Brianne's Reviews > Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love

Songs of Love and Death by George R.R. Martin
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Sep 09, 11

bookshelves: pnr, anthologies, fae, angels-demons
Read from August 28 to 30, 2011

For an anthology about star-crossed lovers there was very little star-crossing going on. Don’t get me wrong, I like happy endings, but isn’t the whole point of ‘not being able to be together but trying really really hard and failing’ kind of the point? Romeo and Juliet wanted to be together and couldn’t no matter how hard they tried… and I think a lot of the stories missed that quality. I’ll try to give my brief feelings on the stories without giving away any spoilers… but it will be difficult since they’re such short stories.

Love Hurts by Jim Butcher
I’ve never read anything in the Dresden Files series, but if this is any indication to the quality of Jim Butcher’s writing than I’ll probably be picking up one of his books soon. Having never read any of his works, I was still able to enjoy the story immensely and the characters. This was definitely one of my favorites in the whole anthology (and one of the few I think actually counts as having star-crossed lovers…)

The Marrying Maid by Jo Beverly
I enjoyed the story. I don’t really think it fit in the anthology, but it was cute. The writing was nice. I kind of liked the moral bashing going on for the female who really wanted to keep her way of life but found it was very difficult to stick to… but at the same time the scenario just seemed a little too bodice-ripper for me.

Rooftops by Carrie Vaughn
Hm, not so sure about this one. Once again, it really didn’t fit into the whole theme for me. I was really happy with how everything turned out in the ending though, so I don’t have too many complaints.

Hurt Me by MLN Hanover
This one really surprised me. I went in expecting one thing, thinking I had made the correct assumptions, and then BAM… I was wrong. Not going to lie, the story did kind of really creep me out. Also, not really a star-crossed love story… I think most of these stories really aren’t.

Demon Lover by Cecilia Holland
Not one of my favorites. I really didn’t like the girl, and I definitely didn’t like the boy. The story was all right, kind of strange, kind of weird. Take ugly people and make them beautiful like they desire, but with a price. The whole theme behind it was interesting, but once again, it really wasn’t what I was looking for. I guess stories with happy ending are better in the long run, but this one didn’t even have characters I enjoyed.

The Wayfarer's Advice by Melinda M Snodgrass
Definitely one of my favorites, and… surprise… it had a sad ending. I feel like the ending fit though, perfectly, and if it had ended any other way I wouldn’t have been satisfied. Honestly, these were some of my favorite characters. They were intriguing and unique, and I felt genuinely sorry for them and their situation.

Blue Boots by Robin Hobb
I liked Blue Boots, and when I say that I mean the girl in the story whose called Blue Boots. She was sweet, suspicious, and totally relatable to. I mean, if I were her I’d be having the same worries. The male lead… eh… he was okay. He really didn’t have a lot of time to let me create an opinion about him.

The Thing About Cassandra by Neil Gaiman
At first I was kind of like “what?”, and then I was kind of like “nope, still not getting it”, and then finally I was like “OH! That’s what he means”. I feel like it took me too long (and too many rereads) for me to truly understand the ending, or maybe it all just transitioned too fast. I still enjoyed the story though; I just wish it had been easier to come to a conclusion without scratching my head and staring at the page for ten minutes.

After the Blood by Marjorie M Liu
I was kind of confused at first. Actually, I was really confused at first. I almost skipped this one completely, but I’m glad I didn’t. I really ended up loving the story. The characters were extraordinarily depressing to read about, but I guess they got a semi-happy ending so I was satisfied.

You, and You Alone by Jacqueline Carey
No, I did not like this story. I don’t like short stories where you have read the actual book to get some closure and figure out what is going on. Ugh.

His Wolf by Lisa Tuttle
I liked the beginning, but I’m not sure about the ending. It all seemed well in good and kind of exciting, especially with the male lead having a slightly indecent past, but the ending? Eh, well it wasn’t bad… it’s just kind of strange. I really felt like it didn’t fit at all.

Courting Trouble by Linnea Sinclair
Yep, I enjoyed this one. I felt like this was a story that could have definitely been expanded, which kind of left me a little unsatisfied, but I still enjoyed it. A good short story even if the characters weren’t all that memorable.

The Demon Dancer by Mary Jo Putney
I’m well aware that I’m a hypocrite. I’ve read a lot of May-December stories, but this one grossed me out. Usually, in a May-December, the older one at least LOOKS remotely younger. I really just can’t stomach a young guy and an old lady batting eyes at each other, ick. Even if she did end up young in the end, the fact they were professing the love was there before she changed into a young hot blonde was kind of disgusting… maybe I’m just biased.

Under/Above the Water by Tanith Lee
I’m still confused on what exactly happened. World switching? Time switching? Switching of switches that have switched? I don’t know. Too much switching happened, and I’m still not exactly sure why it all needed to happen.

Kaskia by Peter S Beagle
I don’t know. I can understand the star-crossed lover appeal here, but the problem was I just didn’t like the characters enough to care. A married balding man wanting to talk to the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen? I never like stories where married people are wanting other people… they just don’t sit well with me.

Man in the Mirror by Yasmine Galenorn
Oh goodness, I really enjoyed this one. The ending just killed me. Somewhere, really deep down, I wanted this to have a happy ending, and I wanted him to get out and talk to her. BUT NO, the one story in the whole thing I want them to be together… and well… they don’t end up together. Sorry if that spoiled it for you.

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon
Boring, boring, boring, boring, oh… and boring. Ugh. I don’t like the Outlander series… I gave up after book one (I’ve been told I need to give book two a chance but I doubt it will happen). This story was long and tedious for me, and probably my least favorite in the entire anthology. I just didn’t enjoy it. Overwhelming amounts of detail, a side not to tell me I had to read her series in order to understand who some of the characters are… annoying.
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08/29/2011 page 123
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