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Plus qu'aucun genre de la littérature populaire, la fantasy est sans doute l'héritière la plus proche des grands récits anciens, qui, de L'Épopée de Gilgamesh aux Chevaliers de la table ronde, en passant par Homère, ont su offrir la vision d'un monde imaginaire suffisamment puissante pour qu'il en devienne réel. Depuis quelques années, un certain nombre d'écrivains ont su à leur tour inventer des univers riches et complexes, développés au travers de longs cycles que chaque épisode enrichit et approfondit. Mondes chevaleresques imaginaires, monde plat hilarant, entre-deux mondes proches de notre réalité ou lointaines planètes colonisées par les humains, dans lesquelles on croisera le plus souvent quelques magiciens ou dragons, châteaux obscurs, épées magiques, loups-garous, elfes et autres lutins. Comme il l'a fait avec la science-fiction (Horizons lointains), Robert Silverberg offre à onze des plus grands noms de la fantasy l'occasion d'écrire une nouvelle inédite rattachée à leur cycle : un épisode dans la quête de Roland de Gilead, le dernier Pistolero (La Tour sombre de Stephen King), une aventure de l'inénarrable sorcière Mémé Ciredutemps (Les annales du disque-monde de Terry Pratchett), la fin du règne de Valentin, (Les Chroniques de Majipoor de Robert Silverberg), ou d'autres histoires issus de Terremer d'Ursula K. Le Guin, des Chroniques d'Alvin le faiseur d'Orson Scott Card et de quelques autres réussites du genre. Un modèle d'anthologie. --George Louhans

896 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1998

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Robert Silverberg

2,021 books1,365 followers
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Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America presented him with the Grand Master Award. Silverberg is one of twenty-nine writers to have received that distinction.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 301 reviews
Profile Image for Joseph.
682 reviews86 followers
January 8, 2022
I remember back when this first came out, and it was a Big Deal -- not just an anthology, but an original fantasy anthology (no reprints here!), and eleven Big Name fantasy authors writing all-new novellas set in their famous fantasy worlds. (And yes, I did read it back when it first came out, but this is my first return to it in, oh god, help me, 23 years.)

And it was a pretty huge success, and spawned effectively a whole series of successors -- Legends II, most obviously, but also such later volumes as Rogues and Dangerous Women and several others.

And, going back to the wellspring all these years later, I was happy to find that it still holds up quite well, both for fans of the included authors who want MOAR STORIES!!!!!! of Westeros or Pern or the Gunslinger or the Wheel of Time or what have you, and for readers of epic (or epic-ish) fantasy who might be interested in broadening their horizons without having to commit to reading an entire 800 page novel or three.

So the contributors: Stephen King (Dark Tower), Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth), Anne McCaffrey (Pern), Raymond E. Feist (Riftwar), Terry Pratchett (Discworld), Orson Scott Card (Tales of Alvin Maker), Robert Silverberg (Majipoor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea), Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn) and, last but certainly not least, George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice & Fire). (And yes, Silverberg both edits and has a story included, but I like Majipoor, so I'm prepared to allow it.)

And the stories are all hefty (novella-length) and generally well-crafted, and if you're already a fan of any particular author/series, I doubt you'll be disappointed, and if some of them are new to you, you might find some new favorites. Although as with all anthologies, you'll undoubtedly like some stories more than others.

For myself, at the time the book came out I had already read probably seven or eight of the series, although in some cases (Pern in particular) not for many years; and while it didn't necessarily fill me with the desire to rush out and reread those old books, it was a fun place to revisit.

For me, the biggest success of the book (and honestly my favorite story in it) was Terry Pratchett's "The Sea and Little Fishes", a Granny Weatherwax story and one of the relatively few shorter pieces of fiction he wrote. I had picked up a couple of the early Discworld books from the public library back in the 80s, but they never quite clicked for me; but I read the Pratchett story here, and ran out the door to local bookstores and libraries to lay hands on every single Discworld book I could find, and ended up reading like 21 Discworld books in 25 days. Or maybe it was 25 books in 21 days. Whichever. The point is that it's a very good story (and one that manages, like Jack Vance's "The Moon Moth", to encapsulate everything that makes the author great), and you should definitely read it, especially if you're already a Discworld fan.

The other personal highlight was "The Hedge Knight", the George R.R. Martin story, written after the second Westeros novel, A Clash of Kings had come out (and there's a certain bitter amusement in reading Silverberg's introduction, in which he says the series will be completed in four volumes: Game of Thrones (1996), Clash of Kings (1998), Dance with Dragons (forthcoming) and Winds of Winter (forthcoming)). But happily, this particular piece stands very nicely on its own -- it's the first Dunc & Egg story, set a full hundred years before the events of the novels, about a young squire-turned-hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his newly-acquired squire Egg, as they run into ... difficulties at their very first tourney.

So yes, if you want to read a whole bunch of epic fantasy, and maybe discover some new series to explore, this one is definitely worth checking out.

(n.b. If you're buying the eBook in particular, be vigilant -- when the book first came out in mass-market paperback, they chopped it into three chunks, and Amazon has both the complete book and a couple of the chunked-up versions for sale, and the series listing also conflates the second anthology, Legends II, into the mix, so check the preview to be sure you're getting the full eleven-author extravaganza.)
Profile Image for Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews).
1,695 reviews875 followers
January 7, 2015

The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria: 3/5

Decent, but I gave up on this series after the fourth book. So no real connection or investment in the short story for the series.

Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes - 4/5

I always enjoy a visit to Pratchett's Discworld and Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are big favorites.

The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones - 1/5

A short story from a series I really do not like. I can't stand the way Goodkind writes women (or antagonists, or protagonists, or humans) and I dislike the world he created.

Tales of Alvin Maker: Grinning Man - 1/5

I am no fan of Card's, but I couldn't even make it through this short story... and it is one of the shortest additions to the anthology.

Majipoor: The Seventh Shrine - 3/5

I can't say I really understood everything that went on here (as I have never read any his work), but the ideas were creative and strong.

Earthsea: Dragonfly -- 2/5

Confesson: I've never finished Le Guin's most popular series. I gave up early in book one, so this was not a story for me.

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Burning Man - 3/5

Like most of Williams' work, this just leaves me cold. Ehhhh.

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Hedge Knight - 4/5

The first Dunk and Egg story. The whole reason I wanted to read this and that Danielle sent it to me. And I wasn't disappointed. So many infamous figures were shown - Aerion, Dunk, Egg, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar.... It was an entertaining read.

Pern: Runner of Pern - 3/5

Confession: I've never read Pern either. I am not coming off too well as a fantasy fan, huh?

The Riftwar Saga: The Wood Boy - 3.5/5

I have a lot of fondness for the Riftwar books and this was a nice, short reminder of why Feist's books are so fun to read.

The Wheel of Time: New Spring - 3.5/5

I'd read this before but it features one of my favorite characters (Lan) so it's always worth a reread. It's a bit long, but the story of Lan and Moiraine's meeting and friendship is a good one.

