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Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction

(Crown & Court)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  606 ratings  ·  74 reviews
First Firebirds. Then Firebirds Rising. Now there is Firebirds Soaring, the third anthology of original stories by some of today?s finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. These authors, including Nancy Farmer (The Sea of Trolls), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Margo Lanagan (Black Juice), and Jane Yolen (The Devil?s Arithmetic), have brought new worlds and Old ...more
Hardcover, 574 pages
Published March 5th 2009 by Firebird
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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***"Kingmaker" - by Nancy Springer. The king's only child is a girl, who helps her father decide disputes and is well-loved by the populace, but will never rule the kingdom. When she stumbles across a powerful magic bracelet, her disappointment at being passed over bubbles up. I liked this until the end, when the story abruptly shifts.
**"A ticket to ride" - by Nancy Farmer. A destitute boy tries to help a dying homeless man, and accidentally gets to relive all of the man's best memories. Fantas
This was an amazing anthology. I really liked the previous ones in the series, but I think this is the best of them. I usually skip (or am tempted to skip) freely in anthologies; Firebirds Soaring I read with rapt attention from beginning to end. It's tough to narrow down what I liked most from such a great selection, but I'll give it a shot:

- Louise Marley, "Egg Magic": unusual, subtle magic; excellent family relationships and farm setting
- Jo Walton, "Three Twilight Tales": beautifully interwo
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 2013-rev
A year or so ago, I picked up the first Firebirds anthology. I was substantially impressed, so when I saw this one, I bought it without a second thought.

This third book, unfortunately, is not as strong as the first. It's a collection of pretty good stories, but few of them are really outstanding. In part, that may be because it's so very narrowly focused on an audience of teen girls. Nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly not me, and, more important, not what I had been expecting. An entire
Mar 25, 2009 added it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Didn't enjoy as many of the stories as much as I did the previous 2 anthologies. If anything, I think I'll look into Roberson's, Dalkey's, Walton's, and Smith's other books. (----- means didn't read/wasn't interested after first page)

***OO "Kingmaker" - by Nancy Springer
**OOO "A ticket to ride" - by Nancy Farmer
----- "A thousand tails" - by Christopher Barzak
***OO "All under heaven" - by Chris Roberson
----- "Singing on a star" - by Ellen Klages
***OO "Egg magic" - by Louise Marley
****O "Flatland"
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy Anthology

This is yet another brilliant anthology from Firebird press. I'm not sure why the stories are classified as young adult as some of the stories are quite dark. There were only two that I was disappointed in, the rest I either liked or really loved, especially:

"Fear and Loathing in Lalanna" by Nick O'Donohoe- which is a fantasy re-envisioning of _Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas_ which utterly charmed me with its unique perspective.

"Flatland" by Kara Dalkey
Nancy O'Toole
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Short story collections are tricky. All too often, even when the stories are all written by the same author, I find myself only liking half of the offerings. The Firebird anthologies, edited by Sharyn November, stand out from because the stories are more consistently good, and the authors are always great picks. I’ve had such good experiences with the first two anthologies (Firebirds, and Firebirds Rising) that I went out and grabbed the third volume and soon as I heard it was on the shelf at Bo ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it

I picked this one up soley for the Lanagan story. But one thing leads to another, so I ended up reading quite a few...

Here is what I thought about the ones I read:

- Kingmaker by Nancy Springer: This one's a familiar story about a princess's coming-of-age, but it's a very good one too: it manages to develop an interesting storyline AND present a vivid world in a mere (15, was it?) pages. The ending was a little too convenient/mystical for my tastes through.

- A Ticket to Ride by Nancy Farmer - Thi
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This shall be a brief review in which I simply give a star amount to each story in the anthology and a comment about what I liked or didn't like.
Nancy Springer, "Kingmaker"- 3 stars
Didn't love it, didn't hate it, but it felt kind of rushed.
Nancy Farmer, "A Ticket to Ride"- 2 stars
I just really didn't like this one, and the main character irked me.
Christopher Barzak "A Thousand Tails"- 4 stars
The protagonist's voice was great and the setting well realized.
Chris Robertson "All Under Heaven"- 4
Maureen E
ed. by Sharyn November

Yes, I skipped the second one. It was semi-accidental. I ordered it through ILL and they accidentally sent me the first one. Which was fine. I re-read it. I enjoyed it. Then I ordered the third one because I had some sort of weird prejudice against the second one at that point. I know this is ridiculous, and I will read it. Eventually.

