Laurie Lee Smith, in Mythprint, November 2012:
Across varying styles and genres, each story in the collection explores the connections be-tween mortals and what we might call Faërie. The supernatural forces are diverse and ambiguous: some seem nearly demonic; others may be morally neutral, or even beneficent; and still others may be wholly illusory. But the question remains the same in each case: can mere mortals respond without losing their lives, their humanity, their moral compass? The stories are generally well told . . . “Werwolf” may be the single best of the collection; it stood out as a story that bears close re-reading. But the Breton trilogy, which consists of the title story, “The Judgment of St. Yves,” and “The Mistress of Kaer-Mor,” is almost mesmerizing. These three are more lyrical in tone than the others, and they come across as delicately intertwined because each provides a different perspective on the persistence of the ancient Breton legend of Ahes (also known as Dahut) in a Christian era. Walton appears to have chosen to work with versions of the legend in which Ahes is—or becomes—a demon sea goddess, although other versions exist; she noted once in an interview that she preferred to “put flesh and blood on the bones of the original myth” rather than contradicting her sources. . . . All told, Above Ker-Is is a surprisingly well-rounded collection of a single author’s fantasy stories; it is well worth reading, and re-reading.
Kenneth W. Faig, in EOD Letter, August 2012:
Ms. Walton never visited Brittany herself, but the first several stories, with Breton settings, show her great emotional depth and skill with folklore. The story that captured my attention most was “They That Have Wings”.
Richard C. West on Amazon:
Of the ten short stories here, four have not previously been published and the others appeared only in magazines and anthologies that are not easily available, so it is convenient to have them collected in one place. Like most of Walton’s work, these are fantasy stories (in only one, “Werwolf,” is the apparently supernatural given a possibly rational explanation). Moreover, these are horror stories–hence more like _Witch House_ (1945) than any of her other novels. The first three (including the title story) deal with the Breton legend of the sunken city of Ys (but treat this in very different ways), then Russian, Celtic, and Greek folklore are each used in two stories apiece, and the final tale, “The Other One,” is a highly original variation on the doppelganger motif. They are rich in atmosphere, the settings are evocatively described, and all are very well-written. Highly recommended to anyone who likes dark fantasy
TermiteWriter (Lorinda J. Taylor) on Amazon:
There is a lot of power in the collection “Above Ker-Is” and the book is recommended to anyone interested in myth and folktale, in the paranormal, and in horror fiction.
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