There’s a review of UNTHOLOGY No.2 in today’s EASTERN DAILY PRESS that gives a big tick to the THE SWAN KING



There’s a review of THE SWAN KING on INSIDE BOOKS

“There were times that reality seemed all to familar with the coming of age and bogeyman story written by Ashley Stokes. The Swan King is a figure maligned and wrongly blamed. Part Rear Window in the way the main characters watch from their flat and part To Kill A Mockingbird in the way a relatively harmless odd figure is turned into some sort of bogeyman this gets under your skin. Secrets come back to haunt those looking for the killer of a student and the desire to be popular, liked and loved is one that doesn’t just haunt the Swan King.”

There’s also a review by short story writer Alan Beard on Goodreads:

“The mag also champions the long short story and probably the stand out story is a forty pager called ‘The Swan King’ by Ashley Stokes (who also edits), loaded with menace and mystery as a voyeur across the road watches the hero with his new girlfriend from across the road (To the left of her ear the Swan King hung in his box of white dazzle). The girl becomes convinced that the man is holding a missing girl and convinces the boyfriend to investigate.”


A big thank you to everyone who came to see me read from UNTHOLOGY No.2. It was a wonderful night, so thanks also to my fellow readers: Nick Sweeney, Lander Hawes, Melissa Mann, Tessa West and Joshua Allen. I am pretty humbled so far by all the nice things people have been saying about THE SWAN KING


THE SWAN KING gets a mention in Elinor Walpole’s review of UNTHOLOGY NO.2 in SABOTAGE.

“The stand-out story for me in this collection however is ‘The Swan King’ by Ashley Stokes, a longer contribution than most in this book and one that gently turns, delicately playing with assumptions about the narrator and the story that unfolds, capturing a period of time where our protagonist is ‘Living through an interlude, an anomaly’ to throw him into (albeit) hazy relief against the background events. I confess I had to read this story twice to really feel I had a grasp on it, the first time to take pleasure in the mystery, and on reading it again to appreciate the subtle way the reader is challenged to accept or dismiss stereotypes in order to get to the heart of the tale.”


My novelette is THE SWAN KING is published today in UNTHOLOGY No.2 (UNTHANK BOOKS). The books is available as a paperback and as an e-book from Kindle: and Apple iBookstore:

THE SWAN KING is the story of Adrian and Zara, a couple who come together during the disappearance of an acquaintance in Oxford in 1989, he suffering from crushing paranoia and she harbouring a terrible secret. All the while, The Swan King watches over them.