Speaking of Swords & Dark Magic, Larry writes:
Caitlín R. Kiernan’s “The Sea-Troll’s Daughter” brilliantly subverts the ugly/evil, handsome/good stereotypes embedded in so many tales, as the hero becomes more the villain and the presumed villain takes on heroic qualities that are the inverse of those presented in more traditional tales. Gene Wolfe’s “Bloodsport” is perhaps one of his better short fictions in recent years, as he still manages to confound and entrap the reader with the metaphysical qualities of the first-person narrator and his possible unreliability. These two stories alone, combined with several solid if not spectacular contributions from the likes of Steven Erikson and Michael Moorcock, help make Swords & Dark Magic a recommended anthology of heroic fantasy.Of Salute the Dark he says:
The narrative arc that concludes in the fourth volume, Salute the Dark, is sharp, with little sense of extraneous detail thrown in to create a false sense of ponderousness. Tchaikovsky also weaves in elements from other subgenres such as steampunk to create a setting that feels different from traditional heroic fantasies. Combined with his quasi-magical totemic use of insects (beetles, wasps, bees, spiders, moths, mantis, ants, etc.), the atmosphere feels fresh. Tchaikovsky’s characters are complex and yet direct, which allows the author to develop and transform their personalities and actions as necessary. By the time the introductory plot arc concludes with Salute the Dark, the reader will have found herself wondering just where from here Tchaikovsky is heading with his overall series, considering how well he concludes several character and subplot arcs.