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Unfettered II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy (Unfettered, #2)
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Unfettered II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy

(Unfettered #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  872 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Life can kick us when we are down.

In Shawn Speakman’s case, he is fighting back.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Speakman beat the disease as well as the massive medical debt he amassed from its treatment. He did this by publishing Unfettered, an anthology featuring short stories donated by some of the best science fiction and fantasy
Hardcover, 584 pages
Published November 21st 2016 by Grim Oak Press
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Michael Yes, the audio rights for this book have been sold and there will be a version. I don't have any dates at this time, but I suspect it won't be too lon…moreYes, the audio rights for this book have been sold and there will be a version. I don't have any dates at this time, but I suspect it won't be too long.(less)
Michael What format are you looking for? The audio is available on The ebook is available at all retailers (Amazon, B&N, iBookstore, etc). I "thi…moreWhat format are you looking for? The audio is available on The ebook is available at all retailers (Amazon, B&N, iBookstore, etc). I "think" the hardcover is only available from Grim Oak Press.(less)

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
This anthology is a precious gift, for the contributes, the editing, the cover, the interior art, the dedication and the cause.

Castle Coeurlieu by Naomi Novik: I liked Novik's novel Uprooted, and here I found again that mix of historical fiction and gothic fairytale I've so appreciated in her standalone. I also love her care for details and the way she writes female protagonists.

A Slow Kill by Peter Orullian: this story features a Machiavellian assassination. It’s carefully planned, well-worded
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Little Wren and the Big Forest

The forest near Wren's house is something of a mystery. Only her father ever enters, but only just slightly. When Wren's brother enters the forest following a sheep, he doesn't reappear. Wren's father and mother follow until only Wren remained. Now Wren could follow her mother's instructions or she could enter the forest to see if she can find her family. Wren may be little, but she's no coward.

Little Wren and the Big Forest is a fairy tale about the dwarf Gronb
==Little Wren and the Big Forest by Michael J. Sullivan==

A charming story about courage and love, involving a little girl, Wren, and the mythical villain dwarf from ancient times, Gronbach. Best to be read after Age of Myth to have a better visual of the surrounding world.

It is part of the anthology Unfettered II , by editor Shawn Speakman, but also, courtesy of the author, it may be downloaded from Instafreebie:
Shawn Speakman
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am biased.

But this anthology is about as wonderful and magical as any I've read. And I've read more than a few. I really enjoy having these Unfettered anthologies being themeless. It allows every contributor to do something that they otherwise wouldn't be able to do and it shows in the quality of the stories.

Add that this is my way of memorializing my mother -- who is featured on the cover - and it makes Unfettered II really special. My own short story contribution is about her last days as s
Oct 22, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I wanted to review this only to say thank you to Shawn for including me in it, and to the other authors for contributing such great stories.

For my part, I have a SHATTERED SANDS story in the anthology. The story focuses on Dardzada, an apothecary who, for a time, is the foster father of Çeda (the heroine of TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI). I wanted to tell his tale because he became really interesting to me as I wrote about him in TWELVE KINGS. He cares for Çeda very much, but goes about it in the wr
Skylar Phelps
A good short story by MJS. 3.5 stars

You can't help but like little Wren, she is adorable, unfortunate and simple. I love the setting to this story. Something about mysterious, dark forests haunt me, in an enchanted/wondrous sort of way. I can't help but sense that there has to be magic in the strange and mystical spaces between the trees.

This story had the feel of a bedtime fairytale. One that mothers and grandmothers would tell hundreds of years ago when tucking the little ones into quilts on b
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A varied, well written collection of short stories to dip into between long books. Details of each one noted in other reviews. I enjoyed all stories, but some appealed more than others, depending on my own favourite writers or themes.
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
As per usual, Shawn Speakman delivers a great anthology. I didn't outright not like any of the stories in this one (but I did find a couple a little boring- as is bound to happen). Here's a little more about which were my favorites:

My favorite story of this particular bunch was Magic Beans by Django Wexler. His coffee-shop erotica. I appreciate a story with both a sex closet and a dragon in it.

