Welcome to the blog of Ron Leighton, Fantasy Author

Join me in the Shining Lands where gods, giants, werewolves, vampires and bears are real. (Oh, and I may share my art once in awhile so it doesn't get lonely in the portfolio.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Read the Reviews!

From http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ronrexl

For 'Child of Chaos'

Review by: Daniel Swensen on Nov. 11, 2011 : star star star star A concise, gruesome little story with a stark twist at the end. A perfect short read.

Review by: Tessa Jones on Oct. 17, 2011 : star star star star star
From the first page, you are dropped immediately into Leighton's dark, starkly painted world. There's no room here for purple prose. Child of Chaos is short, to the point, and delightfully twisted, a tale of perception and power misused. The pacing was spot on, and the ending satisfying. Highly recommended!
(review of free book)
Review by: Maureen Hovermale on Oct. 12, 2011 : star star star star star
A masterfully crafted short story. The author knows how to create vivid characters that reach into the readers' minds and live.
This knocked me back with the intricacies expressed in such a short amount of time. I would buy anything he writes after a sample like this.
(review of free book)
Review by: Ron Knight on Oct. 06, 2011 : star star star star star
“This is an absolutely terrific and entertaining story.” ~ Ron Knight
(review of free book)
Review by: Mackenzie Brown on Oct. 05, 2011 : star star star star star
A well written and compelling tale set in the fantasy world Ron has painstakingly created. The characters are well drawn and their stark existence beautifully portrayed. The story also had a nice pace and like all great short stories you are right in the centre of everything from the first word, right up until the nicely works twist. Well done Ron, highly commended.
(review of free book)
Review by: Darryl Ellrott on Oct. 05, 2011 : star star star
I’ve never made it a secret that I’m a comic reader from way back. I preferred the superhero genre, but I was also partial to the horror and mystery comics as well. Instead of the multi-issue story arcs so popular with the former, titles like House of Secrets, The Witching Hour, and Tales of the Unexpected dealt with shorter, more compact morality tales. These magazines were the watered-down 1970’s descendants of the famous EC Horror yarns of the 1950’s, the ones that almost got the comics industry run out of business. Even though these titles lacked much of the graphic violence of their predecessors, they still packed some punch with their twist endings, many of which involved grim supernatural justice being done on some wrongdoer.
Ron Leighton’s short story “Child of Chaos” simultaneously evokes Abercrombie, Jackson, and Gaines. As in Joe Abercrombie of First Law fame for the setting and characters, horror icon Shirley Jackson of “The Lottery” for plot and theme, and William Gaines, publisher of EC comics for the ending. The story deals with a group of iron-age villagers who must decide how to deal with an unwelcome visitor to the town’s granary. The village elders argue amongst themselves about whether the stunted and deformed creature they’ve captured, the “Child of Chaos,” is truly a monster. Should it be killed or released? Has the town’s food supply been defiled by the touch of a demon, or should the creature be treated like any other trespassing animal?
First let me say that Ron Leighton can write. He’s got pro level skills. The time, place, and setting are all painted in deft strokes. There’s none of the purple similes and overdone description of fantasy novices who are trying too hard. This little one-act is primarily a dialogue piece, and Leighton’s exchanges are spot-on and snappy. These are real villagers arguing among themselves. The clichés are kept to an absolute minimum. Like Jackson’s famous “Lottery,” “Child of Chaos” is all about the conflict between Society and the Outsider. There’s even a little bit of Dogma vs. Reason thrown in. As for the ending (which I will not give away,) well, as the Crypt Keeper would say, “Heh, heh, heh!” “Child of Chaos” is very short, but well worth reading ‘cause it’s so well written. I’d give it 3 ½ stars out of five. See you soon!
-- Darryl
For 'A Cheerful Smoke for the Dead'

Review by: Daniel Swensen on Nov. 15, 2011 : star star star A macabre story reminiscent of somewhere between a Hammer film and the old E.C. comics. Dark divinity, gruesome mystery -- what more could you want from a monster story?

Review by: Mackenzie Brown on Oct. 19, 2011 : star star star star star
A skilful slant on the ageless vampire theme. Cleverly plotted and carefully crafted, you can almost feel the hunger of the careworn characters, whether it is food or blood they crave. Ron Leighton is a master at creating a world none of us would wish to inhabit and wringing every drop of plot out of the short story framework. This is a writer who I predict will transfer his work with great skill and style to the broader canvass of a novel.
(review of free book)
Review by: Pamela Lyn on Aug. 15, 2011 : star star star star star
I love monsters who behave like...well...monsters. This take on vampires takes you back to the old school creatures that were to be feared. Good, quick and enjoyable read.
(review of free book)
Review by: estruda on July 12, 2011 : star star star star star
This is a very riviting story you can allmost taste the atmosphere you feel as though you are actually in the streets with them ,has you on the edge of your seat, i absolutely loved it ,beautifully written and very descriptive.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Ron Knight on June 24, 2011 : star star star
Excellent flow, descriptions, dialogue, and entertaining storytelling. ~ Ron Knight
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Tessa Jones on June 17, 2011 : star star star star star
These vampires definitely do not sparkle! Ron Leighton has given us a gritty, unromantic look at one of the oldest evils to inhabit the earth. I'm still shivering...

Highly recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: S.J. Wist on June 16, 2011 : star star star star star
If you're into vampires and want a fresh, but grounded in an older time take on them, this short story will give you a good spook. I'm very interested to see if Ron Leighton's upcoming novel will have the same effect. I will be carrying extra lights around until then.


  1. Hi Ron,

    I like the idea of presenting your reviews like this. I'm considering doing it even with those nigh on inevitable 1 star reviews as well.

    These read quite well and generally seem informed and insightful. I do find it slightly curious that two only gave you 3 stars when they didn't really have anything negative to say. This makes me wonder about their rating scale, of course. Usually when a book gets three stars from a reviewer, there are certain problems that get highlighted while remaining relatively positive overall. Nevertheless, it all bodes well so far!

    Also, the culture around reviewing is really evolving, from what I can tell. I find it interesting that so many people are taking an interest in it and respect the author and/or other readers to the point that they are willing to write them and, on some occasions, put so much effort into them. I really appreciate informative reviews and believe that the more the practice can be promoted, the better it will be for everyone.

    Speak to you later ...

  2. Yeah, I have been pretty much blown away by the reviews so far. And I completely wondered the same thing about the three star reviews. Those were very positive and, particularly Darryl Ellrott's, lots of fun to read all by themselves.

    I am still curious what you think of the map. :)