Here's a link to Tangent Online's review of "Path of Stones" and the other stories appearing in Penumbra's #8, fractured fairy tale issue.
And here's the review itself:
“Path of Stones” by Robert Lowell Russell
This retelling of “Hansel and Gretel” was obscure and somewhat tricky
to recognize. It was like several old fairytales combined, but the style
was artistic, imaginative and intriguing. It maintained a successful
dark tone throughout and the near-ending was especially morbid right up
until the final lines. I enjoyed the suspense.
I'd call this a positive review. I tried to do something a bit different with "Path of Stones," and I think this is reflected in the "obscure" comment. I was always worried that the clues I had in the story, including the title itself, would immediately tip the reader that this was a Hansel and Gretel story, but I don't think that was the case.
I'm glad they found it suspenseful. I prefer writing "action" stories, and there tend to be sequences in what I write where I WANT readers to constantly ask: And then what happens? And then what happens? And then what happens? If you haven't read my Digital Science Fiction story, "Floaters," much of the middle of the story is a running (literally) gun battle and chase.
I've got another story currently under consideration that is a guns blazin' tale filled with murderous cats. I didn't think "Path of Stones" was all that dark or morbid, but there's no doubt about this new story.