“Where Man and Monster Meet” is a collection of short stories written by Eric Tamburino, who is an up and coming author. The reader is taken on a journey from the very first story, “The City of the Lost” to the last story entitled “Where Man and Monster Meet ”, all under the guise of fairy tales and fantasy. The underlying truth each story holds, will give the reader a moment of pause to contemplate what makes a person who they are. Filled with moral dilemmas and tough choices, each story will take you on a pilgrimage of self-revelation. What would I do? This question is one in which I found asking myself throughout.
In each short story, the characters were well developed and believable Eric’s style of writing naturally woos the reader into each of his worlds. His ability to describe the worlds in which his character lives is outstanding. The endings to each of these well written short stories are unexpected and invoke an emotional response from the reader.
Below is a quick synopsis of each short story.
“The City of the Lost”
The protagonist, Matthias, an actor, lives in a city where everyone must wear a mask. The mask delineates the social status of Perdius’ population. No one knows when or why the population began to wear these masks. As the story continues, Matthias meets Anastasia and becomes smitten with her. Their romance continues until the pressure to remove his mask becomes too much for Matthias and their relationship is strained. The relevancy of wearing a mask still permeates in today’s society, perhaps even more so because the sophistication of these masks make it difficult to see people for who they are.
“The Legend of Polaris”
Think magic, romance, and friendship and the legend of Polaris, the North star. This is another thought provoking tale of two young men Christopher and David whose friendship is struggling over a beautiful princess named Adrienne. The story is set in Loredana, a small city with the Polaris mountain overlooking it. Despite his schoolmate and friends’ persistent nagging to ignore the princess, David continues to pursue her. The ending of this story, prompts the reader to contemplate what one would give to be with the one they love.
“The Price of Beauty”
A city under siege with a young prince at the helm, a princess that yearned for a gift that cursed her for the rest of her life. What should Prince Alexander’s decision be? To honor or to allow jealousy to get the best of him. Princess Cassandra’s gift of immortality, eternal youth and beauty granted to her by an enchantress overshadows her every thought. An element of palpable truth that resonates with audiences today gives readers another thought provoking tale insisting the readers look within themselves, do you see the monster?
Werewolves, a grieving knight, a family protecting their own, including love and an unlikely friendship all center around Daniel, the protagonist, is not who he seems to be. Joshua and his wife Nora, a family living on a small pig farm, offer him shelter and food. Throughout this story, more details of Daniel unravel exposing him for who he really is. Susan their daughter begins to fall in love with Daniel. Deception from a long time family friend leads Daniel to battle the greatest of all werewovles. Tapping into our instincts to protect the ones we love at all costs, secrets revealed and decisions made, will keep the reader at the edge of their seats, turning page after page, as quickly as they can.
“The Demon of St. Jude’s Abby”
Jude a harsh master, a kidnapped princess, a prince who is searching for her and a wayward demon dragon, makes this fairy tale an enjoyable read with a surprising ending. Think ‘Beauty and the Beast’ meets the creative mind of Eric Tamburino! Set in an abandoned Abby, Princess Marianna awakes to find herself in an unknown place. The grim master who keeps himself hidden from her view, yet watches her from afar, sends chills up her spine. Day and night she continues to hope that her prince will soon find her, but as the days turn into weeks, she begins to lose hope. But hope prevails and love grows, demonstrating that true love holds no bounds.
“Where Man and Monster Meet”
An unnamed city, a beautiful specter named Chastity, a love lost and a man searching the depth of his soul. Perhaps odyssey is the best way to describe this last and final short story. This fairy tale will conjure up different emotions to different readers. For me, my eyes teared as I read about the journey the man was upon. Eric’s insight and ability to write about the pain and loss, and the frailty of humanity is undeniably beautiful. This hauntingly deep piece will cause you, the reader, to ponder your own existence, what makes you, you. “People imagine the soul as an unseen heart, something which can be broken and crushed, but they are wrong. The soul is like blood. It moves through everything and gives life.” (Tamburino 214)
“Where Man and Monster Meet,” is a must read if you enjoy fairytales and fantasies. Below is a link to Eric’s website. You can also find his books online at Amazon.com