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To Weave a Web of Magic

(Samaria #5.5)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  777 ratings  ·  71 reviews
A romantic fantasy anthology with four novellas from renowned authors of romance and fantasy...

USA Today best-selling author Claire Delacroix gives readers a revisionist version of the medieval legend of Melusine. USA Today best-selling author Lynn Kurland's trademark style shines in this tale of the magic and medieval romance between two lovers.

World Fantasy Award-winner
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Berkley
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  777 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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May 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: romantic fantasy fans and people who like Lynn Kurland and Sharon Shinn
Shelves: romance, fantasy, magic
Of the four novellas included in this volume, I enjoyed the middle two the best. The first novella, "The Gorgon in the Cupboard" by Patricia A. McKillip, was OK but felt a little odd--unfinished, maybe. I never really did feel I understood what was going on with the Gorgon and with the artists' wives/models. It took me a while to get through it.

On the other hand, I LOVED the second novella, "The Tale of the Two Swords" by Lynn Kurland. She hooked me from the beginning and brought her characters
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
As this is an anthology I will tell what I thought of each of the four stories.

The Gorgon in the Cupboard by Patricia A. McKillip
I love this story. It's beautiful, powerful and original.

The Tale of the Two Swords by Lynn Kurland
Not my kind of story and writing. I felt myself skipping parts to get to the end of this one.

Fallen Angel by Sharon Shinn
The reason I bought this book! I love Shinn's Samaria books and this novella is a worthy addition to the series.

An Elegy for Melusine by Claire Delacro
Gundega (Rouzmary)
After I read "A Whisper of Spring" by Lynn Kurland in The Queen in Winter and it had me captivated, went on to read the next tidbit from Nine Kingdoms - The Tale of the Two Swords - which is part of To Weave a Web of Magic

It was just as wonderful as the previous one. Truly. Lynn Kurland has a gift for weaving stories.
In A Whisper of Spring we were introduced to Symon & Iolaire's story, here, we got to meet their great -great-grandson (Gil) and his story with Mehar. Told by Gil himself as a
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Only read "The Tale of Two Swords" (Nine Kingdoms, Book 0.5) by Lynn Kurland

Mehar of Angesand is fleeing from home, running to the palace, looking for help deciphering her mother's book of spells from the king or his mage. Her abrupt departure, leaving her betrothed in the dust, ends up with her having a price on her head and men on her trail. When she finally does arrive at the palace it's to find it in ruins, with just two men, apparently servants, Gil and Alcuin, lingering.

Gil doesn't correct
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2015
The first story, The Gorgon in the Cupboard, didn't really grab me. I felt like it was missing something, or it could have been better. The other three stories were great, my favorites being The Tale of Two Swords and Fallen Angel (I do have a soft spot for Samaria stories--I'm a big fan of Sharon Shinn). All things considered, I enjoyed these novellas far more than I believed I would, because this subgenre of fantasy isn't usually my thing. I'd recommend this to general fantasy enthusiasts, as ...more
JW Dillingham
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance
As with another anthology containing Shinn and Kurland, their stories were delightful. However, you would need to have read a lot of Shinn before understanding the background behind this shortee.

The other 2 stories weren't worth the paper they were written on which is why I couldn't give it very many stars. For Shinn it would be ***** and for Kurland ****. For the other 2 no stars if that were possible.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I always thought I didn't like short stories very much, but to my surprise, I was able to get into these and enjoyed them. However, my favorites were Kurland's and Shinn's (4 stars), perhaps since I was already familiar with the worlds they were set in because of their other books. Delacroix's and McKillip's were not exactly my favorites, but still well written (2 stars).
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Read the Kurland short story. Not great. No desire to continue reading this author/stories. Pretty juvenile.
Jazz Feylynn
One of the four stories is by Lynn Kurland in the magical Nine Kingdoms. A background insight that makes the world so enjoyable.
This is a decent collection, pleasing throughout but not excellent and likely not terribly memorable. Needless to say, I come at it from the fantasy end of the spectrum, and I suspect that fantasy readers will be more pleased by it than romance readers, for only one of the stories properly delivers the happily ever after ending that the romance genre demands. Still, as mind candy it works admirably well, and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon reading it.

