Five previously published stories and one new for this collection, all set in either Ile-Rien and Cineth, the worlds in which The Fall of Ile-Rien triFive previously published stories and one new for this collection, all set in either Ile-Rien and Cineth, the worlds in which The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Element of Fire, and The Death of the Necromancer. I highly recommend all for great settings and well-developed characters (female and male), as well as a great matriarchal culture in the case of the trilogy.
I enjoyed the stories mostly due to 1) Wells' skill and 2) wanting just a little bit more out of this universe. I don't know what I want more, another Raksuran book or a postscript for the The Fall of Ile-Rien. This trend of collecting previously published stories in one easily accessed ebook is great for me - I'm terrible at hunting these things down.
This is turning out to be like a really good TV show, except for the bit where the longer it goes on, the more you start to wonder when it's going toThis is turning out to be like a really good TV show, except for the bit where the longer it goes on, the more you start to wonder when it's going to jump the shark....more
These things are like popcorn. I'm still confused by some of Vic's choices in these books...and his relationship with Jacob is simultaneously really hThese things are like popcorn. I'm still confused by some of Vic's choices in these books...and his relationship with Jacob is simultaneously really hot and really boring....more
If I could exclude the few stories that made me think WTF!?, I would give this 5 stars. I loved the concept - stories from places, times, and people nIf I could exclude the few stories that made me think WTF!?, I would give this 5 stars. I loved the concept - stories from places, times, and people not usually written about, marginalized or forgotten. However, I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies, as I always read with an eye for my preferred narrative styles and with almost 30 writers, there's no guaranteeing I'll like more than half of what I find. So I always start anthologies looking for the tipping point, when buying the book, spending the time on it becomes "worth it".
For this book, that point came shortly after my confused status update at the 1/3 mark. Soon after, I started enjoying the stories more consistently - there were still 'meh' stories and 'AUGH' stories, but more often than not, I was quickly pulled in and left intrigued, with a pile of possible Google search terms. My biggest problem turned out to be the 'speculative' part of 'speculative' fiction. See, I got interested in this book because of 1) that beautiful cover art and 2) the knowledge that the focus would be on marginalized groups - women, LGBT, the differently abled, people of color. The history bit? Flew right over my head.
Which is unfortunate, because I LOVE historical fiction. I cut my reading teeth on it. That part of this anthology was ace and hit all of my history/geography buttons - I'm not sure I'd ever read a story set in Wales, Philippines, Manitoba, Nigeria, or Guatemala before.
The mix of magic and history, however? Left me a little muddled. I did best with the stories where I felt familiar with the speculation involved, and in fact really enjoyed the heck out of them, but there were others that I felt like I was missing half the story, like my education was lacking. Plus, Google was often useless in those cases.
Really enjoyed: Each Part Without Mercy - a girl of mixed race in 1700s Madras discovers that she has an unusual gift. The Witch of Tarup - Dagny needs a witch to save her family's mill. Diyu - A Bhuddist priest gets tangled in Lilo and Stitch meets Cowboys Miners and Aliens. A Deeper Echo - A Native WWI veteran searches Winnipeg for his stolen children. Knotting Grass, Holding Ring - Two young women, a concubine and her servant, have to figure out how to survive when their city falls to an invading army. There Will Be On Vacant Chair - A Hungarian Jewish family faces the realities of the Civil War Find Me Unafraid - A African-American woman gets help from an unexpected quarter when her family is threatened by the Klan. A Wedding in Hungry Days - A dead girl is married off to a living boy who makes items of paper for the deceased. Lone Women - A woman and her secret need to find a way to survive horse-thieves and winter on their homestead in Montana.
Found disturbing, but intriguing: The Oud Collected Likenesses Nine The Heart and the Feather
Found disturbing, full stop: Marigolds - I could kind of see what might have been the point here, but I was too busy gagging. The Colts - Huh?
Nnedi Okorafor was one of the recognizable names on the list, but her story (It's War) was disappointing to me. It was just another one of the several stories in the collection that I read and thought, "Okay, well, that happened."
