The second short story collection of Tim Pratt, Hart & Boot & Other Stories features thirteen stories that tackle various concepts and genres. While most of the stories still retain that mythology-inspired influence that is undeniably Pratt, they tend to have more closure compared to the stories in the previous short story collection. They’re nonetheless quick and easy reads however and anyone can get immersed in Pratt’s writing style. What caught my interest was how Pratt can have stories called “Romanticore” and “Lachrymose and the Golden Egg” yet end up with a serious, compelling story that doesn't make the title sound ludicrous. My favorite story in the collection, hands down, is the aforementioned “Romanticore”. The protagonist has a very unique—if sometimes unsympathetic—voice, the mix of reality with fantasy is impressive, and most importantly, the three central characters are faithful to how they are portrayed and gives the story a satisfying end. “Living with the Harpy” is a close runner-up as it works on a metaphorical as well as a literal level and character development is the key to the effectiveness of this story. “Terrible Ones” has this fate-defying vibe to it and defies the conventions of the mythology from which Pratt drew it from. Overall, this is an interesting collection from Pratt but I honestly recommend Little Gods as the definitive book of short stories by the author. Nonetheless, this book easily appeals to anyone as Pratt has an easy-going and compelling voice.
Rating: 3.5/5.Rating System:
1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.