The Dragon Keepers have arrived at the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra. It has been a dangerous journey, but having found the city of their dreamsThe Dragon Keepers have arrived at the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra. It has been a dangerous journey, but having found the city of their dreams, their troubles are far from over. The river is impossible to cross with Tarman and so they are caught on the far bank. If only the dragons had learned how to fly. One of them has, though, and she takes her keeper into the city to see its wonders.
I love the world of Fitz and the Fool, and it was nice to finally get to experience some of Chalced, however, the book has too many stories and not enough space to tell them. Also, to be honest, I was a bit sad that we didn't learn more about the City of Dragons... since that is the name of the book. Through the eyes of the Dragon Keepers, the city seems a bit too ordinary, and sure, being Elderlings (most of them) it should be more ordinary than how Fitz and the Fool would experience it, but still...
It is not a bad book, far from it, but it lacks the depth and immersion of a Fitz book, and doesn't manage to paint a big picture of the world with all those perspectives. And also, those short bird intros still bother me, yes, we get it, Dragon Keepers/Bird Keepers, and yes, we get that you try to mirror the events in the big world, in the small world of the bird keepers, but honestly, it's just not very... interesting.
This anthology was bought only because of the Robin Hobb story within, but who knows, I might eventually end up reading all the stories within. This iThis anthology was bought only because of the Robin Hobb story within, but who knows, I might eventually end up reading all the stories within. This is a review-in-progress, so I will add short reviews as I read the stories.
Blue Boots (by Robin Hobb) is the story of a young woman named Timbal and her love for the minstrel Azen. There is another story as well, of a crippled lord who cannot have children and who plans a hoax to get an heir. I love the setting of the Six Duchies and the Realm of the Elderlings, but honestly, this story was not all that interesting. It lacks interesting characters and a proper story to captivate the reader. Since this story adds nothing new to the setting, it should probably just have been set in a generic setting, but then again, had she done that, it would have had little appeal to readers. Honestly, I feel a little cheated by this story. (2 stars)...more
I have marked this anthology as being "read", but in truth, I have merely read a few of the stories. This is a review-in-progress, meaning that whenevI have marked this anthology as being "read", but in truth, I have merely read a few of the stories. This is a review-in-progress, meaning that whenever I read one of the shortstories trapped within, I will make a short review of it here, and so... with each passing day, the review will grow.
I will not start at the beginning, however, since I am more of a Robin Hobb fan than a Megan Lindholm fan, so, I shall start at the beginning of part II instead.
Homecoming is the story of a jamaillian noblewoman named Carillion, who finds herself an exile of the city of her birth, sent to the Rain Wilds to colonize this new land. Her fate seems a terrible fate, but she soon grows to love and understand the new land. The story is written as a diary, and while I love Robin Hobb's first person perspective, I was a little uneasy about this in the beginning. However, as I followed Carillion into the dangerous and musterious Rain Wilds, reading about her changes and those of her children, I was wholeheartedly convinced by the end. If you love the setting of Fitz and the Fool, who cannot miss out on this story, and I have a sense that this story might have inspired Robin Hobb to have written her Rain Wilds Chronicles... but that is just a guess on my part, and probably has no foundation in reality. (4,5 stars) ...more
It is admittedly a long time since I read the books about Fitz and the Fool, and I may indeed have forgotten the historic fragments that told of the PIt is admittedly a long time since I read the books about Fitz and the Fool, and I may indeed have forgotten the historic fragments that told of the Piebald Prince, but having finally found my courage to read this book, I have no regrets of my decision. This book, as all the books by Robin Hobb, is told with a sense of detail that is unlike any I've ever read. Should you happen to find a volume of this most precious books in the darkest corners of your library, you must consider yourself lucky, or indeed charmed, and instantly turn the pages, one by one, slowly devouring the wonderful contents.
The Story... I shall spoil as little as possible and say only this... this is the story about the Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince, as told by the maid, Felicity. I use maid in lack of a better word, because this woman was so much more... she was a scholar and a truthbearer in her own small way.
My Judgment... If you love the world of the Farseers as much as I do, you must not let this book pass unnoticed by you. It might have nothing, or very little to do with either Fitz or the Fool, and yet, in the ways of history, it has everything to do with both of those. And even if the book didn't, you can sense them in every tormenting line of the book...
I will finish my short review with only these words, that this book... bestowed upon me the need to go back to those wonderful books that captivated me more than... 10-15 years ago. And for that, if nothing else, this book has served a purpose unlike any other....more
I've always loved Charles de Lint since I read a story by him, about a man and the tree from his childhood. I don't remember all the details, as you cI've always loved Charles de Lint since I read a story by him, about a man and the tree from his childhood. I don't remember all the details, as you can clearly tell (its been maybe... 10-13 years since I read it), but I remember the feeling that I had when I read the story and it was a warm feeling, but also that this story was somehow directly connected to me and my life (I had a tree much like that in my backyard).
