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The book of swords. Part 1

Tekijä: Gardner Dozois (Toimittaja)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1311,548,446 (3.5)7
An epic collection of fantasy tales in the grand tradition, including a never-before-published A Song of Ice and Fire story by George R.R. Martin and an introduction by Gardner Dozois. Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibon#65533;, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a cornerstone of fantasy fiction, and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own tales of magical adventure. Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author Gardner Dozois presents an anthology of sixteen original epic stories by a stellar cast of modern masters, including George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Garth Nix, Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Scott Lynch, Cecelia Holland, Ellen Kushner, and more on journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid adventure, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.… (lisätietoja)
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{First of 2: Book of Swords anthology series. Fantasy, short stories, anthology} (2017)

Not Fred Saberhagen’s saga but a Sword & Sorcery anthology. The problem with short stories is that by the time you work out what direction the author is going in, the story comes to an end; but I found quite a few gems in this anthology.

i) The Best Man Wins - K. J. Parker a.k.a. Tom Holt

A stranger requests a swordsmith create ‘the best sword ever made’ for him.
Some amusing notes on the smith’s antisocial inclinations.
3.5-4****

ii) Her Father’s Sword - Robin Hobb

About what happens in the aftermath of a village that has been recently Forged. Fitz puts in a guest appearance.
I felt the story didn’t go anywhere, but maybe that was the point, to emphasise the hopelessness of being Forged. Not as good as the Farseer trilogy books it was derived from, which were 5 star reads for me.
2.5-3***

iii) The Hidden Girl - Ken Liu

A young girl in eighth century China is trained as an assassin and ponders on the morality of her calling.
I liked this one, including its more hopeful ending and the closeness between sisters.
3.5-4****

iv) The Sword of Destiny - Matthew Hughes

A wizard’s henchman fails to steal the Sword of Destiny and decides he’d be better off being as far away as possible from his master’s wrath.
I liked this story too; I liked the old-fashioned style and the gentle humour. I may look for Hughes’s novels.

The conversation, Baldemar saw, had meandered off and left both participants temporarily stranded

4.5-5*****

v) ‘I Am a Handsome Man,’ Said Apollo Crow - Kate Elliott

Apollo Crow accepts a mission from the emperor of a diminished Rome to steal a sketchbook from a beautiful woman; but all is not as it seems.
I like Elliott’s writing; in fact I’ve invested in her Crown of Stars series on the strength of the first book.

5*****

vi) The Triumph of Virtue - Walter Jon Williams

17 year old Quillifer is a lawyer’s apprentice at court and compares the play ‘The Triumph of Virtue’ which is performed there to situations he encounters. When a crime occurs, Quillifer turns detective.

3-3.5***

vii) The Mocking Tower - Daniel Abraham

The Mocking Tower constantly changes its appearance from moment to moment and lies in the lands belonging to a wizard, the Imagi Vert. To these lands comes a thief with the aim of stealing a sword said to have been forged by the wizard from the soul of the emperor, King Raan, whose many heirs are currently waging war and causing blight across the empire.

Beautifully crafted. I love the ending. As a short story which hints at a greater narrative, it leaves some questions unanswered but I would happily read that larger story.

5*****

viii) Hrunting - C.J. Cherryh

Hrunting was the sword lent to Beowulf for his fight against Grendel’s mother by Unferth, advisor to Hrothgar, king of the Danes. It was supposedly invincible but failed in that battle. This story tells of what happens after a disgraced Unferth died and his grandson sets out to recover the family’s luck.

Up to her usual standards.

4****

ix) A Long, Cold Trail - Garth Nix

Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz, agents of the Council for the Treaty of the Safety of the World, are tracking an inimical godlet through the cold wasteland caused by its passage. However, they have to wait for delivery of a relic which can destroy the godlet, until when they dare not get too close in case their lives become endangered too.

3.5***

Averaging out: 3.8-4.1 stars ( )
  humouress | Feb 2, 2020 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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An epic collection of fantasy tales in the grand tradition, including a never-before-published A Song of Ice and Fire story by George R.R. Martin and an introduction by Gardner Dozois. Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibon#65533;, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a cornerstone of fantasy fiction, and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own tales of magical adventure. Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author Gardner Dozois presents an anthology of sixteen original epic stories by a stellar cast of modern masters, including George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Garth Nix, Ken Liu, Daniel Abraham, Scott Lynch, Cecelia Holland, Ellen Kushner, and more on journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid adventure, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.

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