All in all, a very satisfying anthology and I look forward to reading Legends II.
Profile Image for Wreade1872.
688 reviews140 followers
August 1, 2021
Based on the quality of the writing this is mostly 4 stars at least, these are experienced writers who all know their business. However there are a couple of other things to consider.

Firstly there are only 11 tales in this very thick book, so these are quite long short stories, longer than i prefer.
But the more substantial issue is that, while all anthologies are to some degree, advertising for an authors work, this collection goes a step further.
Each tale is set in a particular world, so LeGuin does an Earthsea story, King, a Dark Tower one, Martin a game of thrones one etc. So the whole things feels like a set of trailers for, or random episodes of some long running shows.

This doesn't seem like a book you buy so much as something you borrow when your looking for your next big fantasy epic to get into.
So at the end of the day i have to ask myself, do any of these stories make me want to commit to reading the 5, 10, 20 volumes etc. of the franchise they’re promoting? And the answer for me was... nah!
Profile Image for Wastrel.
150 reviews210 followers
February 17, 2019
Epic fantasy was big in the nineties. Both commercially, and physically. It made sense, therefore, for someone to provide a little (or, in fact, quite big) roadmap: eleven little introductions to eleven very big authors.

The genius, and great virtue, of Legends is that it gathers in one place works by, and in the most popular settings of, most of the most iconic fantasy writers of the age, making this a wonderful entrance point for writers you might otherwise not have read (perhaps intimidated by their colossal oeuvres).

The madness, and great vice, of Legends is that it gathers together eleven authors, almost all of whom are known primarily for their epic (and we do mean EPIC) fantasy, and told them to each write a short story. Which is, to say the least, not something they were expert in.

The conflict between this genius and this madness makes this a fascinating, but flawed, anthology.

Legends gathers the work not simply of the most commercially successful fantasy authors of the 1990s, but of most of the most commercially successful fantasy authors of all time. Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett and George RR Martin (who have all sold over 80 million copies) are backed up by Tad Williams, Terry Goodkind, Raymond E Feist, Anne McCaffrey, and Orson Scott Card (all over 15 million copies). For good luck, these commercial giants are supplemented with the glittering critical acclaim of Ursula Le Guin, and by the editor, Robert Silverberg, who has a respectable haul of both dollars and shiny engraved paperweights of his own. It is, to be concise, an astonishing line-up for an anthology, and each writer supplies a story in some way directly connected to their most famous works.

The quality is variable. With the possible exception of Stephan King, the authors all seem to have been honestly trying, and most exceeded my (admittedly in some cases low) expectations. No story is entirely without interest. That said, it's clear both that some of these writers had success that outstripped their actual talent, and that in most cases their talent did not lie with the short story. Unsurprisingly, the strongest stories come from those with extensive experience in the short form: Le Guin, Martin, and Pratchett, all of whom contribute stories that are worth seeking out on their own merit; although his talent seems more strained here, I was also impressed by Williams' simple but evocative tale, and Robert Jordan's entry (originally novel-length, edited down to a mere novella for publication), while unashamedly pulp fantasy, was entertaining enough for me to thoroughly enjoy.

If you're looking for the best fantasy stories of all time, you needn't read every page of this anthology. Perhaps you needn't read any of it - nothing here outright demands that you read it, although the Discworld, Song of Ice and Fire and Earthsea stories might each be worth consideration, each in their own very different way (you wouldn't complain if you found any of those three in a best-of-the-best anthology).

On the other hand, if you want to know about epic fantasy in the 1990s, this is an absolute must-read, as a historical document. Yes, there are some duds (the worst in a technical sense is Feist's entry, although I'd rank it above King's on its greater ambition), but it's all readable, and some of it is actually very good.

So for nostalgic old-school fans, and for curious younger students of the genre alike, I'd recommend a look... so long as you don't demand too much.

[But WARNING: careful what you're buying. This book and it's sequel have both been split up, in contradictory ways, by different publishers, and some of the naming of volumes can be misleading, so pay attention... or do what I did and buy the complete original version.]

If you want considerably more thought on this anthology, its context in the history of the genre, and its individual stories, you can find my full review up on my blog.
Profile Image for Miloș Dumbraci.
Author 20 books76 followers
March 14, 2018
The book was an excellent showcase for some of the most famous fantasy series out there. Perfect for me to get a glimpse and decide a ”to read next” list, since many have not been translated into my language and I knew only their names. The average would be 3/5, but it gets an extra star for that great idea and for the enthusiasm with which I read through them like opening mysterious Christmas presents.
Stephen King tells a tale of Roland, the Gunslinger, in the world of The Dark Tower, in "The Little Sisters of Eluria." - I already knew I hate the series, but this story I loved, so that says a lot about SK's writing super-powers. 5/5
Terry Pratchett relates an amusing incident in Discworld, of a magical contest and the witch Granny Weatherwax, in "The Sea and Little Fishes" - I like some of Pratchetts series, and some I do not. I found Granny Weatherwax to be not funny but an annoying old, well, witch, so this one is not for me 2/5
Terry Goodkind tells of the origin of the Border between realms in the world of The Sword of Truth, in "Debt of Bones." - boring, overlong, incoherent, uninteresting. 1/5
Orson Scott Card spins a yarn of Alvin and his apprentice from the Tales of Alvin Maker, in "Grinning Man." Man, I loved this kind of humor! I thought the ending was cruel and too much, but I will definitely look for the books. 5/5
Robert Silverberg returns to Majipoor and to Lord Valentine's adventure in an ancient tomb, in "the Seventh Shrine." Loved the world settings and the writing, but the policier part of the story is very weak. - so not a good story, but probably a good series 3/5
Ursual K. Le Guin adds a sequel to her famous books of Earthsea, portraying a woman who wants to learn magic, in "Dragonfly." I disliked the Earthsea cycle for being too childish, but, to my surprise, this story was not. It was not that great either, unfortunately, for the end (and twist) felt unbelievable and poetic, not in a good way. Great writing as usual, though 3/5
Tad Williams tells a dark and enthralling story of a great and haunted castle in the age before Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, in "The Burning Man." Read this one in another anthology 2 yeas ago. Cannot remember anything good or bad about it (I have a great memory with the books I do like), so it is a 3/5 and not a series to interest me.
George R.R. Martin sets his piece a generation before his epic, A Song of Ice and Fire, in the adventure of "The Hedge Knight." 5/5 Nothing needed said here, it is just as good and realistic as the incredible series which I have already read and loved.
Ann McCaffrey, the poet of Pern, returns once again to her world of romance and adventure in "Runner of Pern." Wow, this was bad. I could force myself to read only 2 pages, and still was more bored than I imagined I could be by an entire book. How could people read an entire series of this borefest torture?? 0/5
Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga is the setting of the tale of "The Wood Boy." Loved the Tsurani, definetely want more of them; also greatly enjoyed the writer s skill in starting with the end and leading the story to unsuspected paths. Also loved the realism of the officer s decision. 5/5
Robert Jordan, in "New Spring," tells of crucial events in the years leading up to The Wheel of Time. 5/5 I already read the series and loved it, so no surprise here, either.
Profile Image for Amanda.
598 reviews431 followers
August 26, 2017
I really enjoyed reading this compilation of short stories in the fantasy genre. I've read a few of the big name fantasy series, but still not a ton, and this was a good way to get introduced to some other fictional worlds. I'd only read work by three of the 11 authors in the book, two of which I've read the series the short story is meant to be companion to. Hands down my favorite was Terry Pratchett's short story about Granny Weatherwax. I'd never read any of his work before, but own ebook copies of The Color of Magic and Good Omens. His was the second story in the book, and by the time I finished the other stories, I obtained a physical copy of Equal Rites. I love his witty and sharp writing, and his ability to reveal multitudes with just one sentence. Other stories included had overly descriptive writing and took longer to get through, but overall, the book very enjoyable as a whole. I believe there were only two female authors included, but several stories had female protagonists. I look forward to reading Dangerous Women, which is kind of the same thing but with many more female authors.
Profile Image for Eric.
872 reviews77 followers
July 11, 2014
The stories I read from this collection are:

'The Hedge Night' by George R.R. Martin

What a phenomenal story. I'm glad I was introduced to Dunk and Egg in the Warriors anthology, even if it meant reading these characters' stories out of order.

'Grinning Man' by Orson Scott Card

An interesting story set in a unique alternative America. I was particularly fond of the "knack" magic system. This story makes me want to read other Alvin Maker tales, despite my reservations that the character is based on The Book of Mormon's Joseph Smith.

'The Wood Boy' by Raymond Feist

A tight short story set in the Midkemia universe. Raymond Feist is not my favorite fantasy author by far, but I really enjoyed this story told from the point-of-view of a servant boy in an enemy-occupied keep.
Profile Image for Metodi Markov.
1,304 reviews298 followers
February 18, 2022
Сборник със силни и умело подбрани от съставителя разкази.

От него тръгна манията ми по "Песен за огън и лед", за да угасне безславно двайсетина години по късно...

"Малките сестри от Елурия" от Кинг също е много добър разказ, запознаваме се със стрелеца Роланд, който ще заеме с търсенето на Тъмната кула скоро.

Струва си да се прочете!
Profile Image for Agnes.
81 reviews42 followers
January 17, 2016
Excellent short story collection. I really loved almost all off them .

The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria: 5/5

Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes - 5/5

The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones - 4/5

Tales of Alvin Maker: Grinning Man - 1/5

Majipoor: The Seventh Shrine - 4/5

Earthsea: Dragonfly -4/5

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Burning Man - 5/5

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Hedge Knight - 4/5

Pern: Runner of Pern - 3/5

The Riftwar Saga: The Wood Boy - 3/5

The Wheel of Time: New Spring - 3,5/5
Profile Image for Liss Carmody.
499 reviews13 followers
July 19, 2012
I requested this book in order to read the first of the Dunk and Egg tales by George R. R. Martin. Typically I'm not very enthusiastic about anthologies, because they tend to be huge (meaning they take forever to read) and uneven (meaning I have to slog through boring stories in order to get to the ones I enjoy). Although this clocks in at 715 pages and therefore fills the first downfall, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the stories contained herein. Most of them are actually pretty darn good. Since they are written by proclaimed masters in the world of fantasy literature, I suppose that shouldn't be surprising, but there you are.

"The Little Sisters of Eluria," by Stephen King: I haven't read anything from the Dark Tower series, so it surprised me a lot to see Stephen King heading up this collection of tales from fantasy greats. Nevertheless, based on this story, this particular set of books definitely leans more toward the fantasy than the horror, albeit a dark fantasy. The fantastic take on the American wild west is very different in flavor from the usual fantasy tropes and there is plenty of suspense in this short story. It definitely borders on paranormal, but didn't feel out of place here. I will probably not read the series, however, I enjoyed this story.

"The Sea and Little Fishes," by Terry Pratchett: I love basically everything Terry Pratchett has ever written, so you can't go wrong with a short story about Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. This was tightly written and stood out among the other tales.

"Debt of Bones," by Terry Goodkind: I'm reasonably sure I haven't read anything from the Sword of Truth series before. If I have, it was in the lost years of my adolescence and I've since forgotten everything about them, ever. This was a well-written story, giving just enough exposition for the complicated setting, before stepping back and letting the characters and their motivations carry the tale. As the protagonist, Abby is more desperate than impressive, but her motherly anguish is very convincing. Zorander is more interesting as a character, and I got the idea (although maybe misguidedly) that he is a recurring character, where Abby probably is not.

"Grinning Man," by Orson Scott Card: When I was a teenager, I read most (all?) of the Tales of Alvin Maker, which are fantasy set in the beginning of the nineteenth century in the American eastern frontier (think a magical twist on Davy Crocket and Johnny Appleseed fables). The strength of these stories is in the way that Card manages to capture that larger than life 'fable' quality without trivializing it with the addition of magical elements. This story really worked in that regard: unfortunately, it's just not a style that appeals to me overmuch. It was well written, but I was unexcited about it.

"The Seventh Shrine," by Robert Silverberg: This was easily my least favorite of these stories, or at least, the one I complained the most about. Written by the anthology's editor, it smacked a bit of having been given a more delicate hand, either included because he wanted to include some of his own work, or just in need of a vigorous editing by someone with less vested interest. (As a disclaimer, I've never heard of this author or read his full-length books: it's fully possibly he is actually as well-known in the fantasy genre as the others included here, but it didn't seem so as a new reader.) For all that, I didn't dislike the story utterly. It linked archeology and a fantasy setting in an appealing way, and the plot itself was interesting. The part where it fell apart for me was that too much time was spent detailing the world (which had obviously been meticulously built) and explaining things that would already (I hope) have been obvious to fans of the series, but that seemed extraneous to someone reading this story on its own. There was a lot of backstory given, and references to characters who simply didn't need to be mentioned to carry this story forward. I understand the desire to give reference for long-standing fans, but it bogged this story down and did it a disservice. The author also suffered some from the fantasy failing of having overly burdensome 'fantasyesque' names for characters that are a distraction.

"Dragonfly," by Ursula K. Le Guin: I haven't read the Earthsea series, but I have heard of Ursula Le Guin, and reading this beautiful and deftly done story makes me wish I had read her full-length works a long time ago. Her characterization is refreshing and I wanted to read much more than I got.

"The Burning Man," by Tad Williams: I have absolutely never heard of this author nor the series he is known for. It's a vaguely Norman-esque world, from what I can gather, and although in some ways it seemed very 'ordinary' as a fantasy world, without a unique differentiating hook, at the same time I was struck by the realistic flavor. Rather than 'high fantasy,' it has a grittier feeling that suggests ancient Anglo-Saxon literature more than Tolkien. It was pretty good! I also can appreciate the lack of a classic fantasy happy ending.