Anyways, years later I pick up this collection on a whim and drops it off at the Shelf of Lost Stories. I want to read it, but I also want to read about... 546 other books. However, maybe a year later, I start to read the first story, but it becomes clear to me that I am definitely not ready for the book yet, and so I put it back on its place on the Shelf.
But four days ago, I finally spot the book again and have this incredible feeling that I am ready to delve into its secret and lo and behold... I was, and... am.
Since this is a collection of shortstories, this will be another review-in-progress where I will write a short review of each story as I read them. As has become the norm of late... I will start at the very beginning.
Ten for the Devil (45 pages) Staley is a young woman who lives in the rez, in a trailer, and who loves to play her very special blue fiddle. One day she is dropped off not far from her home and when she plays her fiddle on a whim, she accidently summons something from the otherworld. She brings a rabbit, a skinchanger, with her to her friends, all in the hopes that they can tell her what is going on. Great story with a lot of mysterious insight into the world that we live in. The ending left a little to be desired, as it ended rather quickly, however, this story still comes highly recommended. (4 stars)
Wingless Angels (17 pages) A man finds a camera one day, with strange pictures dated a week later. Not only that, it also appears that the strange creatures on the picture is killing a man. Is the guy losing his mind, or is this another weird occurence in the town of Newford? This wont ever be my favorite Newford story as it lacks the beauty of other Newford stories, but... I might have to go back to it one day. (2 stars)...more
This little book doesn't look like much, which is probably why I had totally forgotten about it, however, when you look inside, you soon realize thatThis little book doesn't look like much, which is probably why I had totally forgotten about it, however, when you look inside, you soon realize that it is full of big and interesting names. I think it just might be time to read a few of these stories, if not all of them.
This is a review-in-progress, and I will post short reviews of each shortstory, as I read them of course. The first one, Pelt, looks interesting, so lets start there...
Pelt by Carol Emshwiller (11 pages) A galactic hunter has arrived at an ice-world named Jaxa. He has brought his dog and hunting companion. However, something ancient lives here, something that cherishes the freedom of all. Soon, the dog finds itself craving this freedom, but will the urge be strong enough for it to leave its master behind? Nice story, told in a very appropriate slow pace. I particular liked the point of view from the dog's perspective, and the alien nature of this new world. Recommended. (3.5 stars)
Triggerman by J.F. Bone (12 pages) A man is sitting in a small room below ground, in something called the Center. He has the power to unleash World War III... so what does he do when Washington is destroyed by a "bogey" and the president and Joint chiefs are killed? Well-written and surely makes you think, but today the thought of a button like that and one man on the trigger seems a little... far-fetched. (2 stars)
The Prize of Peril by Robert Sheckley (20 pages) In the future, being a reality star is actually... dangerous (perhaps deadly is a better word actually). What people won't do for money, crashing an airplane, diving with sharks and then... hunted down by actual, professional killers. In today's world, it is not so far-fetched, people will do insane things for money. The ending, though, seemed a little weird. I mean, now that he has done all that... and survived... why would he... (2.5 stars)
Hickory, Dickory, Kerouac by Richard Gehman (3 pages) A story about a hipster mouse who digs a lot of stuff and who has tried the pot, the pan, everything really... in the kitchen! A (very) weird story, with a certain charm for sure, but I fail to see how it relates to science fiction. (2 stars)
The Yellow Pill by Rog Phillips (14 pages) A murderer is presented to a doctor. Neither of them believes in the other one's reality, and yet, they both try to... only the doctor needs a yellow pill to help him along the way. This story has my head spinning, a true mindbender. I am still not sure what to think of the ending, but it is kinda a fun run while you are reading it. (3 stars)
River of Riches by Gerald Kersh (14 pages) A man enters a bar with a crazy story about emeralds, gold and a strange game of nuts. He seems like a charlatan, but the listener starts to believe that he might indeed be telling the truth about the River of Riches. A fun tale that will keep you captivated for sure. Not sure why this ended up in an anthology of science fiction stories, though. (3 stars)
Satellite Passage by Theodore L. Thomas (11 pages) Two satellites are apparently on a course to collide. One of them is american, manned, and guess what, the other one is... russian, and also manned. It feels very much like these two are playing a game of chicken, because if they are manned, they should have every chance for moving away from eachothers courses. There were a lot of things wrong with this story and overall, it just felt very outdated and weird. (1 star)
Casey Agonistes by R.M. McKenna (12 pages) This story has a very unreliable narrator, a person locked up in an insane asylum, and for that reason, the story twists and turns and you need to pay attention to follow it. It had a lot of heart, but felt somewhat out of its element in this anthology. (2 stars)
