“Who goes there?” The Gatekeeper squints into the darkness.

An icy breeze whispers in answer, carrying the near-imperceptible squeak of a book nerd in the air.

“Bah, another starry-eyed traveller. Come for more book recommendations, have you?”

You nod uncertainly, trying not to gawk at the pen-shaped rapier at his waist.

“Look at you!” The Gatekeeper surveys you with a critical eye. Literally one eye, because the other — if it even exists — is cloaked beneath an eyepatch. “Scrawny. Starving. Bah!”

You try not to take his assessment too personally.

“All you need is some magic on your bones, and…” He frowns at your bedraggled state. “Perhaps some romance? Humour? Action to set your blood pumping?”

You nod again, trying very hard not to resemble the bobblehead figurine in your dusty old car back home.

And yet…

“Ah,” the Gatekeeper says after a pause, beady eye glittering in the night. “I see what your soul craves. What you need…” A knowing, catlike grin curves his lips. “Is a bit of everything.”

For the first time in a long time, you smile back.


I was commissioned to write an article on why one should consider reading epic fantasy along with book recommendations, but I was having a little trouble describing the sheer scope of themes and subgenres without wandering into exposition hell — or worse, ending up with a listicle (cue shudder). I tend to write random, interlude-style entries in my writing journal as a warm-up of sorts, so I figured I’d talk about fantasy in much the same way 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this little snippet!

Would you like to see more interlude-style stories? Let me know!

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