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The Kiln-Fired Heart by Nick Harper

Book cover for The Kiln-fired Heart

In celebration of Nick Harper Day I read the third story in the 'late' author’s Skitters collection and it just might be the best, bringing a dark fairytale vibe to the horror.

A woman named Eveline is given a strange gift from a river bound deity which she uses to craft living clay sculptures. Her partner is an equally gifted jewellery maker & harbours secrets of his own. Meanwhile another girl from their village is envious of Eveline’s gift & will do anything to get her hands on it.

In only 30 or so pages, Harper skilfully weaves the three threads together, crafting a deliciously dark tale, brought to life with writing that flows and shimmers like the river at the centre of the story.

And in the end we get a brilliant conclusion to the main story whilst setting up an equally enticing future tale, which I hope will be released posthumously at some point.

I can’t recommend the Skitters stories enough, as they demonstrate an impressive evolution in storytelling from the author, which his successor Jay Alexander will no doubt carry into the future.

5 out of 5.

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