magical tale is recounted by Penniforth Rodgers, the witty narrator, and each feels right at home under the umbrella of fantasy. From the whimsical fairies in Julia’s Great Adventure, that create treasures worthy of men’s greed, to brave Templars in The Fires of Prescus, who valiantly fight to protect the city, get ready to be transported to the magical realm of Asterra. While your time there may be short, your journey will be unforgettable as you will be awestruck while taking in the sights and world of Asterra.
The stories in Tales of Asterra are well-written and a pleasure to read. They had great plots, lovable characters, and some deep lore - considering their length. Each story flowed across the page beautifully and I could feel the passion that Michael Frank Rizzo put into his work. He left nothing to chance and wrote down only the best. While I had my favorites in the collection, I certainly didn't dislike any of the other stories. They’re all paced just right and were fun to read. The connections between the stories were a nice touch and helped immerse me further. The glorious illustrations by Alejandro Colucci accentuated the experience as they fitted right in with the different themes and settings. They complemented the haunting, dreary atmosphere in Candles of the Ochre Halls and made each story more memorable, thanks to their careful placement. An excellent read and one I recommend to fantasy lovers.