The art - LOVED the cover art. Like I said above, it really is what first caught my eye on Tumblr. The interior art? Ranged from "Oh hey, kind of like that" to "meh" to "uhhhhh"....more
Okay, I admit it, I was a little bored. The world-building was miles ahead of The Element of Fire, but the characters' relationships were pretty meh.Okay, I admit it, I was a little bored. The world-building was miles ahead of The Element of Fire, but the characters' relationships were pretty meh. I liked Maskelle and Rian well enough, but they'd known each other for maybe a week by the time the plot climaxes and it shows.
Points for the REALLY creepy puppet, however....more
Finished in a long gulp over the last two days. Once the setting started coming together for me, I was hooked, but I admit I was disappointed by the eFinished in a long gulp over the last two days. Once the setting started coming together for me, I was hooked, but I admit I was disappointed by the end - I thought we were going to get more questions answered then we ended up with....more
Once again, a lot of fun, though mostly because the memories of the first half are already fading. Don't get me wrong, the events of the first half seOnce again, a lot of fun, though mostly because the memories of the first half are already fading. Don't get me wrong, the events of the first half set the stage for the end of the book, allowing Lynch to pull off another magnificent, rollicking ending. With a hitch, but hey, I hear there are supposed to be more books, so whatever. But the first half was very long for what it was and while watching Locke and Jean dig themselves out of trouble is always fun, watching them get into it in the first place meant that my interest wasn't fully engaged until they set sail.
I was much happier with the treatment of women in this book - in the first book I appreciated how they were spoken of, in this book I appreciated them as characters. I liked how they played with regards to Locke's background in Camorr as well; Camorr was our normal and now we're learning that the rest of this fantasyland regard Camorri as batshit insane.
As others have said, one character's eventual death is apparent almost from their first appearance. Particularly unfortunate since I thought this character would make a good addition to the team and part of what made the first half a drag was it being the Locke-and-Jean Show. They're awesome together, but I missed the interactions with other characters that the first book had. Once they're back in a group, I am much more appreciative of their charms.
Finally, I don't think I have been more charmed by an idea in a book in the last five years than I was by the "women and cats are lucky at sea" detail. The cats provided enough comic relief that they kept me reading though to the second half of the book, and as a woman living in a world with strong traditions regarding women as unlucky or impure in a wide variety of circumstances (the institutionalized version of 'Girls are icky'), it was soothing to read a dissenting thought....more
It's hard to not compare this to The Name of the Wind, so I won't bother to avoid doing so. I loved The Name of the Wind, but I loved this more. KvothIt's hard to not compare this to The Name of the Wind, so I won't bother to avoid doing so. I loved The Name of the Wind, but I loved this more. Kvothe was someone I endured while enjoying Rothfuss's writing, Locke was enjoyable in and of himself.
The world-building was incredibly nuanced, and I'll remember this book for it's setting the way I remember The Name of the Wind for its alchemy and mythology. I wish we could get away from European-based settings, but this one was done so well I can forgive it. Plus, I know the pitfalls of white writers dabbling in setting their stories in "The Orient", so I suppose I'm glad to be saved that.
I went into this with inflated hopes about female characters - those hopes were not dashed, though I was a tad disappointed. As far as the status of women in the world of the book goes, I am quite pleased - they're all just as powerful, as vicious, as intelligent as the men and there seems to be no limit to the roles they can take. As characters, I was less pleased. Six of them had names, four of them are Locke's enemies, one is fridged, and one never actually makes an appearance. Hrm.
(view spoiler)[Of all the deaths in the stories, Vestris's had me the most upset. Yeah, kill off a chunk of the main cast and I could only spare a tear for the bird. The evil bird, even. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was bored with everything that happened in the second half. The first couple of chapters were funny, but the rescue of Westley and Buttercup...snoreI was bored with everything that happened in the second half. The first couple of chapters were funny, but the rescue of Westley and Buttercup...snore. Long snore.
This edition was also put together oddly. There were illustrations and introductions by the author from both the 25th and 30th anniversary editions (the 30th before the 25th, naturally, even though it references things you wouldn't understand unless you read the 25th first) and book group discussion questions? ...more