Book Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

Right, I can no longer write in my reviews that I don’t normally like short story collections but this one is an exception blah, blah, blah. Over the past year or so I’ve read a number of short stories and I’ve rather enjoyed them. Recently I read a collection that was right up my street. Read on to find out why.

Let’s start with the Goodreads blurb: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

I loved this collection because 80% of the stories were downright creepy. There were murders and ghosts and robots and they made the couple of days it took me to read this book great. In fact, I would go as far as saying Demmer’s stories are as good as those of Edgar Allen Poe.

I don’t want to go into detail about each story because, considering they are so short, it would be difficult to write about them while avoiding spoilers. So, let me tell you more about the overall style which led me to this positive review.

Weirdly, I get bored reading short stories. They can sometimes feel as long as a 500-page novel. It was the opposite case with The Sea Was a Fair Master. I wanted more. Many of these stories would have been excellent as novellas (if Mr Demmer would be so kind to fulfil this desire). The stories had the ability to fit a lot of information into a small space, to leave you thinking, pondering what could happen next rather than “what the hell did I just read” reaction, which can sometimes define my relationship with short stories.

Demmer’s writing style also had a lot to do with how much I enjoyed this book. He is a wonderfully descriptive writer who can really bring a scene to life. He sets the perfect atmosphere and has a vivid imagination. I also think it helped that all the stories in this collection were written by Demmer. Having the same “flavour”, let’s say, throughout really assisted my reading flow.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Sea Was a Fair Master. If this review has intrigued you, pick up a copy. It is of quite a short length so it is perfect for a snuggle night at home.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



  1. From reading your review the author sounds so talented. I want to pick up a couple of short stories for when I’m sunbathing in the garden or in the car on the way to day trips out during the summer time so will definitely be checking this one out. Thank you for sharing and making me aware of it doll, 🌸✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie x |

  2. I’m glad you liked these! I always stray away from short story collections. I’ve read a few but I dunno they just don’t appeal to me at all! Although saying that I was tempted to pick up a Neil Gaiman short story collection in the library the other day!

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