Friday, March 29, 2013

44:120 A Fantasy Medley 2 by Huff, Downum, Kent, & McGuire

A collection of short stories edited by Yanni Kuznia.  I admit, I bought it solely because Seanan McGuire had a story about Tybalt in it.  I do have some books by Tanya Huff on my to-read pile and this being me, of course I read the whole thing cover to cover.  I can't stand only reading one story out of a compilation or even reading them out of order.  So now my thoughts on each story:

Quartered by Tanya Huff - Evicka, a Bard, is sent to spy on an assassin but the revelations she comes away with are more than anyone could have imagined.  Bards in this world control kigh, spirits of some sort, through their songs and are used not only to spy but also to bring news to others and use their songs to influence people's opinions.  Obviously a well built world and I'm intrigued to know more.

Bone Garden by Amanda Downum - Genetian ran away from his people several years ago but now his cousin is on the doorstep of the theater he works and lives at and tells him it has to do with the babies and women being killed.  Again, it seemed pretty obvious that this was part of a larger world but I'm still undecided if I want to know more.  I just didn't get really invested in it.

The Sergeant and the General by Jasper Kent - A crotchety old man is befriended by a student living in the same building.  When the student mentions getting a horse, the old man tells him there is no room and takes him down to the stables to see why.  In the stables, there are no horses but only a pendant with the likeness of a horse and a name etched on it but that night and for several afterward, the student hears hooves on the stairs leading to the old mans flat but even when the hooves sound like they are next to him, he sees nothing.  A few days later the old man is dead, clutching the horse pendant.  Then we are told the meaning behind the pendant.  In all, it was well-written but I found it disjointed and hard to care about the characters.  It says that it's from a series but I definitely won't be looking for it.

Rat-Catcher by Seanan McGuire - Rand, adopted son of the King of Cats, has been charged to hear the message brought to Londinium, the fairy lands that coincide with London.  What he reports back is that there will be fire that will sweep through all the lands and any who stay will burn but when the king decides to ignore the warning, Rand steps up to protect his people and a new king emerges from the battle, Tybalt.  Very interesting to read how Tybalt became King of the Cats and my biggest complaint is that the story was simply too short.  It told exactly what it needed to but not much more and there is soooooo much more I want to know about Tybalt.  I imagine that for anyone who was more familiar with the other worlds in this medley, they felt the same way.

I came away from this happy with the story I bought it for and a new series to look into.  Unfortunately, I don't think the other two stories were strong enough to truly stand on their own as good introductions to their wolds for people like me who were completely unfamiliar with them.

Page count: 160p/10,922p ytd/155,342p lifetime

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