I picked the anthology up for the first st
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Four separate stories in the “fantasy/romance” genre – two from successful fantasy authors and two from successful romance authors.

The Gorgon in the Cupboard – Patricia McKillip
The moral of the story is that men put women on pedestals, and the women don’t always appreciate it.
In this tale of a group of artists and their models, the “pedestals” are almost literal. The spirit of the gorgon Medusa speaks to one artist through one of his paintings, helping him to see a woman for who she is as a pers
The Window Seat
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Today post is on The Tale of the Two Swords by Lynn Kurland. It is 103 pages long and is published by Berkley. It is a novella in Kurland's Nine Kingdoms series. The cover has a young woman sleeping on it. The intended reader is someone who likes fantasy, romance, and interesting characters. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this novella. The story is told from the third person close of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Mehar of Angesand i
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
There are 4 stories in total. I detested one, liked two and found the other one to be okay.

The first story is "The Gorgon in the Cupboard" and I seriously don't know what this thing was about. There's a painter who thinks absurdly. There's his community and stuff and a talking mouth(!). This is the first story of the book and made me want to DNF it. But I had no other option at that time so had to continue. Anyway, 1 star.

The second one, "The Tale of the Two Swords" was a good read, but I can't
Matthew Galloway
I hate to give this book only three stars because the McKillip and Shinn stories were so good -- five star stories, for sure. The other two stories were not terrible, but they didn't really have that... spark.

I checked this book out from the library and now feel like I need to buy it so I can own McKillip's "the Gorgon in the Cupboard" -- I would lump this story in with her "Stepping From the Shadows" as far as style and type of story (they really need to re-release that book, come to think of i
Kathie (katmom)
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-hold
So far I've only read Lynn Kurland's story in this one.

Short...sweet, and full of details. And it left me wanting more...just like ALL of hers.

Harold wants his father to read an adventure for the umpteenth time. It's the story of a young woman who escapes her father on a magical horse. She meets a man who is more than he seems.

When the story is over, again, Harold, who is only 8, SEES the truth of the story and really SEES for the first time. He's in the MIDDLE of an adventure!

