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Unfettered (Temeraire)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  2,346 ratings  ·  278 reviews
You define life or it defines you.

In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story Shawn could sell toward alleviating those bills—and s
Hardcover, 574 pages
Published June 21st 2013 by Grim Oak Press
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Dec 26, 2014 Patrick added it  ·  (Review from the author)

Over the last couple weeks, people have been asking me about this anthology, where my first-ever short story published.

But I can't write an honest review of it yet, as I haven't had a chance to read it all the way through.

I can say that what I've read so far, I've really liked.

In addition to that, I did write the introduction to the book, and since that explains what the anthology is all about, I'm going to put that up here so people can see it.

* * *

Can I be honest here? I don't read forewor
Jun 27, 2013 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Yes, I have a story in this anthology so my rating comes from all stories except "The Jester" - I'll leave it to others to say how well I did on that particular piece. I am going to provide the brief intro to my piece, though, in the hopes that finding out what my story is about will help others take a look.


The characters of Royce and Hadrian came to me during my self-imposed ten-year hiatus from writing. After crafti
This is an anthology of short stories taking place in well-knows fantasy series. I will update my review as I read more stories, but for now this is only a partial one.

River of Souls. Series: Wheel of Time, Author: Brandon Sanderson. I admit this was the main attraction for me. The whole story is a big spoiler for something which is revealed in the last book of the huge series, so even the slightest hint on the plot would contain some. I will try to at least minimize them and just mention that
Shawn Speakman
Jun 24, 2013 Shawn Speakman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I admit it.

I'm biased.

I think Unfettered is more badass than Patrick Rothfuss's beard.

That said, I am a fantasy fan first. I always will be. And I am perhaps even more judgmental of projects that I am working on than those I'm not. So when I say Unfettered is a solid fantasy anthology and deserves to be read, I mean it.

There are several short stories in here that should be nominated for Hugo Awards. No joke. And the rest are solid entries. There are two I'd love to see grown into full length nov
Mark Lawrence
Oct 09, 2012 Mark Lawrence marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
Well I've yet to read any of the stories except mine ... but mine's off the hook :D go buy this!

Apparently the leather-bound + signed by all the author copies went in a hurry but you can still snag a fine trade edition.

I expect some of those other guys are ok too...
Brandon Zarzyczny
I've started reading this short story collection, and so far I'm definitely enjoying it. I'll keep updating my review as I progress through it.

- Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks => I really enjoyed this story, it's very well written and I liked the combination of the two worlds, with how each fantastical adventure was preceded by a hit on the head. It made for an interesting story, where you could view it as all in the kid's imagination, or that it was real. The whole brain cancer (or wha
Cynthia Armistead
What a wonderful anthology! I have fallen off on reading collections lately, but I am such a total Kevin Hearne fangirl that I started looking for this one as soon as he mentioned it on Facebook. I bought it as soon as I heard of its release, and womanfully resisted skipping straight to the Iron Druid story.

I truly enjoyed most of the stories included. I did just stop reading the baseball story when I realized that it was horror, and skipped over "Dogs" for the same reason. Terry Brooks' piece d

Meta: ISFDB, edited byShawn Speakman

Dozois praised this anthology to be one of the year's best. The author list is impressing as well, any hard core fan of Brooks, Rothfuss, Williams etc. would probably order it instantly. Especially knowing that it is a kind of charity where authors donated stories to help the editor out of financial debts imposed by his medical situation, treating cancer.This alone is a curiosity for my cultural background: Here in Germany, everyone has health insurance, no on
The editor of this Anthology, Shawn Speakman, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Because he had no health insurance, Terry Brooks offered to give him a short story to help defray the medical costs. He also told Shawn that he should ask other authors to contribute to as well. This book is what came of that.

Most of the stories are very good, with a few that are outstanding, and only 1 or 2 were duds. Here is a list of the stories, and what I thought about them.

Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks -
This is an Anthology put together by Shawn Speakman in order to help to pay off his medical bills which came after getting cancer for the second time. Due to being a cancer survivor before he was unable to get insurance and is now very much in need of financial help. All of the stories were donated by various authors and there were no restraints put on what they could include and write about.
It's hard to rate the book as a whole because there are such a mix of authors, stories, lengths and genre
Jul 24, 2014 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
All in all, I found the quality of the stories I read to be excellent and would definitely highly recommend this anthology. The stories I read from this collection are:

'Imaginary Friends' by Terry Brooks

This story about a boy defeating a mythical manifestation of his own cancer functions not only as a good opening story, introducing the anthology and hinting at the kind of material it features, but also as a nod to the purpose behind it, as the stories in this anthology were all donated by the
Matt LeFevers
I'm assuredly not the only person who bought this anthology just for the Wheel of Time story, "River of Souls". I've had this release on my calendar ever since Brandon Sanderson revealed that this story would be in it, and having spent fourteen-plus Wheel of Time books wondering about the mysterious country off the edge of the map, it was worth it just for a glimpse of the fabled Shara.