Space-time for Springer by Fritz Leiber (13 pages) Gummitch is a special kitten (a superkitten actually), he has figured out the idea behind the mirrors and windows (about the Gummitch Double), he can teleport and any day now, he will be able to talk. However, one day something goes terrible wrong, and even with an IQ of 160, there is no going back from this. Weird story, but also a little bit wonderful. I've had a cat... and they do seem to act this way. Like they are the Masters of the Universe. (2.5 stars)
Or All the Seas With Oysters by Avram Davidson (11 pages) This story takes place in a small bikeshop run by two guys, Oscar and Ferd. These two guys are very different from eachother, where Oscar is open, social and likes girl a lot, Ferd seems the exact opposite. Ferd also likes nature, and keeps talking about how some animals can change shape and regenerate missing limbs... but when he starts talking about how his racer has the same attributes, because its a special... creature, something is not right with the world. A weird story, and even if I can accept a world where anything is possible, it still pains me as a biology teacher, to have to accept... this. (1.5 stars)
Ten-Story Jigsaw by Brian W. Aldiss (9 pages) This is a post-apocalyptic story from the other side of the world, Sydney, Australia. It tells the story of a couple of junkmen who flies around gathering stuff from abandoned buildings, right before they are pulled down. It is also a story that focuses too heavily on the plot twist by the end, and therefore drops the reader halfway through it. I could have enjoyed this story... had it had a different ending. (1 star)
Fresh Guy by E.C. Tubb (16 pages) A small group of misfits have gathered near The Tombstone. There is a ghoul, two vampires and a werewolf and they are all hungry. Apparently there aren't that many humans left and they have all hidden underground after something happened abbove ground (probably the same thing that made all these... monsters) However, hunger drives anyone to do weird things. Not a favorite story of mine, it took me too long to figure out what was going on here, and having read it, I am still not entirely sure. (1 star)
The Beautiful Things by Arthur Zirul (5 pages) Man are no longer the rulers of earth, the bears are. Man is still here, though, but hiding... always fearing the domination of bears. One day, a bear traps a man and find out that he can make the Beautiful Things. He has a plan to get more of these, but the next humans that he traps, thinks that the Beautiful Things is something else entirely. Amazing story, but yeah, in order to believe in it, you need to believe in bears as the dominant race on earth... but it'll be worth it. Easily the best story in the anthology at this point. (4 stars)
The Comedian's Children by Theodore Sturgeon (46 pages) A spaceship is sent to one of Saturn's moons, and when it arrives, it crashes and somehow releases some kind of disease that only target children. Now, some people wants to figure out this mystery, while others wants to take advantage of the children. Yes, with this story you are in for a Sturgeon experience. The story takes a few twists and turns along the way, and eventually ends up far from where it started. It dropped me a few times, but I managed to keep reading. By the end of it, though, I still had a few questions I wanted answered, but aint that always the case with Sturgeon... not a favorite Sturgeon story of mine. (2 stars)
The Short-Short Story of Mankind by John Steinbeck (6 pages) This is exactly what it says on the tin... a Short-Short story of Mankind. It takes us from the cave, to the birthing of the United Nations. Not much of a story though... or satire for that matter. (1 star)...more
Ok, I needed a fast injection of Science Fiction and so picked up this "little" book that had been resting (and gathering dust) on my shelf. To be comOk, I needed a fast injection of Science Fiction and so picked up this "little" book that had been resting (and gathering dust) on my shelf. To be completely honest, I have yet to read a really good Baen book (they always seem to have the feel of cheapness..), and so, my hopes are not that great for this one, although it does contain a couple of interesting names, like Gregory Benford and Gene Wolfe.
This is a review-in-progress, which means that I will add a small review of each individual shortstory as I read it. Starting at the very beginning, of course...
Dog Soldierby Garth Nix This is the story about man's best friend, the mechanical... dog! We are somewhere in the far galaxy, far away from Earth (what they call Terra). Here man is fighting a new three-armed race called Xene's and today our hero, Gillies gets a new toy to test out. I am no fan of a heavy science fiction language, as I like to understand what I am reading about. This story started out with a LOT of new words to understand, and while most of them certainly lost me, the story actually ended by surprising me with its... warmth and heart. Not a great read, but a solid one. (3 stars)
The Girl With the Killer Eyesby B.B. Kristopher Yep, the title says it all. This, however, is not science fiction, but a story about superhumans. In it we meet Jodie, a woman who has her first day at the FBSI, sort of an agency for superhumans who help fight superhuman crime. Her first task: A simple robbery. Personally, this story didn't offer me anything. It tried to be funny, but it didn't really work. (1 star)...more
The Story... Try to hang on and if you have questions afterwards, well, you must clearly read the book on your own!
