Of Swine and Rose by Ilona Andrews is now available in Amazon. I read it back when it was available as free fiction on their site as Days of Swine and Roses. Now that it has a new cover and is available for purchase, I thought I’d spread the word by sharing my thoughts about this short story.
Here’s the description from the authors’ blog:
A young adult short story about a girl, a pig, some magic, and the worst date ever.
Chad Thurman is a thug, who carries brass knuckles in both pockets and lays magic traps for intruders into “his” neighborhood. The last thing Alena Koronov wants to do is to go on the date with him. But when her family pressures her, she can’t say no. Now the ice-cream is absent, the pig is running for its life, and we won’t even mention the dead guy…
I love the cover for this one – I like how the reds stand out against the black background. I don’t have much experience reviewing short stories because I’m afraid of saying too much that I give away the story. Also, I feel like I’m a bit biased when it comes to Ilona and Gordon’s writing because I’d read anything that they come up with. I’m continually amazed at how they can create (and keep track of) different fiction worlds. In Of Swine and Roses, magical families claim certain territories as their own and they also go into business ventures that utilize their magical abilities. Alena Koronov doesn’t want to go on a date with Chad Thurman, who she believes is a thug. Her family was never rich to begin with and they need to be in good terms with the Thurmans for their business so she’s persuaded to go out with him. So Alena reluctantly says yes and a disaster of a date takes place. Based on the title, you know that there are roses and a pig in this one. I really enjoyed reading this one and would gladly read more stories from this world. I even have a favorite quote from Alena’s mother:
Do you know what separates adults from children? Self-discipline. We don’t want to go to work, we don’t want to do our chores, and we don’t want to make unpleasant decisions, but we do all those things because we’re aware of the consequences which will follow if we don’t.
If you’re an Ilona Andrews fan, then I know it won’t take more convincing for you to read this. If you’ve never read their work, I think it would be a good idea to start with their short fiction to get an idea of whether you’d like the books in their series. I’m not much of an urban fantasy fan but I love both the Kate Daniels and the Edge series.