"The Hedge Knight," by George R. R. Martin: I was so very excited when I came to this story! And it did not disappoint. Set 100 years or so prior to the action in A Song of Ice and Fire, it portrays the same world but a bit through a lens, as one tends to do when recounting history or legends. While it's not a perfect society, this story was by no means as ruthlessly raw as some of the famous moments from the full-length series. Dunk is just a little bit more honorable than one might expect, Egg is just a little bit more plucky (and lucky), and although there is tragedy as well, there is something hopeful about the ending. I keep waiting for some character who appears in the series to make an appearance - but the story honestly stands on its own very well. Except I want to read more of them.

"Runner of Pern," by Anne McCaffrey: I was a devoted Pern affectionado as a teenager (who wasn't, right?), although I lost interest when the series skewed away from fantasy and became more sci-fi in flavor. This short story is charming, however, detailing the daily operations of the runner's craft (I really enjoyed the sociology of the Pern world and so this kind of thing is straight up my alley). The conflict is minor and easily resolved, there's a prominent love interest, and it's not really a meaty story in any sense. But it was an enjoyable little read and a flashback to my adolescent love affair with the world.

"The Wood Boy," by Raymond E. Feist: I have read (and liked) some Feist, but never the Riftwar Saga. This worked pretty well because the overall frame of the world and it's conflict was narrowed down to a specific story that relied more on characterization and familiar conflicts than on specific world knowledge. It wasn't important to know all about the invaders, and their goals and motivations - just knowing they were invaders was adequate to get on with the rest of the story. It was well written, if not a favorite.

"New Spring," by Robert Jordan: Forever I am hearing that I should read the Wheel of Time. Honestly, it's a daunting prospect and this story didn't make me feel as though I -must- read it, although it was well written and the plot was very interesting, despite managing to weave in very specific knowledge about unique cultural elements. I might dive in if I were convinced that the main characters continue to be important characters throughout.

As an aside, one wonderful thing about this anthology was that each story was prefaced by a two-page blurb about the world in which the full-length stories are set, including brief plot synopses and explanations of how the short stories fit into the plot. This was especially useful as a refresher for the series that I had read, but not recently, but was a very nice addition as a whole. They also included world maps for most of the worlds: although I generally found there was not much need to consult them in order to understand the stories, this was a very nice touch.

Profile Image for R.G. Ziemer.
Author 3 books15 followers
July 3, 2013
The concept behind this weighty 1998 tome was the publication of new short novels and stories by “legendary” creators of popular fantasy worlds – original adventures of their heroes, sequels, or prequels foreshadowing the events chronicled in their classic series. I’ve never been a big fan of fantasy fiction – my usually broad interests encompass hard sci-fi among other forms of popular and classic literature.

George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire has been a major deviation for me. I’ve become an ardent fan of the series. My only interest in this Legends anthology was the first of George R.R. Martin’s Westeros novellas, “The Hedge Knight”, which takes place a hundred years before the time of the “Game of Thrones.” And as it turned out, “The Hedge Knight” was my favorite of them all.
This first of three novellas introduces Dunk, squire to an old hedge knight – a “free lance” owing allegiance to no particular Lord or House of the Seven Kingdoms. When Sir Arlan dies on the road to a tournament at Ashford, sixteen-year old Dunk picks up the old man’s sword, dons his armor, and rides on to the tournament as Sir Duncan the Tall. Along the way he picks up his own young attendant, the quick and resourceful “Egg”. Together their actions set in motion events that will affect the future history of all the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It’s a somewhat lighter story than Martin’s Ice and Fire books, without the darkness of fire-gods and white walkers, but written with no less attention to detail, and no less affection for the characters. I’ll definitely be seeking out the Legends II anthology where the second novella was published

Well, not to waste a trip to the library, and as long as they gave me time, I read the rest of the stories, too. These selections, from the “legends” of the genre, have only confirmed my inclinations to avoid most fantasy fiction.

A stand-alone episode from Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series – “The Little Sisters of Eluria” -- was about what one might expect from the master – a well-written piece, lush with detail, cleverly plotted – up to a point, when the story seems to lose energy and fade out a few pages before we are done with it. It did nothing to make me want to read any more of the books.

I didn’t care for Terry Pratchett’s “The Sea and Little Fishes” – a lot of nonsense about witches of “Discworld” that didn’t really entertain me.

“Debt of Bones” by Terry Goodkind was a new installment of his “Sword of Truth” series. It held my interest for a while, but seemed to fizzle out quickly with a lot of wizardry and not much of a payoff.
I actually did get a kick out of Orson Scott Card’s “Grinning Man”, set in an alternate history in which the author’s hero Alvin Maker runs into my hero, Davy Crocket! But it was a pretty light piece of writing.

One of the better stories was Robert Silverberg’s sequel to his world of Majipoor, where an aging Lord Valentine confronts murder at the mysterious archaeological site of “The Seventh Shrine.” Even this seemed to build up to some great earth-shaking climax that never quite got there.

The same complaint might be made of “Dragonfly,” another look at the world of Earthsea. Dark rumblings on the horizon don’t matter so much here, though, because Ursula K. Le Guin is such an excellent writer; she engages the reader with her characters and they carry the story of a young girl seeking to learn the mysteries of the magician’s craft.

“The Burning Man” by Tad Williams, taking place in his world of Osten Ard, was also one of the stories I enjoyed. The melancholy reminiscences of an aging queen reveal her experiences as a young girl and secrets behind events that shaped history in her world long ago. It’s a moody piece, mysterious and full of sadness for lost love and a woman’s acceptance of fate.

“Runner of Pern” takes us back to Anne McCaffrey’s world where dragons and their riders capture the imagination. In this story, though, the dragons play no role. It’s a simple tale, nicely written, of a young woman’s coming of age as a dispatch runner crossing the dangerous landscape of their sparsely-settled, alien world.

Raymond E. Feist’s story from the “Riftwar Saga” moves along deftly without too much mumbo-jumbo of magic and sorcery. “The Wood Boy” tells of a young man’s courage in his attempt to track down a murderer and save a girl through the snowy wilderness.

“New Spring” by Robert Jordan was one of the most difficult to read. This prequel to the “Eye of the World” from the “Wheel of Time” series was virtually incomprehensible with its stewpot of complicated names and places and references to people and events not directly connected with the plot. Maybe regular fans of the series, already familiar with the names, would enjoy it.

All in all, I’m glad I read these stories, but I’m not likely to seek any of the authors out in the future – with the exception of Martin, of course. When I take this book back to the library, I’ll put in an order for the sequel, so I can read the further adventures of Dunk and Egg.
Profile Image for Chance.
17 reviews3 followers
February 22, 2011
Since this is an anthology of short stories from a number of fantasy series writers I'll give a quick run down of my feelings about them individually.

Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria. I love the Dark Tower series, and I remember searching this anthology out just to read Little Sisters when I was reading The Dark Tower books. It remaninds one of my favorite King short stories, but that may just be because I love Roland so much. :)

Terry Prachett: Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes. Loved this story of Granny Weatherwax. Like all Prachett's it was a fun easy read. If anything it was just too short.

Terry Goodkind: The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones,. I think that the real treasure of this anthology is it made me want to read more of the series the stories come from. Debt of Bones was one of those, and I can hardly wait to pick up another Goodkind book to see if he can draw me into a series the way he did w/this story.

