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

(Unfettered #3)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Lacking health insurance when he was diagnosed with cancer, Shawn Speakman asked friends in the science fiction and fantasy writing community to donate short stories he could use to counter mounting medical debt. The result was Unfettered, an anthology offering tales from some of the best authors working today.

Now, in Unfettered III, Speakman continues to pay forward the a
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Grim Oak Press
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Start your review of Unfettered III: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy (Unfettered, #3)
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A collection of short stories, some far too long, and far too many dependent on the reader already knowing and caring about an existing series.

"The Heart Box"--Callie Bates. After his family dies in a car accident, a man removes his heart and becomes an emotionless immortal. Eventually a single mother and her child move in next door and he decides to reclaim his heart and live again. Fine but did nothing for me.

"Everybody Said It Would Hurt"--Lev Grossman. A section cut out from the 3rd book in
After I spent a bit of time getting to know the stories in my delightful ARC (thank you Grim Oak Press!), I spent a bit more time getting to know the backstory to this anthology, the third in a series of anthologies edited by Shawn Speakman—and let me tell you, there's nothing that more epitomizes the year 2019 than an anthology of top-shelf science fiction and fantasy authors designed as a creative solution to paying down someone's medical debt. I highly recommend taking a peek at the "about" p ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
Like a fairy tale, fantasy and history- loving nerdy girl walking into a Renaissance festival for the first time, I too had these feelings upon receiving this anthology.

The eye of the dragon babe and egg licked by fire on the cover is mesmerizing and beckoned me straight away.

Fantastic, full of awe, and enthralling.

Each story is a precious gift like a cup of mead to the Vikings. So much love for this anthology. -Sara S.
Sep 01, 2019 marked it as maybe-one-day
I've just read an excerpt of 'Seven' by Naomi Novik, which is available to read for free on I really enjoyed it. I would say this even if Naomi Novik wasn't one of my favourite authors.
4.5 stars for the bit I've read so far. Hopefully, the rest of this anthology is as good when I eventually get round to reading it.
Shawn Cooke
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The quality of any short story collection will naturally wax and wane throughout, and Unfettered III is no exception. But the bar starts out high, and only rarely dips below exceptional. As a result, the overall reading experience left me very satisfied.

I was already a fan of Brandon Sanderson and Lev Grossman, and their stories prompted me to buy the collection in the first place. Along the way, I fell in love with Naomi Novik, Carrie Vaughan, Jason Denzel, and several others. Terry Brooks and
Kevin Potter
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As with all anthologies, some of these appealed to me while others did not.

First, let's get out of the way the simple fact that every narrator involved with the project is amazing! I couldn't have asked for better.

Now, as with previous volumes of Unfettered, I read it primarily for Brandon Sanderson's entry as I'm A Wheel of Time junkie.

That being said, I'm not normally a fan of short stories, but there were several noteworthy gems here.

First, since reading 2/3 of the Sword of Shannara some year
Jun 15, 2020 added it

So far I've only read this excellent ghost story from one of my favourite writers, Megan Lindholm - aka Robin Hobb. I love how she juxtaposes the down-to-earth with supernatural elements and brilliant bits of subtle characterisation. And the behind the scenes look at reality TV is a lot of fun. I always know I'm in safe hands with Robin. Would happily listen to her narrate paint drying. And then I'd buy the book.


'I just wanted to go home, take a very hot bath and find a natu
Jessica Haley
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I like and don't like anthologies. I like them because it's a way to get introduced to a whole bunch of authors you may not have read from before, but I don't like them because sometimes the stories in them get really confusing out of context or don't have quite enough to them to suck me in and keep my interest. I liked most of the stories in here, and there were a few that I tabbed for a re-read. For the most part, though, I found myself losing interest in the stories or having a really hard ti ...more
Micah Hall
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for Smith Spark and Lawrence


I read 2 shorts in this anthology for a pallet cleanser and they were awesome. One by Mark Lawrence the other by Anna Smith Spark. Both authors I love for their immersive prose.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great mix of stories and I discovered a lot of interesting authors that I haven't heard of before.

My favorite story was Fire in the Ways by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Perrin started out as one of my favorite characters in the Wheel of Time novels and I always felt like he could've been so much more. In this short story I finally got to see him at his best, leading a carefully selected group of people through one of the scariest places in existence.

There were a lot of other good stori
A mixed bag, as anthologies always are, and I skipped freely, but on whole definitely worth reading. Of authors familiar to me, I especially enjoyed the Megan Lindholm, Seanan McGuire, and Naomi Novik stories, and I plan to read more by Callie Bates, Anna Stephens, and Deborah A. Wolf.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I may get to the rest of this book at some point, but this review is for "A Fire within the Ways" by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, the reason I got this ebook (and audiobook) from Amazon.

It was such a pleasure to enjoy another trip to the Wheel of Time universe, that really anything would have been welcome, but to get a really meaty, if non-canon, Perrin story was an absolute pleasure.

