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A Fantasy Medley 3

por Yanni Kuznia (Editor)

Otros autores: Laura Bickle (Contribuidor), Aliette de Bodard (Contribuidor), Jacqueline Carey (Contribuidor), Kevin Hearne (Contribuidor)

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

Series: Fantasy Medley (3)

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438472,145 (3.44)1
"In 'Goddess at the Crossroads,' Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O'Sullivan, revealing how one night's dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare's witches in the Scottish play. With 'Ashes,' Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she, her five-foot-long salamander familiar Sparky, and Hades' Charon pursue a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge through the city's festival in his dubious honor. 'The Death of Aiguillon' finds Aliette de Bodard exploring an episode sixty years prior to the start of her latest novel, The House of Shattered Wings, in which the survivors of an ongoing magical conflict in Paris eke out a grim existence, and one woman's wish for a better life is granted at a terrible price. And in 'One Hundred Ablutions,' Jacqueline Carey, author of the much-beloved Kushiel's Legacy series, tells the tale of Dala--a young woman chosen by her people's overlords to be an exalted slave among slaves--and of the twining in her life of ritual, rebellion, and redemption"--Dust jacket.… (más)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
This short story collection has three stories set in previously written worlds and one in a new setting. Kevin Hearne’s story is set in his Iron Druid series and has Atticus telling his apprentice the story of how he met Shakespeare. So this is a perfectly good sample for the series. I hadn’t read Laura Bickle before but after reading this story that is also set in a multi book series, it left me wanting to know more about the world and find out about the characters. The Aliette de Bodard story is set as a prequel story that needs no info about the novel’s universe it is set in. The last story by Jacqueline Carey seems to be a standalone story and the world is fleshed out enough that I would like to see more in this setting to find out how the society came to be.

All in all, a good collection of stories and well worth the time and money to track down and read. I already have my copy on order.


Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley
( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 6, 2020 |
A brief and OK Hearne story ( )
  jamespurcell | Mar 2, 2017 |
*** “Goddess at the Crossroads” - Kevin Hearne
This is a short story featuring the long-lived Druid Atticus, of Hearne's popular Iron Druid series. I've only read the first installment of that saga, which I believe is now up to eight volumes, but this story seemed very much in keeping with the tone I expected.
Here, Atticus reminisces, telling his friend about the time he saved Shakespeare's life - and in the process, revealing the real-life artistic inspiration for Macbeth's infamous witches. Silly fun.

*** “Ashes” - Laura Bickle
Detroit paranormal investigator/arson specialist Anya and her 'familiar' salamander pursue a firebug imp known as the Nain Rouge, during a possibly ill-advised event celebrating the supernatural being. (http://marchedunainrouge.com/)
Pleasant enough, but not terribly memorable, the short story clearly fits in with a larger series.

*** “The Death of Aiguillon” - Aliette de Bodard
Set in the same world as her recent 'House of Shattered Wings.' The writing is beautiful, and I love the concept: a decaying, gothic Paris full of fallen angels and ancient elementals. However, the novel was not without its flaws, and neither is this story, although I liked it better. The House of Aiguillon is the latest to fall in the ongoing wars between the angels. One human servant girl escapes with her life - and assists an angel, a being she perceives as ineffable and infinitely greater than herself, to escape as well. He leaves her declaring himself in her debt...
The problem for me is that the crux of the tale hangs on a decision - and the way it's written, the decision the character makes is out-of-the-blue and inexplicable. I just didn't buy that, based on the way her psyche was presented, that she would've made the decision she did. (And it's a choice that really requires some convincing explanation.)

***** “One Hundred Ablutions” - Jacqueline Carey
Centuries ago, directed by their god, the Shaladan left the desert and invaded a fertile valley, in the process liberating the native Keren people from their oppressors, the Jagan. Now, select Keren girls are selected for the great honor of becoming a handmaiden to the Shaladan's god. At least, that's how the Shaladan perceive their history. If you ask the Keren, you might get a very different answer regarding who is a liberator, who an oppressor, and what constitutes 'an honor.'
As a small girl, Dala envied the handmaidens and their seeming life of luxury - but by the time she's chosen to become one she has no interest in a restricted life of enforced celibacy and devotion to a god in whom she does not believe.
Beautiful and powerful, this story masterfully offers insight into the dynamics of invasion and class tensions - and also into some of the universals of humanity: the desire for freedom, the hunger for sex; and also the capability for empathy, obligation and guilt.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Subterranean for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinion is solely my own. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I requested A Fantasy Medley from Netgalley pretty much because of Kevin Hearne. Then Laura Bickle rang a bell as the author of The Hallowed Ones, which I liked; and then Jacqueline Carey registered as the author of Kushiel's Dart, which was not to my taste. But, all in all, I asked for it because of the ancient Irish bloke and his dog.

I'm disappointed.