The Thrill by Brandon Sanderson was also super exciting. It not only ramped up my excitement for Oathb
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I received this book though Goodreads Giveaways for an honest review. I really wanted this book for Mark Lawrence and there are so many authors I was excited to check out so as much as I want to review the stories I,m not going to my rating is good enough. So yeah Cancer sucks ass and my heart goes out to Shawn Speakman and all those fighting the good fight, and to those we've lost and to every one affected by it. Cancer can come after anyone non of us are immune. The cover of this book is beaut ...more
Krista D.
I picked up this anthology specifically for Janny Wurts and Jim Butcher. Enjoyed both of their stories. Wurts' short story is a great example of what her epic fantasy style is like (plus the story had a great 'history lesson' feel to it, which I really enjoyed). Butcher's is basically required reading for mega Dresden fans. ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unfettered is a special series of Anthologies. They are books that truly do good in the world. The proceeds from each help to alleviate medical debt within the SFF community. The contributors are given free reign to submit as the anthologies are theme-less.

With each book released I have encountered authors that I have known and loved for year. Sometimes they contribute tidbits within established worlds, letting you get a glimpse of their worlds and characters that would never fit in full length
Marin Bratanov
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped
Very weak. I found the quality of the stories to be much poorer than the first.i tried to read through them to get a sense of the authors and still had a hard time finishing most of them. The best, by a huge margin is by Sanderson. I can't believe how boring the opening piece was. Mostly young adult, like for 12 year olds perhaps. Just...skip it ...more
Stefano G.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read the Brandon Sanderson part so this is a review only on that.

The Thrill - Brandon Sanerson -> ★★★★☆
The Dalinar Flashbacks from the new Stormlight Archive book Oathbringer, are real treats. They show some glimpses of the dark man Dalinar was in his youth, as well as a first glimpse to his forgotten wife.

The fighting scenes are quite impressive but maybe not as polished as I would have expected (hoping for this to be cleaned up in the review process), also since the scenes are from

A good collection of short stories by various authors. I loved how there were numerous storylines as the authors weren’t hemmed in due fulfilling a specific goal or genre requirement. My two favourite stories were Magical Beans by Django Wexler and The Hedgewitch by Susan Beth Durst. There was an introduction and unique picture to each story which enhanced the enjoyment it.

Castle Coeurlieu by Naomi Novik - 3.5 Stars
A great story about a young teenage girl who has been married off to an older ma
Aug 15, 2016 marked it as to-read
when available. Dresden Files story - Day One (Butters POV)
kartik narayanan
I received this as a bonus for supporting the kickstarter.

This story is a fairy tale cliche. The writing was good but in the end, its an average read. Not bad but not good either.
Fate's Lady
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
This anthology is a good example of why we need fewer white dudes in charge. Few heroines, and the ones written by men were questionable. I don't think there were any POC. It gets bland. A lot of the stories were also cliches.

Castle Coeurlieu **
Felt scattered and a little lost. Took a long time to get going, and once the pace picked up, the story just sort of shambled to a stop.

A Slow Kill *****
As two men who both happen to be assassins dig a ditch together, one tells the other stories of some
Boostamonte Halvorsen
So small secret...I'm getting annoyed by these short story collections like this. And I feel bad for being super annoyed with this one since it is Shawn's tribute to his mother who passed away from cancer (That's her on the cover.) But honestly, I wish they would require the authors to write something new and not "new" from a long running series. For one, some of the series I haven't got to yet. Two, I read these collections to see if I like the writer's writing style--which still works, but hel ...more
Tales of varying quality, honestly picked up this collection to read The Thrill.

Castle Coeurlieu - Naomi Novik - 1⭐
The child bride of an absent Lord explores Castle Coeurlieu which contains a portal. It was boring.

A Slow Kill - Peter Orullian (Vault of Heaven) - 5⭐
An assassin relates tales of his past to his employer as they dig ditches - beautiful structure, plot and characters.

And Men Will Mine the Mountain for Our Souls - Seanan McGuire - 4⭐
The Prince and Princess of Dragon's last days. Very
Glenn O'Bannon
Ratings for each story individually (much more good than bad):

