In his anthology Siege Warriors, Brian G. Murray brings a medieval siege to life through the eyes of a variety of characters. Most of the stories portray cities under siege, surrounded and attacked by an opposing army. The situations described in these stories are similar, but Murray creates diversity by showing the conflict from different points of view.
Other stories take the theme in a different direction. One takes place in a building held by bandits, besieged by soldiers. There are a few other stories that seem less clearly related to the book’s theme. The diversity and different themes help to keep the reader engaged.
On the whole I found the stories to be quick, interesting and in some cases very good. My favorite story, “City Reserve,” focuses on a man who has lost all reason to live, but finds a reason to fight. Murray’s depiction of the character’s sense of loss, abandonment of hope, and desire for revenge is compelling.
Each story stands alone, rather than being connected to the others, and so Siege Warriors is an excellent book to consume a little at a time. A reader can sit down for a quick 30-page read without the need to recall everything that has gone before. I don’t know that I would call this Fantasy because there is very little in the way of magic or mystical creatures, but as entertaining and almost educational storytelling it’s really quite good.