Having satisfied my curiosity by jumping straight to the Wheel of Time entry, I then backtracked and read the e
Perhaps the best anthology of fantasy stories I've read. Some better than others, but no real duds.

As an added bonus, several authors contributed tales related to their greater corpus, which for one reason or another haven't or couldn't previously be published. The reader gets a sampler of the the best current fantasy writers unfettered by commercial, logical or continuity demands.

Patrick Rothfuss is correct: the introductory remarks--his, Shawn's and the authors--are largely a waste of time.

A v
Bradley Staples
I'm of mixed opinions. I'd buy the book just to help out Shawn, so the money is well spent.

Many stories were great (Tad Williams, Peter Brett, Todd Lockwood, Kevin Hearne, Eldon Thompson, Michael Sullivan, and Shawn Speakman).

Two I had high hopes for but wasn't impressed (Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson). Both lacked enough substance for me.

A few more weren't even fantasy (!!!) for whatever reason, so those sucked (RA Salvatore, Daniel Abraham, David Durham). I was also really unimpressed w
Rebecca Lovatt
Originally posted on The ArchedDoorway

Normally in my reviews I’ll take a step back, and try to remove all bias. They’re formulaic: a description, the good, the bad, something else good, a general summary, and the release date of the novel, or the sequel, if there is one. That’s not something I did here. Be warned, this is a long one.

Unfettered is a fantasy anthology, containing stories from many of the biggest names in fantasy out there right now. It’s a wonderful amalgamation of talent, put tog
Aug 11, 2013 Doug marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-hold
Terry Brooks' 1st story was pretty rubbish, fluff urban fantasy. A product of its time for sure.

Patrick Rothfuss' entry was better the 2nd time through (It's only 1700 words long) and actually does work quite well if read aloud. Quite clever, but I can see people getting annoyed with it for being style over substance.

Tad Williams' story is actually quite funny in a daft, eye-rolling sort of way. I enjoyed it.

Carrie Vaughn's entry is stunning - easily the best one I've read so far. Very well wr
Stephan van Velzen
Great stories, great cause, great authors, amazing collection. I've added a lot of new authors to my to-read pile because of this anthology. I believe that was exactly what Shawn Speakman was aiming for.

My favorite story was without a doubt The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian. Here's what I wrote about that story, because it deserves being mentioned:

At about 22,500 words, Peter Orullian’s The Sound of Broken Absolutes can just barely be classified as a novella. It is short fiction, t
Billy Vazquez
Jan 12, 2015 Billy Vazquez rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
Shawn Speakman delivers a powerful and wonderful anthology. This is a must read for any fantasy fan. Go now and get yourself a copy. This is the TLDR ( too long didn't read) version of the review.

Now for those interested in the why's and why not's then reader further.

Imaginary Friends - Terry Brooks
A master of fantasy writing, Terry Brooks gives us this wonderful story of magic in the real world. Told through the eyes of a child that experiences a fantastic world of elves and dragons. Do you e
Travis Robinson
This collection literally (literally!) has something that every fantasy reader can enjoy. I read 96% of the pages, and with 24 authors I thought for sure there would be something I didn't like, and it turned out to be very, very little. Some highlights for me were:

"Imaginary Friends" - Terry Brooks. Heart wrenching and heart lifting, a perfect opening for the collection.

"Game of Chance" - Carrie Vaughn. Can't beat a redemption story.

"The Sound of Broken Absolutes" - Peter Orullian. A completel
Heard about this from Kevin Hearne on FB a while ago and it slipped my mind. Saw it this morning on Patrick Rothfuss' blog....bought it immediately! I want to start it now, but I have to finish Infinity Blade by Brandon Sanderson first. I haven't read it yet, so I cannot give it an accurate review, but given the compilation of authors I am sure this is going to be a very enjoyable read.

Now that I've finished it, I ended up buying some new authors. I was expecting more from some authors I'v
Ticklish Owl
I will be updating this entry with mini-reviews of each short story when time permits, which should be soon.

Unfettered will also be available in ebook format for those of us with tiny living spaces and even tinier bookcases.

