The Fates sit, spin, and weave the fabric of all human life. Some people’s threads are guided to the path of true love, some are lucky in love and life, some have their lives or threads cut short, while still others have waited many lifetimes to find their true love again. All human life is woven into a tapestry by the Fates with some surprising and unexpected results, even to the Fates themselves. Three Fates weaves the stories of three very different couples, from werewolves in Germany to Scandinavians in California.
Fate Delivers a Prince by Andrew Grey gives us a young werewolf with a terrible itch who visits Germany with his family only to run into a prince who takes his royal duties very seriously. Only an intervention by Clotho will put these two on a path to love.
Jump by Mary Calmes brings us into the lives of Egyptian gods and the Fates. When one god loses his mortal lover, he renounces his immortality and dies. Bereft, his brother God begs the Fates interference to bring the two back together, no matter how many lives each must live before they find each other again.
Believed You Were Lucky by Amy Lane stars Loki and Thor as the Nordic gods whose meddling changes the patterns of two families, giving one the abundance of luck after stealing the luck from another. When Lief, the lucky bike messenger saves the life of Hacon, who is laboring under a family curse, the Fates have a chance to right a wrong as the Gods look on.
What a remarkable trio of stories by three amazing authors. In each story, the Fates weave out the pattern of peoples lives but things never go as planned, not without a little interference by the weavers themselves. If you have ever heard someone say “well, it must have been fate” and you believed it, then these stories are for you.
In Andrew Grey’s story, he brings the Greek Gods, or rather Clotho, the youngest of the Moirai, or Fates, to help two young lovers accept their destiny. Clotho is responsible for making decisions, weaving the human story. When it looks like Cheyanne, the young were, is going to listen to his insecurities and poor self image instead of attending the ball, Clotho sends the appropriate dress and instructions to send him to the ball and a meeting with his prince. Chey is an endearing young man, whose position in the family as the baby, plus an undiagnosed skin disease, has turned him into someone who craves a library and books over human interaction and society. The descriptions of Chey interactions with his father were so touching and had that authentic feel of a father and son trying to navigate their issues with each other. In fact, all the relationships here feel very real whether it is family dynamics or odd man out at the ball. Reading this story gave me the feeling of being there watching it all unfold. Grey gives us a great sense of setting with his descriptions of the buildings and streets in Munich, Germany combined with terrific characterizations. And the idea that love is an itch you must scratch as well as the balm? Priceless. And so is this gentle tale of love and a forever prince.
Anubis and Horus come to life in Mary Calmes’ touching tale of love lost and centuries later found once more. Haven’t you ever looked at someone and sensed an immediate connection beyond all logic? I did and let the moment and the person go by to my everlasting regret. So this story had a special resonance for me. When Raza and Cassidy meet and seem to know one another, I almost wept so right did Mary Calmes get that feeling, that moment in time. And the character of Cassidy Jane is someone I have never seen from Calmes before. Short, skinny, bald, and wearer of bowties! I kept thinking where did you come from? And I loved him! And Raza, seemingly implacable until Fate smacks him in the chest in the form of Cass and they put right what went horribly wrong so long ago. But this is a Mary Calmes story, so you have two lovable and oh so human best friends for our two main characters, Snow Drake and Jamie Kidd. I loved them too. And there is angst, and anxiety towards the end that it will all go wrong again but the Fates have other ideas, and so does Anubis. That climatic scene at the end? Scary and fun? Ah, Mary Calmes, you did it again. This was wonderful. I so love Cass! Can we please see all of these people again?
Our third and last weaver of human destiny is Amy Lane. Here she invokes the Gods of Asgard and the Fates called Verdandi (neccessity), Urdh (fate), and Skuld (being). Here the Fates, or Norns, also known as the three sisters, live under the world tree,Yggdrasil, in the realm of Asgard. They weave together the destinies of men and gods as well as the changing laws of the cosmos. Their tapestry was interrupted, the pattern broken when Loki comes and steals a golden thread of luck from one baby and gives it to another. The Fates are horrified at Loki’s act; Skuld takes the broken threads and spit splices them together as best she can. This results in “The family with the thread, they shall be lucky, long-lived, and blessed—mostly. And the family without? They shall be unlucky and doomed—but optimistic and intelligent and resourceful.” A temporary fix until a solution comes around in the form of sons from each family that meet and heal the break in their destinies in a most extraordinary way. Here we meet two of the most remarkable creations, two sons of Norway residing in California, undeniable in their uniqueness and depth of character. Lief, the lucky “Thundergod” of bike messengers glows his way off the pages and into our hearts, his personality larger than can be contained within this story. Hacon Haldor, aka Hake, took a little longer to creep into my heart. Dark, thin, brooding, he can kill tanks of tropical fish by freezing them and make his mother’s plants turn black as he passes, although he doesn’t really believe he is to blame no matter what his ex boyfriend and brother says. Flanking these remarkable beings are Lethal, a pint sized bit of attitude and energy who is Lief’s best friend, Andre who is Hake’s ex boyfriend and cop, and two unforgettable cats, Loki (of course) and Vanir who have their own roles to play. Element upon element, layer upon layer, the yarn Amy Lane has woven intertwines until we are given a story tremendous in scope, as large as Asgard itself. We have mythological elements, the scary world of bike messengers, marvelous explanations of the meaning of stories and hero figures, knitting, and some of the best cussing phraseology that has come down the pike. I am talking some memorable wall hangings and cross stitch pillows just screaming out to be made with those phrases in mind. And no I cannot repeat them here. You will have to read the story! Uh hem.
I loved these stories. They spoke to my mind and my heart. Clearly these wonderful authors were fated to write them as we are to read them, enjoy them and bring them close. Don’t pass these by, don’t give Loki a reason to make more mischief (like he needs any). Whether you believe in Fate or happenstance, these stories are for you. No quibbles here. Trust me. You’ll love them.
Cover art by Christine Griffin. Love it. What a great sexy cover. Amy Lane says she is the Fate in the hoodie. Of course she is. So who do you think are the other two?