I don't want to spoil anything, but if anyone out there is on the fence about this title wondering if it'
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic collection of short stories. There were one or two that did not impress me, but for an anthology, this is a superb collection of stories. a great way to get introduced to some authors that I do not have familiarity with.
T.O. Munro
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wrote a story by story review of a publishers ARC which was first published on the website in 2 parts


Each story in Unfettered III is prefaced by a short authorial piece setting the context and inspiration for that contributor’s piece story. It is an interesting feature that I hadn’t noticed in other anthologies and brings into sharp relief the two main camps into which the contributors to th
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent anthology! Standouts for me were Terry Brooks, David Anthony Durham, Seanan McGuire, John Gwynne, Deborah A Wolf, Anna Stephens, Cat Rambo, Ken Scholes, Megan Lindholm, Scott Sigler, and Jason Denzel***** My Favorite One!!!
Jeremy Funk
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy as part of the giveaway. I really wanted the book for the Wheel of Time short story, and it did not disappoint. I have not yet gotten to all of the other short stories, but I'm hopeful they'll get me interested in some of those series as well.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway and was very excited. I mostly wanted it for the Wheel of Time story, which was fantastic. The others I've read so far are also very good. Can't wait to read the rest
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I just picked this book to read more about The Wheel of Time. I have not read the rest of the stories in it. I loved the Perrin angle in the Ways and the entry of the Ogier was simply amazing. I understand why it wasn't there in the original books. Not going to reveal any more spoilers.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it

Problem with anthologies, I am not as invested with all the stories.

I do recommend you read it, maybe find a new author, and there was some amazing stories. A standout unexpected to me was the story Sidekick!

Did I mention a new WoT story!
Jason Culpepper
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful collection of varied stories.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it
The concept of a for-charity anthology with lots of big names is really cool, but they leaned a bit too heavily on "recognition" factor, in my opinion. Most of these stories are prequels, side stories, or snippets from established series, and since I had either not read or wasn't intensely familiar with most of them, they got to be boring and I frankly skimmed through most of the book. It did make the few standalone stories really pop, though, so those were nice!

Some highlights:
"Stripes in the
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many excellent authors and tales of magic. The intro story was quite good as a start to the collection with a bit of optimism that I hadn't expected given the subject matter. Given the title I suspected a bit of grunge music might come into play but I was wrong. Following that we have Lev returning us to the Magicians world with a short segue about Plum and her senior project.

After that we have a nice mix of styles from writers I know and love and many from those I haven't read before which i
Rajiv Moté
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review concerns "The Fire Within The Ways," the "deleted scene" from The Wheel of Time. I look forward to reading the other stories at a more leisurely pace, but this was the bit that drove my purchase.

Like deleted scenes from movies, you probably have to be a true fan, or interested in the craft of editing, to enjoy cut chapters. I happen to be both. From a craft level, Brandon Sanderson's comments about the directionality of the story--forward or backward-looking--being the reason this wa
Costin Manda
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Unfettered is a very nice concept thought up by Shawn Speakman: a contribution based anthology book. Writers provide short stories, complete with a short introduction, as charity. The original Unfettered book was a way by which writers helped Speakman cover some of his medical expenses after a cancer diagnosis and the idea continued, helping others with the same problem. This way of doing things, I believe, promotes a more liberating way of writing. There is no publisher pressure, no common them ...more
Heather McLaughlin
I really dislike that Goodreads doesn't have a specific category for DNF. This is a HUGE tome of a book and I had it the entire quarantine and it is finally due and I haven't finished it. But GRs options are:

Leave as "currently reading"
Remove it from my list entirely or
Mark it as "read" even though I'm barely a third of the way through.


So I've marked it "read" and my own DNF category and off we go.

I liked some of these but some were a real slog. And some authors just can't seem to make a
Trung Nguyen
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Victim with a Capital V and The Stone Golem of Qual' Jom were awesome. Build up and suspense in Victim kept me engaged, while Golem kept me curious on what happens next and hopeful of the protagonist's development. Made me want the golem to act in a certain way but plot twist, it's immovable as stone, subverted my expectations, in a good way. The rest did not catch my attention very well. Perhaps due to rush hour traffic distracting from Audible, or perhaps the story and narrator melded together ...more
Tawnya Ashley
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology, kindle
Actual rating 3.29

The Heart Box
4 stars-odd, but really good

Everybody Said It Would Hurt
3.5 stars-takes place a week after story in " Dangerous Women".

A Thousand Years
4 stars-Viking adventure

Among a Throng of Bilious Octogenarians
2.5 stars-had funny parts, but most of it was groan-worthy

Blood of the Sardaukar
3 stars-"Dune" story. I don't care for war stories, so not something I would normally read.

Allanon's Quest
3.5 stars-one day I will read the series

Kneeling Before Jupiter
2 stars-definitely pre
Tabitha Payton
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, own
Thank you to Goodreads for sending me this book as part of the Firstreads program.

Overall I gave this short story collection a 3 star rating as some stories were great, some stories were confusing and some stories I marked to read later as the authors noted they would be confusing if the previous works had not yet been read.

I loved Shawn and Naomi's stories and thought they were so interesting but was not in love with some of the others. Still a great rating for me even though I'm not a huge fan
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing collection of stories in this new anthology. I have loved all three volumes and discovered so many new authors to add to my "must read" list! I hope Shawn continues this series, not just for the amazing stories amassed in these collections but also for the good the series does for writers!
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The Robin Hobb Co...: Unfettered III Discussion 3 26 Mar 18, 2019 01:30AM  

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

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