Short Story Quick Reviews – The Gauntlet and The Queen’s Witch

The Gauntlet: A Kit Marlowe Short

By Karen Chance

Smashwords Edition – Free Nook download from Barnes & Noble

3.75 stars

Kit Marlowe is a vampire working for Queen Elizabeth I.  He’s sent to the Queen’s prison in search of a witch to help with his work.  He finds the woman he needs at the prison, a powerful witch named Gillian, and decides she’s fit for what the Queen wants but before he can get out with her, a magical battle takes place between coven witches and mages, and Kit is forced to fight alongside Gillian to get out alive.

Witches, mages, and covens battling it out for the right of survival and throw in a vampire for fun and well, just call it fun.  Why not?  When I read this book I was on a fantasy bender and also a short story run which is not my usual preference but something was really appealing about this.  An hour’s worth of reading for a magical battle was just what I needed.  Chance didn’t skimp on the magic and while it would have been great to have more information on how the magical system worked, there wasn’t much time for that but I was OK with it.  Kit and Gillian carry it off and though much is left unexplained, it was still entertaining.


The Queen’s Witch: A Kit Marlowe Short

Karen Chance

Smashwords Edition – Free Nook Download from Barnes & Noble

3.75 stars

The Gauntlet’s follow-up.  Having recently escaped from a prison stronghold with a vampire named Kit, Gillian is now a witch with a price on her head.  Kit, however, needs her once more promising to take Gillian and her daughter to safety after she helps him procure a jewel meant to poison the Queen.

I have a Nook and while browsing the Barnes & Noble online store one day I found these free downloads.  Both looked interesting enough so I took advantage.  Really, free books, how could one not.  🙂  This one is short, only 37 pages, but it was fun.  Gillian and Kit have an entertaining relationship and it being so short there isn’t much background here — more is in The Gauntlet which preceded this one — but I found myself liking the two characters more and more and wondering if I could find more shorts.  And then I thought I would even be willing to pay.  Gillian and Kit feel like fully developed characters and while the story does feel as if there should be more, it was a good few page for me.


2 thoughts on “Short Story Quick Reviews – The Gauntlet and The Queen’s Witch

  1. I myself have a Kindle and it also has a lot of free “self-published” fiction similar to this. I have not dared to read any yet, but this sounds interesting and I might.

    • It was my first foray into free books and it paid off. I have a feeling that it might not happen that way all the time. But I’m always willing to take a look.

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