Would love to see
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
"Four stories of fantasy and exquisite romance..." says the cover of this book. Notice the modifier for romance and the lack thereof for fantasy? The McKinley story, which I expected to like the most, is the one I like next to least. It was missing all the charm and magic of most of her other works. It was rather drab and straight forward. The Shinn story I liked the least. There was nothing "exquisite" about the romance in this one. It actually seemed juvenile and not in a good way. I can't dec ...more
Monica Emtman
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Overall this was a touch and go collection of short stories. The first short story Gorgon in the Cupboard was hard to buy into and I found myself skimming the pages to finish quickly. The second story Tale of the Two Swords was my favorite in huge part because it was like a short prequel to the Ning Kingdom Books and tells how some very important swords came into being, while having a cute little story to go with it. The third short story Fallen Angel was slow in some parts, but overall a intere ...more
Cecilia Rodriguez
A collection of four romantic fantasy short stories.
Patricia A. McKillip's Gorgon in the Cupboard has appeared in one of her own collections.
Lynn Kurland's The Tale of Two Swords is a romantic medieval fantasy which eight year old
Harold learns that mom and dad are more than just his parents.
Sharon Shinn's Fallen Angel is set in a fantasy version of the Middle East where Angels interact
with humans. Part of the story is an abbreviated version of Prometheus.
Claire Delacroix's An Elegy for Melusine
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
on the advice of my SIL, i only read the first three stories. the first story was pretty strange and worth skipping. the second story was great. i already love Kurland's world of magic in the other books along the same family line and this was no exception. it truly makes me look forward to the next book in that series to come out! the third story i found myself liking quite a bit actually. with an interesting world in which angels and humans co-exist and interact, i found myself truly taken in. ...more
Britney (BookDrunkSloth)
Overall this book was ok. I enjoyed the books by Lynn Kurland and Sharon Shinn the most. The other two didn't really grab me all that well. If I had only rated this book on the two stories I liked, this would have been a four or a five star rating. I've read all of Kurland's Kingdoms Series in which they talk about the Tale of the Two Swords a lot. I was thrilled to finally actually read the whole story. Shinn's Angel story was very captivating, however I personally didn't like the idea of Angel ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Love Shinn, McKillip and Kurland so this was a must read. I only read these three stories because Delacroix is not my type of author. McKillips story was a little unfinished for me. I felt like there was so much more to tell, but as an author she likes you to figure things out on your own so I expected that.Kurland gives you a little back story to her Nine Kingdoms books. Shinn's book was for her Angel series and I really liked that story. My only gripe is that all of them could be longer and mo ...more
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Another great set of stories from female fantasy authors. McKillip's is my least favorite - a story of a painter and his muse. But the other three were wonderful: Kurland's story of a princess fleeing her betrothal and the man she finds in an abandoned castle is beautifully written with a wonderful twist you won't see coming; Shinn's story of a well-off young woman and the rogue angel she hears so much about is lovely; and Delacroix's haunting story of a half-fae/half-mortal woman trying despara ...more
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
As of now, I have only read the Samaria story (Fallen Angel) from this collection. After reading the five Samaria novels, I wasn't quite ready to leave the world so I found Fallen Angel and devoured it. I thought this was a nice supplement to the series and was glad to have found it. I do have to agree with other reviewers, that if you have not read the novels, you may not see this story for all that it is worth, but I think it would still be a quick and enjoyable read.
Feb 28, 2008 rated it liked it
There are four stories in this book. I didn't like the fourth one, and the 1st & 3rd are okay, but the 2nd one is a tale of the Nine Kingdoms, and that one I liked. Actually, it tells why Mehar made the sword of Angesband that figures so prominently in Star of the Morning. It also has all sorts of little background info that is nice to see, wrapped up in a delightful short story in the Nine Kingdoms style.
Sarah Sands
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I adored the short story by Sharon Shinn. Her Samaria series has such an intriguing world and this story takes place a few years after Archangel which is my favorite time in the series. I enjoyed Eden's voice and surprisingly didn't mind her devotion to a way of life that obviously didn't fulfill her. She had just the right balance of keen observation and appreciation for her life. I wish this could have been a full novel, but I'm just glad to read this story.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: anthologies, fantasy
I liked the Lynn Kurland story. Period. I didn't even care for the Shinn, although she is one of my favorite authors, but just skimmed it.
The other two didn't grab me at all, and I gave up on them.

Maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but I'd had the book a long time because I couldn't get through the first story. So I skipped it. But still had issues of boredom. Just not my type.
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it
skipped story one, there wasn't much of a positiveness to it, reviews i have heard was that aside from the end it wasn't that great.
Lynn Kurland's 'The Tale of the Two Swords' isn't her best work, but it's pretty good.
Patrica McKillip's 'Fallen Angel'... I LOVE this story, I think my favorite in the book!
Sharon Shinn's 'An Elegy for Melusine' ... this story is alright...
Aug 08, 2007 rated it liked it
"Four stories of fantasy and exquisite romance..." Sort of. I bought this for the Sharon Shinn story Fallen Angel but my favorite turned out to be, most definitely, Patricia McKillip's The Gorgon in the Cupboard. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably check this one out at the library. Definitely worth reading but it didn't make it into The Permanent Collection.
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really only read The Tale of Two Swords by Lynn Kurland which is one of the stories in this anthology. I enjoyed it very much - acknowledging that short stories are by their very name and purpose "short" and thus may seem a bit hurried at points, particularly in wrapping up the ending. But I did very much enjoy the story, as I have enjoyed all of Ms. Kurland's books.
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New York Times bestselling author Claire Delacroix sold her first book in 1992, an historical romance called ROMANCE OF THE ROSE. Since then, she has published over sixty romance novels and novellas, and has also been published under the names Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. She has an honours degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies. She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literat ...more

Other books in the series

Samaria (5 books)
  • Archangel (Samaria, #1)
  • Jovah's Angel (Samaria, #2)
  • The Alleluia Files (Samaria, #3)
  • Angelica (Samaria, #4)
  • Angel-Seeker (Samaria, #5)