Richard's Reviews > Legends

Legends by Robert Silverberg
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, scifi, short-stories

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.
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Reading Progress

April 17, 2013 – Started Reading
April 17, 2013 – Shelved
April 19, 2013 –
page 95
13.19% "Just finished the Stephen King story. It reminds me of everything I loved about the first Dark Tower novel and Roland's backstory in the others I read. They seemed to lose sight of that in later books sadly, but it is captured here."
April 23, 2013 –
page 146
20.28% "Knocked out the Terry Pratchett story. I really enjoyed the handful of books I've read by him, but this story seemed to fall a little flat. It was okay, but it lacked any realm charm and humor, I felt."
April 29, 2013 –
page 220
April 29, 2013 –
page 259
April 30, 2013 –
page 337
46.81% "I read the Terry Goodkind story and felt it was okay. I was never overly fond of the Sword of Truth world. While it has interesting fantasy concepts, something about it always fails to resonate.\n \n I skipped the O.S. Card story. I just couldn't get into it.\n \n I absolutely adored the Robert Silverburg Majipoor story. While I've never read the books before, I certainly plan to now. It's been my favorite story so far."
May 2, 2013 –
page 458
63.61% "I've just finished the Earthsea story. I'm not familiar with the world, but I enjoyed the story and what I did learn about it all. The ending of this one in particular was very interesting."
May 2, 2013 –
page 455
63.19% "I just couldn't get into Tad Williams' story. The world itself seems to have something to it, but the story's narrator made it a slow read."
May 6, 2013 –
page 539
74.86% "Just finished GRR Martin's story. It was the main reason for buying the book and well worth the effort. Awesome story set in a less dark time for Westeros."
May 7, 2013 –
page 599
83.19% "While the Perth story started off interesting it quickly lost my interest as it went on. Oh well."
May 8, 2013 –
page 635
88.19% "I'm not familiar with the Riftwar series, but this story stood on its own just fine and was a good read."
May 8, 2013 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 8, 2013 – Shelved as: scifi
May 8, 2013 – Finished Reading
March 23, 2015 – Shelved as: short-stories

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