The story – "Goddess at the Crossroad" – was not good. In brief: Atticus tells his apprentice the tale of that time he heard about this Shakespeare bloke and went to England to look him up, and ended up saving his life from witches. I didn't like the tale; I didn't like the way it was told; I didn't like Atticus, Oberon, drunken Shakespeare, or the apprentice whose name I don't remember. I disliked it all so much that I had to go back to my review of Hounded to verify that I actually did like it. And … I loved the dog? Really? Okay. Not this time; without his interjections and interruptions I might feel disposed to rate this higher. Based on this story I would never continue with the series. Two stars for this one.

"Ashes" by Laura Bickle is set in a very different place from The Hallowed Ones, following a pretty unique character ("Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk" – that's kind of awesome) as she chases down an arsenous elemental before it burns down the city. I liked it. I didn't love it; I was uncomfortable with the main character going about consuming others' souls; but I wouldn't turn down more adventures with Anya and her familiar Sparky. Three and a half stars.

“The Death of Aiguillon” by Aliette de Bodard reminded me of Paula Volsky's [book:Illusion], taking place in the ruins of Paris – of a Paris. It's grim and beautiful, and unpredictable, both gritty and poetic. Impressive. Four and a half stars.

[book:Kushiel's Dart] was not my cup of tea, but I never argued with the skill of the writing – and Jacqueline Carey's hard-edged lyricism was very much evident in “One Hundred Ablutions”. That was impressive. That was shatteringly impressive. A solid five stars.

The gentleman was very much outclassed by the ladies in this collection – but what a weird collection of stories it is. There's no theme, no rhyme nor reason to their being together in one book except the big umbrella of "fantasy". The first two are borderline comedic, with a talking dog and Sparky the salamander and action movie violence – urban fantasy, though the city of the Hearne story was 17th century London; the second two are elegant and dark, with violence more likely to cost a civilization, or a soul – high fantasy. I suppose one could look at it as a sort of technical overview of what the genre can include. It would be more successful at that task if all four entries were of the same level.

I received the collection from Netgalley for review. ( )
  Stewartry | Feb 6, 2016 |
I bought it for the Carey story, she talked about it on her site as being unrelated to anything else she’d written. I loved it, but I pretty much always love her work. She's only done a couple other short stories, so reading this one was a treat. “One Hundred Ablutions” is about the religious practices of a race that had enslaved the native population of a valley, and what the native population thinks of enslavement and possible freedom.

I didn’t recognize any of the other authors in the anthology, but since Carey’s story was a one-shot, I assumed they all were. Turns out, the other three are all based around an ongoing series. I was very disheartened when I started the anthology with “Goddess at the Crossroads,” which mostly assumes familiarity with the Iron Druid Chronicles. The idea behind the story is cute, and I like the idea behind the series (basically the life of an immortal who’s witnessing human history... in this case he’s talking about how he helped inspire the witches in Macbeth), but it was my least favorite story in the book.

I realized I hadn’t read any urban fantasy in awhile when I started in on “Ashes.” The idea here was a little more basic (the main character is tracking down a fire demon in Detroit), and the supernatural part of the story was fairly unique... the main character needs to consume other supernatural beings, and she’s friends with a pretty big name in the Underworld. I’d read this series, which consists of... Embers and Sparks? A shame, it looks like there hasn’t been a new book in a long time.

I also liked “The Death of Aiguillon” quite a bit, and it felt fairly one-shot-ish. I think it’s a prequel to the series Dominion of the Fallen. It was about Paris falling during a magical war of some sort. I’d give the first book a try. The story seemed like it had a lot going on, but I suspect I’d like the details a lot more in a novel-length story. ( )
  ConnieJo | Jan 31, 2016 |
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Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Trabajo?Estado
Kuznia, YanniEditorautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Bickle, LauraContribuidorautor secundariotodas las edicionesconfirmado
Bodard, Aliette deContribuidorautor secundariotodas las edicionesconfirmado
Carey, JacquelineContribuidorautor secundariotodas las edicionesconfirmado
Hearne, KevinContribuidorautor secundariotodas las edicionesconfirmado
Drummond, J. K.Ilustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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"In 'Goddess at the Crossroads,' Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O'Sullivan, revealing how one night's dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare's witches in the Scottish play. With 'Ashes,' Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she, her five-foot-long salamander familiar Sparky, and Hades' Charon pursue a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge through the city's festival in his dubious honor. 'The Death of Aiguillon' finds Aliette de Bodard exploring an episode sixty years prior to the start of her latest novel, The House of Shattered Wings, in which the survivors of an ongoing magical conflict in Paris eke out a grim existence, and one woman's wish for a better life is granted at a terrible price. And in 'One Hundred Ablutions,' Jacqueline Carey, author of the much-beloved Kushiel's Legacy series, tells the tale of Dala--a young woman chosen by her people's overlords to be an exalted slave among slaves--and of the twining in her life of ritual, rebellion, and redemption"--Dust jacket.

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