"And above all watch with glittering eyes the world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

6 August 2015


I was given an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this anthology in return for an honest review.

South African indie authors are at it again and another gem of an anthology has just been released. Firmly set in fantasy, the seven authors have taken one common theme and have woven their magic into it, producing this very entertaining read. The Phoenix anthology will satisfy readers who enjoy fantasy, escapism, action, humour and even sheer horror. So, if you’re not a fan of any of the above, then The Flight of the Phoenix is not for you. But, if you are, you are certainly in for a treat.
Below I have reviewed a few of my favourite stories from this edition.

It would not be an understatement to say that Elmien Grove, author of Gargoyles, should confidently brand herself as a skilled horror writer. Her story takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and will leave you wondering, in terror: What if this really happened? Being a fan of the horror/thriller genres, I enjoyed every minute of this read.

The Phoenix Syndrome, by HJ Kruger had a good story line. His offering is fast-paced and jam-packed with action. One does, however, get the feeling that this story is actually a novella or novel squeezed into the word count limitation of a short story. It would be interesting to see what this author can do outside of these constraints.

Natalie Rivener offers a buccaneering tale with a difference in Captive. The story is well-written and engaging, though it does feel like only the start of a larger story. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

The stand-out story for me, though, was The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo by Rhyen E. Knight. With his quirky Douglas-Adams-esque style of writing, Knight made me laugh out loud and cringe on behalf of the awkward protagonist in all the right places. He managed to make Tom a believable and likeable character. The story flowed effortlessly and was an easy read. If this is Knight’s signature style of writing and brand of humour, then I would be eager to read more of his future works.

An impressive example of South African authors taking the indie publishing world by storm once more. The Flight of the Phoenix is a spell-binding, thought-provoking and, at times, deliciously dark read. If you're a fan of the supernatural, paranormal or fantastical, then this is a must to add to your reading list.

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