Orson Scott Card: Tales of Alvin Maker: Grinning Man. I love all of OSC's alternate histories, and this one was a delight.

Robert Silverburg: Majipoor: The Seventh Shrine . Try as I may, I just couldn't get into this story... I guess that is the flip side of an anthology like this, sometimes you learn writers you should shy away from.

Ursula K. Le Guin: Earthsea: Dragonfly. I enjoy the Earthsea books, and this was no different. If anything Dragonfly left me wanting more.

Tad Williams: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: The Burning Man. This was one of my favorites in the anthology. A very bitter sweet story, and well told. Just the right amount of fairy tale for me.

George R.R. Martin: A Song of Fire and Ice: The Hedge Knight. This story from page one reminded me so much of the movie *A Knight's Tale* that I had to look up which came first (the story fwiw). The resemblance didn't spoil the story though. I also learned that i t was adapted into a graphic novel and I cannot wait to find them and read more of Dunk and Egg's adventure.

Anne McCaffery: Pern: Runner of Pern. My mom turned me onto the Pern books when I was 13 or so. I enjoyed this story enough to consider rereading, and rejoining, the series.

Raymond E Feist: Riftwar Saga: The Wood Boy This was a sad little story... well written, just sad... about the blinding force of first love.

Robert Jordan: Wheel Of Time: New Spring. I didn't read this one because I have previously read the novel of the same name that is a prequel to the Knife of Dreams , the first book in the Wot series. I figured it was just a novella of the novel, and well, I have invested enough of my reading time into the WoT series to be rereading a story I didn't much care for in the first place. :)
Profile Image for Amy.
713 reviews9 followers
December 4, 2010
My main reason for buying this book initially was the new Robert Jordan story "New Spring," which sheds light on certain events in the Wheel of Time series. That it also had stories by some of my other favorite authors, Tad Williams and Anne McCaffrey was a bonus. I didn't read all the stories included (I wasn't interested in the King or Silverberg ones at all), but I found most of them quite enjoyable. Marketing genius here: I started reading the Alvin Maker (Card), Discworld (Pratchett), Riftwar (Feist), and Song of Ice and Fire (Martin) series all because of the stories in this book. Anne McCaffrey's Pern story was a bit disappointing, though. Runners? How come we've never heard of them in the whole Pern series until this story? Of all the stories in this book, my faves were Jordan's and Martin's. "New Spring" tells us of the events right after the birth of Rand al'Thor and features the first meeting of Moiraine and Lan. Great stuff for Wheel of Time fans. Martin's "The Hedge Knight" is set before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire but is a great introduction to the world and sucked me right in but good.
Profile Image for Gulen.
406 reviews
July 11, 2019
Çok sevdiğim yazarların, yine çok sevdiğim serilerinden hikayeler içeren antolojinin ilki, Lan ve Moirane'in tanışmasını anlatan New Spring'in ilk yayınlandığı antoloji..Aynı şekilde Hedge Knight'da ilk burada yayınlanmıştı..
Profile Image for Reynar Swan.
Author 1 book9 followers
May 16, 2018
Of the stories in this collection, I found only two I really, really liked: that by King and Pratchett. Everything else, including Martin's The Hedge Knight (surprising because I like his Ice & Fire series), was rather...blah.
Profile Image for Erik.
212 reviews7 followers
August 22, 2017
I'm not going to spend a lot of time grading every story, but will say the book overall was a good read. I really enjoyed Jordan's contribution and thought Martin's tale was the best of the book.

I really did not care for Card's story... an oddity since I have liked his other works. But no other clunkers to be found, and that makes this a solid compilation.

A 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounding up for high caliber authors inside.
Profile Image for Richard.
717 reviews9 followers
March 23, 2015
I picked this collection up primarily because it is the only place I could find online that had the first of George R. R. Martin's Dunk and Egg stories set in the Song of Ice and Fire series and wasn't priced preposterously high. As a whole, the collection was well worth it for the rest of the stories it contained. Some were bound to be better than others, of course, but there were a few gems. Since this is an anthology, I've tried to keep up with my opinions of each of the stories it contained and I'll share my thoughts on them below.

1. Stephen King: "The Little Sisters of Eluria" (The Dark Tower) 4 stars. I read the first four Dark Tower books before I just sort of burned out with the series and gave it up. The first two or so were my favorite, though the others did have their moments. This story in particular captured everything I liked about the first book and the tidbits about Roland's backstory that was shown from time to time. Overall, it was a very solid piece.

2. Terry Goodkind: "Debt of Bones" (The Sword of Truth) 1 star. I read the first Sword of Truth book and enjoyed a good 40% of it and loathed the rest. Needless to say, I didn't follow up on the series. While this particular story had some interesting moments (I do like the way magic is handled in this universe), it was otherwise the same typical stuff I didn't care for in this series to begin with.

3. Terry Pratchett: "The Sea and Little Fishes" (Discworld) 2 stars. I like Terry Pratchett, I promise, but this did very little for me beyond being vaguely humorous and showing off some decent characters that played on the witch stereotype.

4. Orson Scott Card: "Grinning Man" (The Tales of Alvin Maker) 1 star. I didn't finish this because I couldn't stand the way it was written. I'd like to say there was more to it than that, but it was so distracting I couldn't get very far.

5. Robert Silverberg: "The Seventh Shrine" (Majipoor) 5 stars. I love, love, love this story. The parts of the story and history it introduced were fascinating, I loved the characters, and the story itself was a fantastic murder mystery. Even after reading Martin's story, this remains the highlight of my experience with the anthology.

6. Ursula K. Le Guin: "Dragonfly" (Earthsea) 4 stars. While a bit slow to start, I did end up really liking this story. The ending in particular seemed to come out of nowhere, though I wonder if it would have been more significant if I knew more about Earthsea. Still, even despite that I enjoyed it.

7. Tad Williams: "The Burning Man" (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn) 1 star. I didn't finish this one either. While I felt there was something there to enjoy, the narrator was about as boring as one could be so I left it off and moved on.

8. George R. R. Martin: "The Hedge Knight" (A Song of Ice and Fire) 5 stars. Again, the reason for buying this and it was well worth it. I love the world created in the Song of Ice and Fire and the chance to revisit it during a time when things weren't quite so dark, dire, and depressing was a nice change of pace from the books that allowed me to enjoy Westeros from a different light. Dunk, or Ser Duncan the Tall, turned out to be an decent fellow and I liked meeting a wide variety of Targaryans. That includes Aegon who is a nice change of pace from the Targaryan's I'm used to dealing with the in main series.

9. Anne McCaffrey: "Runner of Pern" (Dragonriders of Pern) 2 stars. This started off okay, then started to get interesting, and then promptly fell on it's face and I moved on. I'm mostly giving this 2 stars because I really did like what little I saw of the world and the idea behind the runners.