ETA: The ebook is available for Kobo (yay!), Nook, iBooks, and Kindle.
Feb 05, 2013 Kaila marked it as to-read
"Including River of Souls, a Wheel of Time short story"


(it's apparently a scene they deleted from A Memory of Light for pacing issues, from a character we know. I think it is important to note here that a scene from a Wheel of Time book was actually deleted for "pacing issues.")
Oct 08, 2012 Rachael marked it as to-read
10/8 - just preordered this anthology--I've never bought one before. I'm really looking forward to this amazing lineup of authors (including some I have not read, but have been meaning to for a long time). As a bonus, its for a good cause! Can't wait to get my hands on this one.
Joseph Lopez
If you're actively involved in the fantasy community, chances are you've run across Shawn Speakman at some point. He's the webmaster for Terry Brooks and Naomi Novik, runs The Signed Page, writes articles for Suvudu, and does all kinds of other assorted work. This has led to him being relatively well-connected in the speculative fiction genre.

Shawn had been diagnosed with cancer and beaten it before. When it struck a second time, he had no medical insurance and accumulated a seemingly insurmount
I picked this up back when released to read a couple of very specific stories by authors I was already following, and then it sort of got lost on my shelf. Now I've finally got a round tuit.

I think it's safe to say that this anthology has more valleys than hills, and it's partly in the nature of the anthology itself. There's no overarching theme to the stories, many are from authors who don't usually write short form fantasy fiction, and given the donation nature of the collection, I suppose the
As with another anthology I did recently, I will(have to) grade each story separately and use the average to give the book the overall score; seeing as how the book isn't all by one author taking place in the same universe.

The average rating is 2.4 Star out of 22 stories(didn't finish one of the stories)

"Imaginary Friends" by Terry Brooks
It's good that Terry put his life on hold and placed time and effort into helping out a friend without looking for any compensation in return.... doesn't change
I haven't read every single story yet, but from the ones I have read, I can still comment on the book as a whole.

First off, just after hearing about the situatuon Shawn was in, I just thought "why not help?" I get an awesome anthology, and in some small way, maybe I've contributed to a good cause. I don't have any connection to Shawn, just a fan of reading, and the authors in this book. So, if you're thinking of buying this anthology, I only say..."Why not?"

Now, to the review. I haven't read a
I am so glad that I bought this anthology.

Firstly, it was for a good cause. The American healthcare system is so weird and scary, and just thinking that you would have to declare bankruptcy because you cannot afford cancer treatment scares the crap out of me. Here's for a speedy recovery, Sean!

Second, a lot of these authors pop up on my recommendations list and I'm never sure whether to make the leap or not to try out someone new. Having sampled their writing styles and gotten a taste of their w
Pretty good stories by a lot of excellent authors. I was listening to another short story collection which had afterwords for its stories & liked that better. This one has forewords. Either one can be mucked up of course, but forewords are really limited or else they're spoilers. I don't appreciate afterwords where the author feels they need to tell me what they already said via the story, but that format does give them more freedom to point out where specific elements came from & why th ...more
Having met Shawn when he was still under going treatments, I found him to be both gracious and strong; not letting the cancer get him down. He takes life by the horns and makes it do what he wants it to do. Whenever we talk he makes me smile. I thoroughly enjoyed his first book The Dark Thorn, a mix of this world and the world of faerie. I am looking forward to reading all of these authors stories. Some I have read for years, and others I look forward to being introduced to. This will be an anth ...more
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Shawn Speakman grew up in the beautiful wilds of Washington State near a volcano and surrounded by old-growth forests filled with magic. After moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, he befriended New York Times best-selling fantasy author Terry Brooks and became his webmaster, leading to an enchanted life surrounded by words.

He was a manager at one of the largest Barnes & No
More about Shawn Speakman...

Other Books in the Series

Temeraire (9 books)
  • His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1)
  • Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2)
  • Black Powder War (Temeraire #3)
  • Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, #4)
  • Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)
  • Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire, #6)
  • Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
  • League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9)
The Dark Thorn Song of the Fell Hammer The Unlocked Tome: An Annwn Cycle Tale (The Annwn Cycle) The Twilight Dragon & Other Tales of Annwn: Preludes to The Everwinter Wraith (The Annwn Cycle) The Everwinter Wraith

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“It wasn’t necessary. Wilmer offered his piece of the map in exchange for a fair share. His only condition was to come along.”

“And Maribor’s beard, was that ever a mistake,” Wilmer said. “Might have been better if you had killed me.” He looked at the thief. “Would have been quick and painless, right?”

Royce shrugged. “Sure, why not.”
“Hadrian discovered that the most fascinating thing about plummeting in total darkness wasn’t the odd sense of euphoria instilled from the free fall or the abject terror derived from anticipating sudden death, but that he had the opportunity to contemplate both.” 4 likes
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