I recently read two short stories by Mark Lawrence, which left me with a distinct certainty, that if someone had made a decision for me, ruling that I was only allowed to read Mark Lawrence for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even object. The first of these stories was Bad Seed.
‘Bad Seed’ is a dark tale about human nature, guilt and atonement. It grabs you by the throat with its first sentence and never lets you go. The prose has a breath-taking beauty to it that captures your heart and a profoundness that echoes within. It reaches beyond the boundaries of fantasy, feels honest and real, despite the setting. The story itself centres around fighting, expertly describing both the physical scenes and the inner struggles.
Mark Lawrence wields the language as only a true master can. It bends around you obediently, stirs you, shapes you, comforts you and breaks you until you become more than before.
This is where four thousand words ceases to be just a piece of fiction. This is where it becomes art.
Bad Seed is to appear in the first issue of the Grimdark Magazine, out 1st October 2014.