On the Banks of the River of Heaven

Richard Parks, Prime (www.prime-books.com), $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60701-226-9
Gods, mortals, and entities somewhere in between provide provocative reflections on human nature in this breezy collection of 14 fantasy stories. In "The Finer Points of Destruction," a divorced man caught in the crossfire between the Hindu goddess Kali Ma and her estranged husband, Shiva, draws on his marriage counseling skills to heal their wounds and his own. In "The Twa Corbies, Revisited," a flesh-eating ghoul ponders the nature of his ghoulishness and comes to a better understanding of the human being he once was. The title story is a delightful folktale meditation on the mysteries of love and friendship. Parks (Hereafter, and After) relates these tales in a lyrical style that is sympathetic without being sentimental, straddling the boundary between the realistic and the romantic. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
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