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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  May 18, 2001

Today's Featured Author - C.M. Ellis

Lisa Elizabeth

C.M. Ellis presents a series of short stories. The first of which is a magic story titled "Tales from the Sorcery Patrol Case #9783 The Ring of Thieves". In this one a pair of Sorcery Police, a human male and a pixie are sent to cover a burglary. It turns out that the stolen items were five transformation rings from the Tolkein collection. The story is written from the viewpoint of the 'Emily', the pixie. She ends up body swapping with her partner Mark and until they catch the thieves, they will have to stay that way. The rings are more powerful than the police spells. The view of this story is from a female to male transformation and is done quite interestingly. This story moved along quickly and kept my interest the whole time.

The next story is titled "Tales from the Sorcery Police Case #9812 Domestic Upset". Called to a domestic disturbance our two officers encounter a couple where the wife has body swapped with her husband. The problem? He will not swap back! He has decided that being female is more fun than male. He also is committing adultery on a regular basis. This story is done in the "Dragnet" style. Just the facts, ma'am. So any of you that have enjoyed that series will enjoy this story.

Another Dragnet style story called "Tales from the Sorcery Patrol Case #9914 The Independent Businesswoman". This time our two officers find a scantily clad female walking the streets late at night. She is obsessed with having sex with the male officer. This is strange since she does not understand why it would be unwise to proposition a police officer. After coaxing her into the car and collecting three more 'girls', they find the house where they all live. The 'Madam' had bought a spell to teach her cheating husband a lesson, and then decided she could make money off her nymphomania. As time progressed, she transformed other males that had treated her girlfriends badly. The rest of the story goes on to explain why this was illegal and in the end the 'Madam' gets her just rewards through her own magic! A nice twist for this story.

The fourth in the series is "Tales from the Sorcery Patrol Case #9987 City Living". Our heroes are on a routine call when they notice that all the people in the area are partially transformed into new and unusual creatures. They find a 'Wizard in Training' that has failed to get his Wizard's Permit and has gone off the deep end. They finally subdue him and all is made right, but it allows Emily to compare the difference between the forest and the city. Guess which one she chooses?

The above works are nicely balanced. Two, from the viewpoint of each partner. I think this could become an interesting series if the mood should strike the author.

"A Small Accident" is a departure from the police series. It revolves around a college campus and four friends that end up transforming into the ideal lovers of their roommates. That is the mistake! The spell was to have increased the love of the two that had a relationship but a mistake was made and they transformed slowly into the lover of their roommates. Both the male to female and the female to male transformations are done at the same pace and in a somewhat logical manner. It happens that the college has a Dept. of Sorcery and this spell was part of a student’s undergraduate thesis.

All things seem to be going along fine until a demon shows up and then the tension builds. You will have to read it to see what happens but I think you will like the ending. This is written in a style where each chapter is seen from the viewpoint of one of the participants. It actually seems like multiple stories in one but ends up all tied together in the end.

You know, for a reviewer that does not read a lot of magic oriented stories; I thoroughly enjoyed this group from C.M. Ellis.

Nelson                          

CM's stories are divided into the "Sorcery Patrol" series and others. The amount of imagination used to create all of the stories is considerable. Look at the "Sorcery Patrol series.

The easiest way to think of this is an alternate universe or parallel world where magic is real and available to the common person. As in any society there are laws that govern the sale and use of certain types of magic. And the laws cover who can use what level of spell. Naturally there is also the licensing of spell caster such as wizards and witches. Who enforces these laws? Who else? The police division known as the Sorcery Patrol.

The four stories tell of encounters that Officers Mark Chandler and Emily Fae have while on patrol. Mark is a normal human with some magical training but Emily is a pixie. Just to make sure what she might be I did a little research and found if she was indeed a pixie, she was from England. As are brownies and buccas, other countries have other names for fairies. To better visualize Emily, think of Tinkerbelle from Peter Pan. CM tells us she is about six or seven inches tall with wings. She has a special seat in the patrol car so she can watch what is happening around them.

The first Sorcery Patrol, The Ring of Thieves, involves stolen magical items and one in particular that causes a body swap between the partners. This one is told from Emily's point of view. It takes good imagery to describe the differences Emily feels while in Mark's body.

The second story, Domestic Upset, involves an involuntary body swap between a wife and husband. Now that she is ready to swap back, he refuses and they have a big argument. The argument is what involves the two officers. The way they handle the situation only helps to make the story better.

The third story, The Independent Businesswoman, involves another forced change but this time it is from male to bimbo whore. The patrol suspects something is up when they find a number of low intellect whores while on night duty. The outcome is different than it might have been if Emily wasn't alert.

The last Sorcery Patrol story, so far, is titled City Living. Mark and Emily are sent to check out a complaint of a drunk causing trouble. They are surprised at what they see as they approach the scene of the disturbance. It could only mean that the drunk was an amateur wizard. The pair is able to subdue the man and everything works out in the end.

The combination of fine writing, good imagination, an eye for detail and a little knowledge about police work enables C.M. to make these stories enjoyable while being slightly cute.

The other story C.M. has given us is called "A Small Accident". After reading it, one has the feeling that it is a misnomer. Again we are working with the premise that magic is real and exists except this time it is hidden and only practitioners of it know about it. The "small accident" that gives us the title is a portion of a love potion worked by the strange Goth girl down the hall. We follow the paths of the four people affected by the potion. The original purpose of the potion was to unite the two arguing lovers but an oops causes the roommates of the couple to be involved. Then the professor of the sorcery trainee is involved and it just takes off from there. Again, the quality writing and detailed descriptions make it easy to visualize the scenes of the story.

I would encourage anyone who enjoys magic based stories to at least give C.M. Ellis' work a try.

 

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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