10. Raymond E. Feist: "The Wood Boy" (The Riftwar Saga) 3 stars. While I feel like this story could have been written with any cast of characters in any world, I did enjoy the spin on it from the Riftwar perspective and it was just a solid story beyond that. Perhaps not enough to entice me towards the series, but I liked it on it's own.

11. Robert Jordan: "New Spring" (The Wheel of Time) 1 stars. I tried to read The Wheel of Time once and just couldn't seem to get into it. This story was more or less the same experience as trying to read the first book again.

Apparently the average of my individual scores here is roughly a 3, rounded up, but I'm giving it a 4 total for having some awesome exceptions.
Profile Image for Matt.
628 reviews
April 13, 2016
The eleven stories with in this first "Legends" anthology are by some of the best writers of fantasy and science fiction, both in prose and sales. Edited by Robert Silverberg, who also contributed as well, the stories range within their established fictional worlds from stand alone either connect with the main series or in-between main series books or prequels with mixed results.

The best stories whether, stand alone or prequel, had the same things in common. First the reader did not need to know anything about the fictional setting from any previous location as the authors used the stories to introduce the audience to their written creations. Second, the story usually followed just one character, at most two if change of perspective was easily denoted, allowing the narrative to be tight given average 65 pages each story took. Those that were on the bottom end of the scale were the exact opposite as they relied too much on the reader already knowing the story's universe and too many characters or point-of-view changes to keep track of (or both!).

Unfortunately two of the weakest stories are at the very beginning and the end of the anthology, however of the nine stories in the middle of the anthology seven were at the least very good and make this fantastic purchase for anyone who gets it.

Individual Story Ratings
The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria by Stephen King (3.5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes by Terry Pratchett (4.5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind (3.5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Tales of Alvin Maker: Grinning Man by Orson Scott Card (4/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Majipoor: The Seventh Shrine by Robert Silverberg (3.5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Earthsea: Dragonfly by Ursula K. Le Guin (4/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Burning Man by Tad Williams (5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
A Song of Ice and Fire: The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin (5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Pern: Runner of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (4.5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
The Riftwar Saga: Wood Boy by Raymond E. Feist (5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
The Wheel of Time: New Spring by Robert Jordan (2.5/5) http://thechannelofmattries.blogspot....
Profile Image for Jeremy Preacher.
792 reviews43 followers
August 4, 2011
This is really a brilliant idea for a collection, and the execution is fantastic. If you follow long-form fantasy at all, you'll probably at least recognize all of these authors, and each story is a pretty good capsule of the author's style and world. I've found that my reaction to the story maps pretty closely to my reaction to the series as a whole, and so this was a great way to encounter authors I hadn't yet read (Terry Pratchett, most notably - the Granny Weatherwax story is perfect and a perfect introduction to the milieu.)

(Note - I read this when it came out, lo these many years ago (and quite a few times since,) so this is a review based on a reread.)
Profile Image for Gumbo Ya-ya.
130 reviews
March 31, 2021
Released twenty-odd years ago, Legends could be easily construed as a 600-page ad for a bunch of sprawling fantasy series, many of which were far from complete at the time, some of which are roughly equally far from complete now... As one would expect, the quality of the individual stories is somewhat varied; most manage to tell reasonably entertaining self-contained stories, though several were definitely not my cup of tea. As an anthology, I think it suffers from having no unifying theme beyond a bunch of well-known authors who had each written a bunch of books within a single mythos. If you're a die-hard fan of all sprawling fantasy ever, then this is probably a great book, if you're not, I imagine there are better ways to read the one or two individual stories that you might be interested in.

Robert Silverberg, Introduction & Mythos Overviews: ★★☆☆☆

The introduction is rather lack-lustre. Silverberg provides a brief historical overview of the emergence of modern fantasy in the 20th century, following a lull where science fiction reigned supreme. At least he doesn't go on at great length. The mythos introductions vary greatly in detail and quality; on balance they provide a helpful grounding for those readers who are not familiar with the series in which the stories sit.
Stephen King, The Little Sisters of Eluria: ★★★☆☆

This story was arguably the major draw-card for me when this anthology came out; I had gobbled up the Dark Tower books that had been released at the time, on the tail-end of a late-adolescent King-binge of epic proportion. At the time, the series had yet to go South with the drooling enthusiasm of a rabid dog trying to devour its own arsehole and King's baffling attempt to tie his entire oeuvre together in a tidy knot around Roland and his ill-fated quest had yet to become tangled in the unholy mess of later works like Black House. This was one of two stories that I actually read when I got this book in '98, and I remember enjoying it, but being a little disappointed that it didn't live up to the expectations that The Drawing of Three and Wastelands had built up in me. I guess it was a taste of things to come... I enjoyed it upon rereading; it is a well-paced, compact little tale that fairly aptly presents the tone of the series, offering a handy 50-page acid test for a reader unsure of whether or not they want to dive into Mid-World head-first.
Terry Pratchett, The Sea and Little Fishes: ★★★☆☆

This was the other story I read in this anthology back in '98, being as I was at the time (and remain) a rabid Pratchett fan. It didn't really grab me at first read, perhaps as the Granny Weatherwax novels had never really grabbed me (I'm a Vimes man, me). Rereading it 20+ years after its publication, I quite enjoyed it. In purely functional terms, it's a well constructed story that finds a scope that fits its length, characterisation is smooth and efficient, and the conceit of shifting the perspective away from the central character in the story is played to good effect. It is, perhaps, a little shy on Pratchett's trade-marked cheeky wit (by comparison to his novels), but it did manage to get the odd chuckle out of me.
Terry Goodkind, Debt of Bones: ★☆☆☆☆

This one just dragged. There wasn't any particular thing that stuck out to me as the prime suspect for my lack of enjoyment, it just never grabbed me, and I spent 60 pages or whatever not really enjoying myself. I mainly stuck with it because there were other stories in the collection (that I'd already read) that seemed pretty dull to start with but picked up. This one didn't.
I don't know the author or his other works so I don't know how this story fits into his world; it certainly didn't feel like I needed extra background to read it, so it was self-contained, whether it adds anything to the mythos or not would probably depend on the significance of the event that takes place, as there is minimal actual lore-building going on.
Orson Scott Card, Grinning Man: ★★★☆☆

I am not at all familiar with Card's Alvin Maker stories; the only book of his I've read is Ender's Game. I enjoyed this tale, which was well-constructed and, like Pratchett's tale, did a great job of matching scope and length. My main complaints were that the world building was basically absent and the characterisation was minimal. Both of these things, I suspect, would non-issues for someone who had read the novels, as it was, I found I relied heavily on Silverberg's summary of the previous works to make sense of the world about which I was reading.
Robert Silverberg, The Seventh Shrine: ★★☆☆☆

The Pontifex, supreme ruler of Majipoor, has emerged from his usual seclusion in an underground fortress to solve the mystery of a murdered archaeologist at a dig site at a supposedly cursed ancient city that serves as a focus for racial tensions between conquerors and conquered, tensions the Pontifex has sought to soothe during his reign and which now threaten to flare up again. The murder-mystery wrapping of this tale was pretty poor; the author seemed much more concerned with mythos-building, which might have been more interesting if I had any experience with Silverberg's previous works. As it was, this tale failed to stand on its own for me.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Dragonfly: ★★★☆☆

