The Venturous Tales

A Collection

Fiction - Anthology
373 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Isabella Berdyna Zysk is a self-published author who enjoys a story in which good guys win in the end even if there's a struggle along the way which all don't survive. She's a storyteller at heart and keeps the narrative suitable for both adult and young adult readers. She loves a medieval-like setting in fantasy worlds where knightly chivalry and noble valor are the goal but with access to better hygiene.

Isabella Berdyna Zysk was born in Michigan, raised in southern California and central Virginia, worked and lived in several states and foreign countries, and now resides in Florida where she enjoys retirement.

Her interests include the writings of Aleksandra Layland, Ronnda Eileen Henry, Jane Austen and Shakespeare, horses, trees, sustainable farming, and art.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Venturous Tales: A Collection is a work of fiction in the fantasy, pseudo-historical, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Isabella Berdyna Zysk. This fascinating collection of medieval-style dramas contains five tales of royalty, intrigue, and family life. From nobles in disguise to secret plots, conspiracies, and miscommunications, this is a fascinating exploration of the many different dynamics back in the days of yore. The five tales each focus on specific novella-length plots where family ties are stretched to the limits, and wars and marriages may succeed or fail based on the exploits of the protagonists as they discover the truth.

Author Isabella Berdyna Zysk has crafted a gorgeous collection of historical fiction novellas, and having them grouped into this heart-warming anthology will certainly please fans who want to devour more and more of her excellent writing. The atmosphere of each of the tales was something that remained consistently immersive and detailed, and I loved being captivated by the scenery, political, and military dynamics at play. It was an emotive read because even through these heavy plot circumstances, the characters and their family structures remain at the heart of it, allowing us to relate and feel the drama alongside them. The Earl's Son was my favorite of all because I felt so deeply for Salvo, and the mystery surrounding his origin was well penned and well delivered in the plot. Overall, I would highly recommend The Venturous Tales: A Collection to all historical fantasy fans looking for realistic emotions and quick reads packed with adventures.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Isabella Berdyna Zysk compiles five of her heroic historical novellas in one novel, The Venturous Tales: A Collection. High King Wigmund commissions his Royal Storyteller, Lady Ethelfled, to write five stories of adventure, chivalry, and honor to be read as entertainment at a summit of monarchs. She gives each of her five understudies leeway to write one with the stipulation that they must be filled with knightly virtue, of royal wisdom, and of noble valor. What each of these authors creates is a masterpiece of valiant warriors viewed from a humble servant's point of view. The king reads each story and is surprised to find all of them lack the fire-breathing dragons, sword welding knights, and fainting maidens that he was anticipating.

The Venturous Tales: A Collection has a unique introduction to a collection of novellas. Isabella Berdyna Zysk skillfully merges her books and delights the reader with five distinctive stories. The author's clever introduction gives the reader an insight into each of the fictional writers and their witty ways of inserting pieces of themselves (my personal favorite was "Woof"). The stories each feature a different country and characters that are not likely to be seen as courageous. Each story holds a mystery as to who the fictional author will feature and shows Zysk at her finest. I loved how each story showed strong and independent women who supported the role they were given in life and expected their men to be brave and courageous. Zysk applies all the elements of a good historical romance collection: appealing narrative, excellent writing, and characters that excel in bravery to follow their heart. I would recommend each of her novellas or the whole collection.