Anyway. My weird tics aside, I enjoy this anthology series. It feels much more solid to me than the Windling/Datlow anthologies tend to be, w
“Kingmaker” by Nancy Springer ★★★☆☆

“A Ticket to Ride” by Nancy Farmer ★★★☆☆

“A Thousand Tails” by Christopher Barzak ★★★☆☆
I’ve said before I love things that surprise me, and this did.

“All Under Heaven” by Chris Roberson ★★★☆☆

“Singing on a Star” by Ellen Klages ★★☆☆☆

“Egg Magic” Louise Marley ★☆☆☆☆

“Flatland” by Kara Dalkey ★★★★☆
I recommend this story to anyone and everyone. Well, except young children.

“Dolly the Dog-Soldier” by Candas Jane Dorsey ★★☆☆☆
This one confused me endlessly and left me tha
Rugg Ruggedo
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Short story collections may be some of my favorite ways to discover new authors, and the Firebird series may be in a league of their own, when it comes to gathering amazing authors and solid stories.
In this,the third Firebird collection, I had chance to learn lessons as a fox spirit and on a very interesting train ride. I spent a lazy southern summer afternoon waiting for magic that I could see, and experiencing magic that only the heart can understand. I talked to dragons and guided the dead ho
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes unusual fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
First off, the back cover became unglued. I have PVA though and am not afraid to repair a book :D

Overall, I gave the book 4.4 stars. See below for the stories and the stars I gave them.

Kingmaker by Nancy Springer - 4.5 stars

Ticket to Ride by Nancy Farmer - simply written, good story - 4 stars

A Thousand Tails by Christopher Barzack - excellent plot, excellent storytelling - 5 stars

All Under Heaven by Chris Roberson - 3.5 stars

Singing on a Star by Ellen Klages - subtly scary, yet mystical and nost
William Herschel
Nov 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Most stories were good or at least tolerable, skipped only about 4. Good for those that aren´t used to scifi or fantasy, it displays so many different types of stories you´re bound to find something you are going to like.

That said, I already returned my book and I was going to list the stories I thought were the best. But I´ve found a list so I´ll list them all with a rating. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. 0 indicates skipped.

-- Kingmaker / by Nancy Springer 3
-- A ticket to ride / by Nancy Farmer 4
-- A thousand
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: CNV fans,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it liked it
November's anthologies are always a nice mix of speculative fiction -- and I love that you get such a range of stories. These are intended to be for a YA audience, if I'm not mistaken, but a couple of them seemed out of place: Yolen's "Little Red" was VERY dark (so much so that I was surprised it was by Yolen), and "Fear and Loathing..." (obviously a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson) while funny would probably pass right over the heads of most YA readers. Many of the stories featured female protago ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I finally put my school readings aside for a moment to finish this anthology. The semester is almost over! And thank goodness, because my to-read pile has become a massive to-read shelf. Homework killed me this semester. But anyway...

I loved the previous two Firebird anthologies, so I knew going in that I would probably love this one as well. Like all short story collections you've got a a mix of awesome stories and some blah stories. All of the stories I disliked were stories that didn't fit th
Renee Hall
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent collection, mostly geared toward a young adult audience but by no means restricted to it. I loved some of these stories, liked most of them, and was confused by a handful or so (mostly because there are a couple where I have no idea what the author's getting at or even what happens in the story, and a couple others that I wouldn't consider "speculative fiction" by any reasonable definition).

Favorites, in no particular order, were "Flatland" by Kara Dalkey, "Ferryman" by Margo Lanag
Jan 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Found it in the teens section. Apparently it's the third Firebirds anthology. I feel the need to check out the first two. If you like entertaining, fun short stories, this is totally the way to go. They have some really cool authors in this anthology including Nancy Farmer, who is so neat! (She wrote the Sea of Trolls trilogy that I read last summer and loved.) Lots of really fanciful, whispy stories. But it was really well balanced with some darker ones, and some that even had some social them ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Oh my goodness. I found this anthology so much more enjoyable than the previous two incarnations. Which I am surprised by as the previous two anthologies contained stories by authors I LOVE (Tamora Pierce, Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen etc.)and this one was mainly authors I had no experience with.

