The Mark of the Shadow Grove: Daughters of the gathering dusk and students of blackest spellcraft, the women of the Schermerhorn clan are enigmas made flesh. Seers for time immemorial, they are keepers of primeval knowledge.
They are wise in the ways of the Old Religion. And they are destroyers of men.
Do the women of the Schermerhorn clan drive the men they encounter to their destruction? Or are their actions governed by specters on the periphery of human consciousness?
The Schermerhorn women will soon learn what dwells in the oldest books and what lurks in the flickering shadows beyond the candlelight. – Goodreads
The Mark of the Shadow Grove Review
The Mark of the Shadow Grove is a beautifully written exploration of some of the more intriguing and dark aspects of the old world. From necromancy to insanity and beyond, Smeltzer gives you three soft horror tales to ensnare the senses. It’s easy to lose yourself within the masterful exercise of the man’s vocabulary, as he neatly walks the narrow line between too much and not enough in terms of description. It’s obvious he loves his words, and just as clear that he knows how to avoid overuse of them.
These stories make you think and sweep you away. A creepiness that settles under your skin, the clench of your heart at the pain of young lives lost, the fascination of watching impertinent people plunge willingly into places they aren’t meant to go. One thing I am pleased to point out about The Mark of the Shadow Grove is that while child loss – still birth & death due to illness – are mentioned within (2nd story), the author handles it very well. There are no graphic descriptions, just a fleeting mention and flashback to the agony without utilizing unnecessary visuals. That’s how it’s meant to be done.
Ross Smeltzer is definitely an author to pay attention to. I think we’ll see great things from this author in the future. It’s hard to believe that this is his debut work. While this isn’t what I would call true horror, but more a dance around the edge of paranormal creepiness, it is still a delight to read and I think that especially the first story will creep lots of readers out.