Castle Coeurlieu by Naomi Novik 4 stars
A Slow Kill by Peter Orullian 4 stars
And Men Will Mine the Mountain for Our Souls by Seanan McGuire 1 star
Day One by Jim Butcher 5 stars
Brightwine in the Garden of Tsitsian Village by Bradley P. Beaulieu 5 stars
Aokigahara by John A. Pitts 2 stars
The Decoy by Janny Wurts 5 stars
The King’s Despatcher by David Farland 4 stars
Figures by Rachel Caine 1 star
The Red-Rimmed Eyes of Tóu Maˇ by Aidan Moher
Riana Elizabeth
Jul 26, 2020 is currently reading it
Castle Coeurlieu
A Slow Kill (Vault of Heaven)
And Men Will Mine the Mountain for Our Souls
Day One (Dresden Files)
Brightwine in the Garden of Tsitsian Village (Song of Shattered Sands)
The Decoy (Wars of Light and Shadow)
The King's Despatcher (Runelords)
The Red-Rimmed Eyes of Tóu Mǎ
Magic Beans
The Hedgewitch (The Queens of Renthia)
Victim with a Capital V
A Duel of Evils (Raven's Shadow)
The Raven (Bloodbound)
Bulletproof (Gunlaw)
The Gunnie
Little Wren and the Big Forest (The Legends of
Ben Lund
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked this one even more than the first Unfettered. In the first one, there were some stories that I didn't like or didn't enjoy, but in this one there was none of that. There were some stories I enjoyed more than others, everyone has their favorite authors, but I can't say I didn't enjoy them. There was no eye-rolling, no sighs of frustration at how a story turned out. I think a reason for that is that the writers are free to choose what they want to write, there are no restriction on them to ...more
Adam Fisher
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: I only read "Day One" by Jim Butcher.

So happy to finally see Butters getting his own story!
The medical examiner, now a Knight of the Cross, tells the tale of some of his training, and the adventure of his first Calling. Stan, a homeless man that seems consumed by fear, is on a bench in the park... with an "!" over his head (apparently God speaks to you in the way you would most easily understand and for Butters that is video games. Getting him to the hospital, Butters finds that 7 other pe
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5 stars. I like short story collections where the short stories are in and of themselves complete but over half of this collection were stories that were spin-offs or tie-ins to other books & series written by the authors. In some cases this was relatively non-intrusive and didn't play much into the story (Little Wren and the Big Forest and A Slow Kill for example) but in others the backstory details largely drowned the short story (The Raven and The King's Despatcher in particular). The ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I plan to finish reading this, but I don't even need to finish to know this will get 5 stars. I read one story, “Castle Coeurlieu” by Naomi Novik, which was great, before impatiently skipping to "The Thrill" by Brandon Sanderson, which is a short story in his "Stormlight Archive" series, taking place during the conquering/uniting of Alethkar. I couldn't be more impressed. Brandon always knocks it out of the park with his Cosmere stories.

Now back to my book. Crossing my fingers that I find anothe
Alonso Mitza
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Listened to this on Audiobook.

Great anthology, and the narrators (particularly whoever narrated "A Slow Kill") give the tales a great amount of depth.

The only downside I have is that several stories are set upon existing fantasy worlds and, if you have no background on them, you will miss lots of references.

The upside of the downside is that I now really want to read the Dresden Files.
Eric Evans
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
There's a great cause behind this book. That being said I'm glad I purchased it with that in mind. There were 2 - 4 stories I actually enjoyed. The Jim Butcher story was great, I mean really you can't go wrong with Jedi Butters. I also enjoyed Shawn's own story. Sadly Terry Brooks was advertised when buying my copy. Brooks wrote a wonderful forward, but no story. Overall buy it for the cause and maybe you'll enjoy more than I did. ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Anthologies are hard to rate. This one in particular as there we a few really good short stories and a few not so great. They do serve as a great opportunity to meet new authors.

I got this from my library because it had a story by Kevin Hearne. As usual, he does not disappoint.

Finally, for those who might have more money than I do and who purchase books vs borrowing from a library, proceeds from this book benefit cancer charity.
John G
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid collection, few clinkers

I bought this largely to fill a hole in my Dresden Files collection, but it was fun to poke around the edges of some other series, some by writers I've never read. Most were solid, one or two extremely good, a couple not so good. That's the nature of the Collection Beast. However, it passed the "fun to read" test.
Yatin Diwakar
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading such books, you are left wanting for more. Short stories, set in established worlds, some you know of, most you don't. But all of them very enjoyable, very different in settings, protagonists and approaches of the writers. This is like the perfect food festival where you get to sample a lot of lip-smacking dishes from the best chefs and are still not too full to pass on the next dish.... ...more
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Shawn Speakman grew up in the beautiful wilds of Washington State near a volcano and surrounded by old-growth forests filled with magic. After moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, he befriended New York Times best-selling fantasy author Terry Brooks and became his webmaster, leading to an enchanted life surrounded by words.

He was a manager at one of the largest Barnes & Noble

Other books in the series

Unfettered (3 books)
  • Unfettered (Unfettered, #1)
  • Unfettered III: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy (Unfettered, #3)

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Erin’s smile drooped a little, tired with the effort.
 “You’re making an assumption,” she said. “Just hang in there. It’ll get easier.”
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