Le Guin definitely didn't phone this one in; it has all the depth and humanity that one would expect from her writing. I'm not a huge fan of the Earthsea books -though I do like the world- so it's not saying that much but I think I preferred this to most of the novels...
Tad Williams, The Burning Man: ★★★☆☆

Williams did a good job of writing a story within a larger mythos that managed to remain sufficiently self-contained to be interesting to a reader with no previous knowledge of the world. In a manner I find reminiscent of Le Guin, this tale had a strong personal focus on the inner world of the character, weaving her life around the exploration of a single incident of haunting. There was some world-building along the way, generally understated but serving to nicely sketch the backdrop of the story without getting lost in detail.
George R. R. Martin, The Hedge Knight: ★★★☆☆

I have not read any of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. I have also not lived under a rock for the past decade so I am more than passingly familiar with the lore of Westeros and its neighbouring lands. Not that it would matter; Martin's tale is exemplary in terms of being self-contained, requiring no background knowledge of the reader. Like many of the tales in this book, The Hedge Knight is strongly character-focused, with the plot revolving around a single, simple moment of conflict. Martin provides a good cast of supporting-characters and builds the tension of the tale well, with a little bit of sleight-of-hand making the story evolve into something a little different from what the reader may have initially anticipated.
Anne McCaffrey, Runner of Pern: ★☆☆☆☆

A young woman goes for a run. She gets knocked over. She has a bath. She goes to a festival, falls head-over-heels for the guy who knocked her over, and then fantasises about him knocking her up.

If you're a die-hard Pern fan (which I was, 25 years ago) then it's just possible that there is sufficient world-building in this story to make the setting a sliver richer for you than it was before, and it's certainly adequately written, but it falls short of actually being a story.
Raymond E. Feist, The Wood Boy: ★★☆☆☆

Pretty much the opposite of the McCaffrey story: it doesn't summon much of a world to be appreciated, but it's a nice, tight short story.
Robert Jordan, New Spring: ★★☆☆☆

I think this is a prologue or origin story of sorts? I've never had any interest in reading the Wheel of Time and this story didn't change that but it was a relatively well-told, self-contained tale, although it did have a bit of a "there's more to come" vibe.

Profile Image for Maik Civeira.
265 reviews8 followers
July 3, 2021
La idea detrás de este compendio resulta muy interesante; todas las novelas se sitúan en alguno de los mundos creados por sus autores y forman parte de las sagas y series más famosas creadas por ellos. Pero son originales escritas específicamente para la antología y, en la mayoría de los casos, son autocontenidas y no es necesario conocer las otras obras para entenderlas o disfrutarlas. Así, funciona como una introducción a las obras y los mundos creados por once de los maestros de la fantasía heroica moderna.

El volumen inicia con una muy oportuna introducción de Robert Silverberg. Un poco el eterno lamento de cómo la fantasía ha sido siempre denostada, nunca considerándosele “literatura seria”. Esto ha cambiado en los últimos años, gracias a nuevas generaciones que crecieron con aquellos materiales y han empujado por darles un lugar. Pero en aquel entonces, y todavía cuando yo estudié la licenciatura en Letras, no era muy bien visto dedicarle mucho pensamiento a Isaac Asimov o J.R.R. Tolkien.

La mayoría de los mundos siguen el modelo de Tolkien, con escenarios pseudomedievales, mapas inventados, sociedad feudal, clero de hechiceros, criaturas como elfos, goblins o razas equivalentes, etcétera. Pero no crean por eso que son todas derivativas y poco originales. De hecho, una de las cosas que más gratamente me sorprendieron fue descubrir que, aunque los escenarios eran similares, las historias que los autores narran pueden ser muy diversas y variadas, tanto en estilo, como en tono, enfoque y calidad.

Mis novelas cortas favoritas fueron:

3.- "Burning Man" de Tad Williams: Conforme avanza se va poniendo más y más intrigante, y cerca del final lo que parecía una anécdota de fantasía ordinaria termina en clímax que roza el horror cósmico.

2.- "Dragonfly" de Ursula K. Le Guin: Siendo una obra de esta autora, podemos esperar planteamientos que implícitamente retan los roles de género...

1.- "The Hedge Knight" de George R. R. Martin: Aquí tenemos al autor en su buena época, cuando su narrativa sorprendía a propios y extraños. Sabe con claridad lo que está haciendo y hacia donde quiere llegar; está más enfocado y no se va por las ramas.

Para una reseña más completa de la colección y cada una de las 11 novelas que la conforman, les invito a checar mi blog:

2,224 reviews9 followers
March 15, 2018
An incredible array of talent in this book is amply displayed with quality short stories and novellas.
It's impossible to list and recap them all as there are 11 tales included.
Suffice it to say the editor has done a sterling job of bringing some of the biggest and best names of fantasy together and putting them all in one book.
Fans will love returning to the mythical worlds these fantasy novelists have created and all give a little more insight into the books involved in each series.
Bought this for a few select authors that are my favourites but found a whole host of new wonderful writers whose work I now want to explore more fully!
I am speaking as one who usually hates short stories or novellas as I always wand a more expanded view of a story but these were brilliant in the way they were a complete story within themselves apart from being affiliated and linked within larger series.
An epic collection.
Profile Image for Markus.
49 reviews26 followers
July 20, 2018
A good overview of some of the best fantasy authors there is. Personally I only thouroghly enjoyed a few of the stories, mostly Ursula. K. Le Guinn's and Silverberg's, but none the less it was worthwhile to get a sample from each.
Profile Image for Salamanderinspace.
126 reviews9 followers
February 24, 2020
A good thing about this anthology: the novels kind of match each other in tone and content, so if you like one, you'll probably like most of them. I would describe the book as mediocre high fantasy. There is a little intro in front of each story that explains the "world" the author is writing in, summarizing their previous books in that world. I feel like you'd get more out of the stories if you were familliar with the author's worlds, but it's not a prerequisite. I enjoyed using the book as a taster-menu of a lot of authors I never felt compelled to read.

