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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Golden Helm: More Tales from the Edge of Sleep is a collection of fantasy short stories written by Victoria Randall. In her iconic collection, Randall explores realms of fantasy that include epic tales of dragons, fanciful stories of unicorns and virgins, glimpses at the dark horror of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and even a new take on the transfiguration from man to werewolf during the full phase of the moon. In her opening story, The Golden Helm, a young wife’s agony over being unable to have children sends her distraught husband on an adventure that will change their lives and restore harmony to their world. In Dinosaur Voices, a young child knows all too well what dangers lie within the seemingly innocent bath her cruel aunt is determined to have her bathe in. And in Apple Seed, a young girl’s life is bordered by her beloved tree which is far more sentient than anyone dreams.
Victoria Randall’s collection of fantasy short stories, The Golden Helm: More Tales from the Edge of Sleep, is a well-written and engaging set of stories featuring compelling characters who find themselves in most unusual situations. I especially enjoyed Randall’s homage to Lovecraft: Beyond the Caverns of Madness, which evoked memories of Lovecraft’s short story: Beyond the Walls of Sleep and her story about archaeologist John Riley seemed to materialize straight out of Lovecraft’s fevered imagination. Incident in the Library is a masterful blend of science fiction and fantasy and was a delight to read. My favorite tale, however, would have to be Scent of Evil, which is an atmospheric and moody werewolf tale that has depth and power. Randall’s writing is smooth and assured, and her abilities to enthrall and challenge the imagination are well represented within the pages of this collection. The Golden Helm: More Tales from the Edge of Sleep is most highly recommended.