Thebes Press, out now
Erimem is determined to head to Stalingrad at the height of the siege in 1942…
Iain McLaughlin’s novella acts as a coda in part to the enjoyable first story in the range, dealing in part with some of the emotional fallout from the events for the key characters, as well as giving us further indications as to how time travel will be handled in the range. McLaughlin has opted to present the story from first-person multiple points of view, which works pretty well – there’s the odd moment where the “voice” of the characters becomes a little generic, but overall if you’ve read the first book, you can take a good guess as to whose head we’re in. The story could probably have benefitted from a bit more space but it still packs a punch, with a native Stalingrader key to the resolution.
There’s further resolution in Claire Bartlett’s short story that follows for one of the characters – although it quite deliberately sets up further plotlines for development down the line. So far, the range has been written by those who created the character; it will be interesting to see how it grows with Erimem seen through the eyes of other writers.
Verdict: A short but effective continuation of the former Pharaoh’s story. 7/10