Delve into the brutal and contradictory world of these five female police officers, and you will find yourself simultaneously sympathetic and disturbe...moreDelve into the brutal and contradictory world of these five female police officers, and you will find yourself simultaneously sympathetic and disturbed. Learn what life is like when your job is to help people in the most extreme situations and to be the first on the scenes of some of the most grisly crimes.
This kind of life can both save people and destroy relationships, and I found myself identifying with at least one thing about each of the main characters in these short stories. I wouldn't recommend reading it when you're already feeling upset about something, though--it is not light fare; it does not pull any punches.(less)
There were two stories I loved in this anthology and six that ranged from "ugh" to "eh." The author penned some of them when she was still in her teen...moreThere were two stories I loved in this anthology and six that ranged from "ugh" to "eh." The author penned some of them when she was still in her teens. Although her age as a writer shows, what she was capable of at a young age impressed me (one of the stories I really enjoyed, Rafiddilee, was written when she was fourteen and never much revised).
These are all fantasy stories in some way related to water. Here are some that stood out to me in one way or another:
The Fall of Ys didn't really do anything for me. Maybe it's because I don't know the original legend off of which it was based, but it struck me as a very anti-man story (girl wants to go live with celibate priestesses across the sea rather than marry, which her father tries to prevent her from doing. Father is portrayed as a horrid woman-hater). After reading this story, I was cringing at the prospect of the rest of the book being more of the same. Mercifully, it wasn't.
Icerose seemed to me like a cheap knockoff of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe combined with The Snow Queen. Two children seek the Ice Witch in order to defeat her and revive the frozen ice rose, bringing summer to the land again.
Rafiddilee is a fantastic story. If the whole book had been like this, I would have given it at least four stars. An entertaining, mute, illiterate dwarf man named Rafiddilee becomes a queen's fool, and in the end the queen learns a lesson of the heart from him. Contains well-rounded characters and the only main male character in the whole book who isn't either a buffoon or a handsome, perfect hero. Two thumbs up.
The Frogskin Slippers was my other favorite story in the book. A delightful and original fairy tale that combines elements of The Frog Prince with The Twelve Dancing Princesses. The baron has died, and his daughter, Rose is the victim of a crazed, gambling mother (not a "step" in sight) who makes her work her fingers to the bone cleaning the castle. She saves a frog from her mother's cat, and discovers that he is actually Prince Rane (begin the swooning), a prince in an enchanted forest kingdom. Rane gives her the frogskin slippers (note: made of shed frogskin), enabling her to dance with him in his kingdom every night. They fall in love and he proposes to her, but if she doesn't respond by May Eve, he will not be able to come back for another year. And her mother has other nuptial plans for her.
All in all, a good collection of stories and a fun read, if a bit obvious that the author hasn't had great experiences with men and if she had, wouldn't want anything less than a prince on a white horse. (less)
Meh. I found the premise of this one even more unlikely than when Kirsten first meets Singing Bird in "Kirsten Learns a Lesson." Singing Bird helps Ki...moreMeh. I found the premise of this one even more unlikely than when Kirsten first meets Singing Bird in "Kirsten Learns a Lesson." Singing Bird helps Kirsten find her brother Peter, who has gotten lost in the woods, then is subsequently accepted by Kirsten's Mama. Probably a heartwarming story for kids, but it lacked the action of the longer books and I was again doubtful of the verisimilitude of that whole friendship. I guess I am an adult, jaded by experience. Sad.(less)