A man wakes up surrounded by waterThe Story... Try to hang on and if you have questions afterwards, well, you must clearly read the book on your own!
A man wakes up surrounded by water. He fights his way to the shore where he learns that another person has washed ashore as well. A woman. He describes her as a swimmer, built for the ocean. He closes his eyes and when he opens them in the morning, the woman is gone. She has been taken by a tribe called the spine kings. These savages are cannibals and will sacrifice the woman when they reach a place called Kataptron Cove.
The man does not know who he is and soon finds that while he has no recollection of anywhere else, this place and its people are very strange indeed. Some grow trees from their shoulders, while others know how to shapechange. Whenever he meet a new group of people, he asks them about the world and how it was created, but will these stories reveal anything of his identity and past?
My Judgment... What sold me on this book was a reviewer on Goodreads who had stopped after 50 pages because it was too weird for him. This is always a positive thing in my book and therefore I began to read. After 50 pages, I was completely involved in the beautiful and mysterious story. One thing you must understand before reading this... it is almost like a long poem with lots of symbols and metaphors. The story is pretty straightforward, but if you want to dig a little deeper than the obvious... you will be richly rewarded.
In many ways, this story reminded me about Tanith Lee's Flat Earth stories. It has the same poetic language and fantastic world, although you will not meet any demons here. The ending was a little unfulfilling, but maybe there was something that I missed. The good thing is, now I have a reason to go back and read it one more time.
Also, I was a little uncertain about the genre, and had originally classified the book as both fantasy, horror and sci-fi, but now that I've read the book it is unmistakeably... fantasy!
This book comes fully recommended, at least by me....more
Before reading my review, you should know that I read the danish version, so there is a good chance that I will not translate certain words perfectlyBefore reading my review, you should know that I read the danish version, so there is a good chance that I will not translate certain words perfectly (at least according to the original book).
The Story... Denzil lives in the middle ages around 12-something. He is a wizard's apprentice, yet have already read a lot of his master's spells, even though he probably shouldn't have. He might very well be an apprentice, yet, he is already a formidable wizard in his own way.
The story kicks off with Denzil visiting an old witch. He claims that his master sent him, but really, he was there to steal something. However, when the witch calls him a thief, he gets angry... Denzil is NO thief... he is a robber and apparently there is a great difference. Before leaving the old witch, she gives Denzil a warning that a dragon will slay him on Spy Wednesday! Denzil, however, does not believe that the warning is meant for him, instead he thinks the warning is meant for his master... Valvasor...
Spy Wednesday is in four days, so Denzil decides to use his magical amulet to travel into the future to warn his master. But something goes wrong and Denzil finds himself 7 centuries ahead of his own time... in the garden of the MacAllister family!
Will Denzil be able to do the math correctly and find his way back to his own time and will he manage to save his master from certain doom...
My Judgment... This is a children's book and it shows. However, this is not a bad thing. It has plenty of things to teach a child reading the book. It is unmistakably fantasy and there is plenty of magic within these pages, however, there is also a good story about being different from everyone else and come to terms with who (and what) you are. It is about finding your own destiny and allowing others to help you fulfill it. I feared early on that it would be far too predictable (because one of its great themes is time travel), but it really isn't. It is actually a sweet little story.
Highly recommended to children age 8-11! And don't be discouraged if you don't like fantasy... this is not pure fantasy, like the Lord of the Rings... it is more like Harry Potter....more
I've had this anthology on the shelf for quite some time and wanted to read it... several times. I bought it because I really like shared world settinI've had this anthology on the shelf for quite some time and wanted to read it... several times. I bought it because I really like shared world settings, when done right, and there are some promising writers in this book, like Charles de Lint, Gene Wolfe, Megan Lindholm (Robin Hobb) and Steven Brust.
This is another review-in-progress, and I will review the shortstories as I get to read them, starting with the first, of course, and ending with the last.
A Happy Birthday (by Will Shetterly> is the story of the Magician of Liavek and how he is saved, by luck, from one of his greatest enemies. It was a little confusing at times, since it introduces a lot of new ideas, but overall - a good and solid read. (2.5 stars)
Before the Paint is Dry (by Kara Dalkey) is a tale of the artists of Liavek, and how they compete. Strong characters and definitely a story with another pace than your average fantasy story. (3 stars)...more