Review and Fan Art: Sammorien The Moss-Man (The Stories They Told Their Children Anthology) by Izabela Raittila

Sammorien the Moss-Man/The Stories They Told Their Children

The Stories They Told Their Children, an anthology of fantasy mythology stories inspired by Tolkein's Silmarilion and european myths by Izabela Raittila.

Series: Anthology

Author: Izabela Raittila

Genre: Fantasy Mythology


This is an anthology of fantasy short stories depicting the culture and beliefs of a fictional continent called the Gragiyan Empire. Inspired by the works of J.R.R.Tolkien and various European myths, these mythical tales follow powerful deities known as the Erai, their immortal servants—the enchanting Enai, and courageous mortals.

This anthology includes the tragic love story of Avarrin and Amara, a touching romance inside the bleak Halls of Makar, the legend of the Orealisi Oasis, the battles of the Atarai and more.


I met Izabela on Twitter back when her stories were all to be found on her website, and read a handful of them. I don’t think I’ve read everything that appears in this anthology, but I have read a handful of the stories. They have a storyteller’s tone to them, written as if this is a story being remembered and told, rather than a deep point of view that dives into the individual characters’ voices. In that sense, the style is what I would associate with more archaic writings and the way myths are often conveyed, as is appropriate both to the stories and to the name of this anthology: The Stories They Told Their Children. Sometimes, settings are described as relevant, but usually description is relatively low, and feelings are told, allowing the stories to be digested very quickly, but also encouraging them to be thought about and imagined or re-imagined by the reader. Stories like these have their place, encouraging us to see our approaches to the world visualized in the stories.

They have a variety of different tones, and they range from exploring universally told stories, to quite original demi-gods. Their tones range from tragic and sorrowful, to peaceful and joyful, and touch on many aspects of stories, from delightful tales to explain the world, to ones that explore how a people sees death. These ones were not exactly my favourite, as they clashed strongly with my own approach to death and eternal life, and how I would visualize Death’s God.

The one that stood out to me the most is the story of Sammorien the Moss-Man, first of the demi-gods. He is the son of the Lord of the Forests and one of his Forest Enai – a Wood Elf, basically – who he loves, and he is like something never seen before. I found this story touching, for it is the story both of a romance, and of a mother and father’s love, and of both challenges and potential grief in raising a child unlike anything ever seen before, but also one of peace and joy and of a good thing, new and fresh, brought into the world and allowed to grow into its own.

As such, I was inspired to create the following picture of Sammorien the Moss-Man, kind guardian of the woods.

Fan art by Raina Nightingale for "Sammorien the Moss-Man" a short story by Izabela Raittila.
A man with long, moss-like hair, a mossy body, and bark-like arms and legs embraces a large oak tree with patches of moss growing on it, in a forest where green grass and other, similar-looking but mostly smaller oak trees predominate.

Izabela’s Website

3 thoughts on “Review and Fan Art: Sammorien The Moss-Man (The Stories They Told Their Children Anthology) by Izabela Raittila

    1. 😀

      By the way, do you have a universal book link or a or genius link for the book? I decided to review this one a bit late to ask you before I put it up, but if you have one that will work for all countries, I would be happy to exchange the current links (in book title and picture) for yours.


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