Colleen's Reviews > Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon by Mercedes Lackey
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Apr 09, 11

bookshelves: anthology, deities-immortals, ghosts, fantasy, wizards-sorcerers, faerie, elemental-magic
Read from April 05 to 08, 2011

This anthology of three novellas serves its purpose extremely well. I picked up the book specifically to read Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms's short story, but all three contributions grabbed me enough to add the other authors' series novels to my TBR list.

Mercedes Lackey's "A Tangled Web" (Five Hundred Kingdoms #5.5) - Featuring Brunnhilde and Leopold from TheFive Hundred Kingdoms, I thoroughly enjoyed Lackey's mash-up of Norse and Greek deity myths inserted into this series' Godmother/Tradition framework. Especially making Persephone a stronger character who willingly participates in her abduction by Hades rather than acting solely as the victim of a tragic tale. Instead she and Hades are the calm, rational romantic partnership, while Bru and Leo service the hero/heroine functions to satisfy The Tradition. The unexpected twists and winks that characterize this series add humor and enliven these classic myths, while seamlessly intertwining them.

Michelle Sagara West's "Cast in Moonlight" (Prequel to the Chronicles of Elantra series) - I was intrigued with Kaylin and the other main characters almost immediately, and I think Sagara West did a terrific job with the plot and pacing. I was quickly swept into the action and felt very satisfied when I finished. However, a few things irritated me--although not enough to not recommend reading this novella. My frustration was with the minimal world building and limited characterizations. Particularly in regard to the geography, politics, and role of magic within the Empire (especially the city of Elantra) versus that of the fiefdoms (especially Nightshade where Kaylin is from). I am also still not sure what the Tha'alani, Barrani, and Ferals look like--are they anthropomorphic like the Leontines (feline-humanoids) and Aerians (avian-humanoids) or humanoid mortals/immortals similar to our Fae? Because this prequel appears after many of the novels in this series were released, I'm hoping that the first and subsequent novels in this series have addressed these omissions and space restrictions for this short story necessitated trimming them out.

Cameron Haley's "Retribution" (Prequel to the Underworld Cycle) - I immediately connected with enforcer Domino and was sucked into her travails despite my dislike of mob/mafia stories. I think the fact that the mob in question is Israeli rather than the typical Italian, Chicagoan, Russian, Asian, or Latin gangs found in most popular media was an interesting choice--especially given the setting of Los Angeles County. The fact that this novella is a well written revenge scenario with a paranormal twist also helped.
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