Found the overall writing more mature (but not too mature!) and for the most part very enjoyable. The only story I did not find interesting and enjoyable was Bonechewer's Legacy. Ugh, definitely going to
As with all collections of this type, this book is a bit of a mixed bag. There's an Elizabeth Wein story about a female fighter pilot in WWII, so it's definitely worth picking up, but there are also slower stories with morals much less to my taste. Still, there may or may not be a kitsune in one of these stories. There's definitely a girl who feeds ghosts to dragons and a boy who accidentally gets a jump start on the afterlife by switching places with a dying homeless man. Some incredibly creati ...more
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy
A great set of stories, I really enjoyed them. The ones at the beginning were ok, as they were more traditional fantasy, but as the book progressed, the stories got more moving and more interesting. I highly recommend this book, but I think that if you don't like a story to start off with, then skip and move to the next one. That is the nice part of an anthology. My favorites were: The Dignity He's Due, Court Ship, Little Red, and Something Worth Doing. Just for these stories alone you should re ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't get the chance to finish all the stories before I had to send this book back to the library, but I can't say I was very upset. At halfway through, I'd only found one story I actually liked: "Flatland", and two others I thought were pretty good, "Court Ship" and the novella "The Ghosts of Strangers". The others were either so-so or downright bad. This was deeply disappointing, since the first Firebirds anthology was fantastic. "Flatland" is by itself good enough to merit checking Firebir ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
05/2012 I am not usually a fan of anthologies, finding that liking even one or two stories is rare. The Firebird anthologies are that rare and elusive book; the exceptional anthology. I liked nearly every story in Firebirds Rising, and found some to be exceptional. If you enjoy fantasy, I recommend the Firebird anthologies as both an excellent group of short stories, and a means of discovering new authors.

11/2013 The first Firebird anthology remains my favorite, but I very much enjoy this antho
Oct 03, 2008 added it
Shelves: class-library
I loved reading this. I came across a few authors I'd never read before but enjoyed their story in the anthology -- yay for new authors to look in to! Of course I didn't love every story but that's to be expected. I enjoyed more than I disliked and some were downright fetching [I especially enjoyed "Something worth doing", "Court Ship" and "Egg Magic":] Overall, a very nice collection. The dedication to Lloyd and Janine Alexander was touching. ...more
Sheila Ruth
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Firebirds Soaring is a beautiful anthology of speculative fiction. As with all such anthologies, there were some stories I loved, some I liked and others I didn't like as much, but that's a matter of taste, not quality. Firebirds Soaring is quality through and through: from the selection of stories to the design to the decorations by Mike Dringenberg.

Read the entire review
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This particular one did not appeal to me quite as strongly as the first 2, but I think that's a reflection of personal taste, rather than a lowering of quality. This collection always has an all-star line-up, but some of my very favorite authors didn't make it into this installment. I was totally excited about the Nina Kiriki Hoffman Novella and really blown away by several of the stories. Great range! ...more
Thomas Pope
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is my first time in the Firebirds Anthology Series and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I got it from my friend who has read all of them. My favorite was between Little Red, which was darker than I anticipated and Something Worth Doing, which actually made me want to read to the end. The only one I didn't like that much was Kingmaker, which would have been a bit more surprising if it were a bit more original. I am to read the previous two in the series because of this one. ...more
Jane H
Mar 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Some stories were great, other in the okay to good range. All in all an interesting collection. Oftentimes the author's explanation of how a particular story/ ideas came about enhanced my enjoyment of a short story itself. I was most excited to read Court Ship by Sherwood Smith because I have enjoyed everything I have read by her before this and this lived up to expectations for me. Some of the authors I have never read before made me interested in reading more by them. ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
This was a very good anthology, containing many solid stories. I found all of the stories to be very readable and finished all of them. The ones that I especially enjoyed and still stick with me include A Ticket to Ride, Court Ship, and Something Worth Doing. Bonechewer's Legacy was good, but only a few pages in, I pegged it as a story that would be more meaningful to someone who had previous knowledge of the universe. Enjoyable. ...more
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Something Worth Doing 1 3 Oct 26, 2013 06:00PM  
Does anyone know if there will be more of these anthologies? 1 5 Mar 11, 2012 12:22PM  

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Sharyn November ( is senior editor for Viking Children's Books and editorial director of Firebird Books. She is a two-time World Fantasy Award Finalist (Professional category), and Firebirds Rising was a World Fantasy Award Finalist for Best Anthology. ...more

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