Written by Kami L. Martin, Reviewer and YouTuber
I had the privilege of being contacted by Editor, Bre Stephens, about the opportunity to read and review a new venture she had started: The Dark Sire. As a regular reviewer of fiction in all forms, I thought, what a unique opportunity to try something new! And I am so grateful I did! What a delightful treat!
The debut magazine was released in the Fall of 2019. (Halloween for those of you like me that enjoy the extra shade of dark.) This venture was, at the time, only available online and collected works of stories, poetry as well as art of the darker persuasion. We were given a taste of these categories touching on gothic, horror and psychological works of fiction and poetry offering readers a nice balance no matter your tastes or interests.
Grave by W.C. Mallery was certainly a stand out short story, and Beneath These Boards by Michael Thomas Ellis offered a poem sure to make you shudder and shiver. The cover art presented by Christian-Rhen Stefani is by far my favorite of the entire year's worth of covers. It is a work of art that speaks to you well after you close your eyes.
A unique gift this magazine features is that of not one but two serializations: Vampyre Paladin by Brenda Stephens and Kyuuketsuki by S. M. Cook. Both offer exquisite detail and well-formed stories that have you turning the page to find what happens next. I was captivated immediately by both. Each will give you a reason to continue revisiting the magazine. Jam packed at 105 pages, this was one hell of a debut!
The Winter of 2019 offered us the second volume of The Dark Sire literary magazine. Now with 500+ readers, we were now able to both continue reading online as well as purchase a paperback copy through Amazon! (Prime membership ships free!) Writers are able to submit their dark works for consideration in fiction, poetry and art. The serializations continue to pack a punch as the stories progress but the stand out of this particular issue for me was the poetry! I loved every single poem included! Such texture, richness and deep, dark descriptions. The art was a nice mix of creepy, too!
Spring 2020 had us with volume 3 in our grasp. 6 months in, readership had grown over 2k and new subscription boxes were introduced. This is a great testament to a magazine that is rapidly growing with great success and positive feedback! Again, the fiction does not disappoint. Once Bitten: A Vampire’s Lament by Maureen Mancini Amaturo was a great gothic tale that was a top contender for my favorite. Poetry remained solid, especially with The Vision by Gregory E. Lucas and Progeny by Michael Walker. This issue also brought us some standout artwork by Shaun Power that any author of the macabre should want to snag up for future novels!! This particular issue was also made available in color print for the first time! B&W copies of all previous issues, including this one and its color copy, are also still available for purchase through Amazon.
The fourth and most recent volume was released in the Summer of 2020 and shows continued growth and promise. The cover and interior artwork continue to impress. Stephens certainly has a great eye! The artwork really seemed to flow well within this issue. One item of fiction I haven’t given much attention that I certainly feel deserves it has appeared in each of the quarterly magazines and can be considered a continued serialization of sorts: The Village Series by David Crerand. True horror broken down into parts 1-4. This is something you definitely want to devote some time to!
This is one literary magazine you’ll want to check out and won’t be disappointed you did! Writers are encouraged to take a look at the website for interest in submitting work for future volumes and being a part of this dark family of incredible talent. There wasn’t a moment that I was not entertained and delighted. This literary magazine is well-rounded for lovers of the macabre with a bit of something for everyone! Thank you, Bre Stephens, for the opportunity to share the contributions of many talented writers - yourself included! You are certainly the phoenix that rose from her ashes to share your gift with us eerie readers!
The TDS Staff would like to thank Kami for her wonderful review of The Dark Sire. We're overjoyed at how much she truly loved the reading experience and can't wait to bring the readership even more great content in Year 2. Thank you, Kami, for all you do to review fiction; and thank you for taking a chance on a new magazine that just needed an opportunity to prove itself.
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