The Little Sisters of Eluria. Gritty and grim. If I hadn't known Stephen King wrote it, I would have guessed some mediocre white man wrote it. The protagonist is sexually assaulted in a graphic manner. I was having gender problems with it, so I quit reading on page 72 and went to the next story. 1/10

The Sea and Little Fishes by Terry Pratchett. I'm not sure I like Pratchett's writing style. It seems a bit stylized, almost childlike, and a little preachy. I think I caught an argument against unionizing. The basic premise of the story is that Granny Weatherwax, an old witch who is known for being cruel (even among witches, who are established to be competitive and catlike) is acting nice. People were incredulous in a way that didn't seem plausible. Still, it kept my attention. 4/10

Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind. Some violence in this one. A war story, of sorts. I liked the protagonist. The wizard, who I think the author meant to be likable, is insufferable. There's a certain amount of emotional inconsistency, and also the sense that the author doesn't have any experience with the states he's trying to describe (from a mother's losing a child to brushing long hair out of one's face.) I read most of this one but ended up quitting at page 192. 3/10

The Seventh Shrine by Robert Silverberg. The protagonist of this is, uncritically, a monarch of a colonizing/imperialist regime. Apart from that, the story is a murder mystery with an interesting setting. 5/10

Dragonfly by Ursula K. Le Guin. I'm normally a huge fan of Le Guin, but I had a little trouble following this one. I've read one of the Earthsea books, the first one, but I still felt a little lost. Still, the protagonist was interesting and I cared about what happened to her. And the writing is poetic. 5/10

The Burning Man by Tad Williams. A family history with angst, drama, murder, and magic. It kept my interest. A lot of stories in this book are sprinkled throughout with casual misogyny, so warning for that. The narrator here refers to a sex worker as a whore and makes some fatphobic comments about her body. It doesn't really seem like the narrator acts like a woman or even plausbily like a person. 3/10

The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin. I've never been a fan of Martin. I read the first Ice and Fire book and very much hated how he wrote women, so I didn't continue. Well, in this story he doesn't really bother to write women, and his descriptions of them feature heavily on their breasts or lack thereof. Apart from the lowkey sexism, I did enjoy the story. Though I quit around page 513 because there were too many characters and names to keep track of. 5/10

Runner of Pern by Anne Mcaffrey. Really rich worldbuilding on this one. Easily the best story in the book. Some hurt/comfort, Shakespearean misunderstandings, strong and lovable protagonist, pretty dresses. A romance. 8/10

The Wood Boy by Raymond E. Feist. Another terribly violent war story. I get the sense it might be better if you're familliar with the author's work. There's a frame narrative around a murder mystery. I liked the protagonist's sense of powerlessness. 5/10

New Spring by Robert Jordan. I liked how this author established the setting, but the super dense worldbuilding was kind of a barrier. It was hard for me to get into it. I quit at page 644. 1/10
Profile Image for Emily.
330 reviews4 followers
March 17, 2012
This is a very well-written collection of short stories by sci-fi & fantasy authors, each related to one the authors' series. My favorite was probably the Earthsea story by Ursula K. LeGuin, but all of them were quite good. This is the first "Legends" collection by editor Robert Silverberg, and includes all the stories. It was also published in a 3-volume set as "Legends Vol. 1" etc.

For my own convenience I'm listing the stories, the authors and their series here:

"The Little Sisters of Eluria" by Stephen King - Dark Tower
"The Sea and Little Fishes" by Terry Pratchett - Discworld
"Debt of Bones" by Terry Goodkind - Sword of Truth
"Grinning Man" by Orson Scott Card - Tales of Alvin Maker
"The Seventh Shrine" by Robert Silverberg - Majipoor
"Dragonfly" by Ursula K. Le Guin - Earthsea
"The Burning Man" by Tad Williams - Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
"The Hedge Knight" by George R.R. Martin - Song of Ice and Fire
"The Runner of Pern" by Anne McCaffrey - Pern
"The Wood Boy" by Raymond E. Feist - Riftwar
"New Spring" by Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time

I was familiar with several of these worlds before reading the collection - I think the unfamiliar one that intrigued me the most was the Wheel of Time story.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
152 reviews12 followers
March 17, 2014
Disclaimer: I only read the GRRM Dunk & Egg novella, and that is what my review is for. I had no interest in reading the rest of the short stories, as they all seemed to belong to existing series rather than being stand-alone tales, and I always find myself mostly lost when reading those sorts of stories.

I picked up this story with some trepidation, because I have mixed feelings about GRRM’s writing. I loved the first three ASOIAF novels, but reading the last two brought back feelings of being in high school and reading for assignment rather than pleasure.

I am happy to report that “The Hedge Knight” is similar to the first three books. It’s an interesting story that moves along with just the right amount of detail (one of my complaints about the later books is that the level of detail is just too much, to the point where the story slows down and gets boring). The characters are well-developed and amusing, and I definitely felt a sense of loss at the end when people started dying (and if you think it’s a spoiler to say that someone dies, you obviously haven’t read a lot of ASOIAF).

I finished this novella eager to pick up the next one and see where Dunk & Egg go next, which I consider to be the mark of a good story.
54 reviews
October 2, 2020
This was a good way to sample some of the epic fantasy series and see if I'd be interested in any of them in the future. I didn't get to all the stories, but this is what I read:

The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria: I've read all the Dark Tower books. This was only okay and I didn't think added much to the series as a whole

Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes - My first Terry Pratchett outside of Good Omens. I should try more of his books someday.

The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones - Decent story to give you an idea of the world of Terry Goodkind.

Earthsea: Dragonfly - I couln't get into this one and stopped reading it near the end.

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Hedge Knight - I liked this story. I thought it started a bit slow but really got you interested as it went along. Maybe the best self-contained of the stories I read.

Pern: Runner of Pern - Another first for me. I thought the introduction to the story was good in terms of the start, but thought it ended a little flat. I may want to check out more of her books though.
Profile Image for Lauren.
66 reviews5 followers
May 1, 2012
Picking a star rating for an anthology is difficult since I had a range of reactions to the stories in this book. The Terry Goodkind and Robert Silverberg stories were my least favorite. The writing in both was immature and overly moral, particularly the Goodkind. The Silverberg stretched too long and just was not interesting. Ursula K. LeGuin and Anne McCaffrey's stories were middling quality; I didn't dislike them like I did "Debt of Bones" and "The Seventh Shrine", but they didn't strike me the way the other stories did.

Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, George R.R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, and Robert Jordan all contributed stories I found very enjoyable. I had read the King and Jordan entries previously, and had read the Martin and Williams related series but not the stories in this volume. After reading the Pratchett, Card, and Feist stories I'm definitely interested in reading the related series.
Profile Image for Adrienne.
225 reviews76 followers
July 21, 2011
Not read all of these stories, only The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin and New Spring by Robert Jordan. What a fortuitous collection of short stories this was. Both are add on stories to my favourite fantasy worlds. I look forward to exploring the rest of these when I'm done reading the other series I am invested in.

Fans of Martin may be tempted to pick this up to get more of the world in his gigantic The Song of Ice and Fire series. For best results and the most payoff in connecting the two, I recommend reading The Hedge Knight right after Book Four, A Feast for Crows. Or maybe just before. Or maybe just before and then again just after. Come on, it's a very short story. You can do it.
Profile Image for K.C. Gardner.
59 reviews6 followers
July 29, 2020
This book represents several fantasy writers at the height of their writing careers. Ursula K. Le Guin, Tad Williams, and Stephen King are included. Fantasy elements differ from story to story. Some have wizards, others outworld gunslingers. These stories are believable largely due to the popularity of these writers in the past. Many of these pieces are extensions of the worlds they have presented in their novels. The best age for this work is 14 and up. Adult themes are found in this book, as fantasy novels for adults are apt to include. This is fantasy to such a degree that I would recommend it to a youth who has seemingly run out of things to read and who is looking for a challenge.
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