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A Fantasy Medley 2

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In A Fantasy Medley, editor Yanni Kuznia assembled a diverse quartet of stories from some of fantasy’s most exciting authors, and the sell-out volume earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Now Kuznia returns with A Fantasy Medley 2, offering absorbing new tales of the fantastic from four of the brightest stars in the field: With “Quartered,” Tanya Huff In A Fantasy Medley, editor Yanni Kuznia assembled a diverse quartet of stories from some of fantasy’s most exciting authors, and the sell-out volume earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Now Kuznia returns with A Fantasy Medley 2, offering absorbing new tales of the fantastic from four of the brightest stars in the field: With “Quartered,” Tanya Huff returns to the world of her beloved Quarters series with the story of the young bard Evicka, whose mission to spy on an assassin brings peril, tragedy, and, ultimately, revelation. In “Bone Garden,” Amanda Downum revisits Erisín, setting of her critically lauded novel The Bone Palace from the Necromancer Chronicles. Deadly spirits are preying on the city’s most vulnerable citizens in this story of secrets and sacrifice. “The Sergeant and the General” finds Jasper Kent weaving a tale from the other side of the battle lines drawn in his Danilov Quintet, with a French veteran of Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign haunted by more than just memories. And in “Rat-Catcher,” Seanan McGuire travels into the past of the October Daye series to pull back the veils on both the world of 17th century London theater and the faerie Court of Cats as two worlds collide in one of the greatest conflagrations in history.


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In A Fantasy Medley, editor Yanni Kuznia assembled a diverse quartet of stories from some of fantasy’s most exciting authors, and the sell-out volume earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Now Kuznia returns with A Fantasy Medley 2, offering absorbing new tales of the fantastic from four of the brightest stars in the field: With “Quartered,” Tanya Huff In A Fantasy Medley, editor Yanni Kuznia assembled a diverse quartet of stories from some of fantasy’s most exciting authors, and the sell-out volume earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Now Kuznia returns with A Fantasy Medley 2, offering absorbing new tales of the fantastic from four of the brightest stars in the field: With “Quartered,” Tanya Huff returns to the world of her beloved Quarters series with the story of the young bard Evicka, whose mission to spy on an assassin brings peril, tragedy, and, ultimately, revelation. In “Bone Garden,” Amanda Downum revisits Erisín, setting of her critically lauded novel The Bone Palace from the Necromancer Chronicles. Deadly spirits are preying on the city’s most vulnerable citizens in this story of secrets and sacrifice. “The Sergeant and the General” finds Jasper Kent weaving a tale from the other side of the battle lines drawn in his Danilov Quintet, with a French veteran of Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign haunted by more than just memories. And in “Rat-Catcher,” Seanan McGuire travels into the past of the October Daye series to pull back the veils on both the world of 17th century London theater and the faerie Court of Cats as two worlds collide in one of the greatest conflagrations in history.

30 review for A Fantasy Medley 2

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    I only read "Rat-Catcher" by Seanan McGuire, a short story set in the world of October Daye, and providing some backstory for the character of Tybalt. Thanks to Amy (Other Amy) for sharing the link to read this for free at Lightspeed where it was reproduced with permission of the author. <3 Tybalt.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Review for Rat-Catcher by Seanan McGuire only (I'm having to add this review again because some idiot has deleted the story from Goodreads - yes they've been pissing about with Seanan's short stories again, even though this one IS AVAILABLE OUTSIDE THE BLOODY ANTHOLOGY!) Rat-Catcher is a short story that was originally published in the A Fantasy Medley 2 anthology but can also be read online for free on the Lightspeed Magazine website. I'm crazy about Tybalt so any story we can get from his point of view is a defini/> Review for Rat-Catcher by Seanan McGuire only (I'm having to add this review again because some idiot has deleted the story from Goodreads - yes they've been pissing about with Seanan's short stories again, even though this one IS AVAILABLE OUTSIDE THE BLOODY ANTHOLOGY!) Rat-Catcher is a short story that was originally published in the A Fantasy Medley 2 anthology but can also be read online for free on the Lightspeed Magazine website. I'm crazy about Tybalt so any story we can get from his point of view is a definite must read for me! Rat-Catcher is actually set long before the main series starts (although I'd recommend reading at least Rosemary and Rue first so you're familiar with Tybalt's character) way back when Tybalt was still just a prince called Rand and his father was the King of Cats. I found it really interesting to see a younger, less confident version of Tybalt and I really loved the bond he shared with his two sisters. If you're familiar with the main series then you probably already know that princes have to kill the current king in order to claim the throne, in some cases princes challenge their king just because they long for power but that wasn't the case with Tybalt - he did it to protect his sisters and the rest of the Court of Cats which makes him the kind of leader that they both want and need. I really enjoyed this glimpse into Tybalt's past and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the short stories from his point of view!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susana

    Only read Seanan's Mcguire short Rat Catcher, the one about Rand/ Tybalt's. It was revealing and heartbreaking seeing him among his family.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy (Other Amy)

    Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk? -William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet London is burning. London is burning and she is dead, and yet I must consider myself victorious, for others yet live. It is a cold comfort. It will have to do. How small a stretch of time stands between here, where all is ashes, and the days when I was innocent and though myself yet young, and the world was meant to be my stage... A prince becomes a king. Loved the look inside the family dynamics of the Cait Sidhe here. Loved Tybalt's point of view (always). (view spoiler)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben Babcock

    There's just something about faeries and Elizabethan England that mix, isn't there? It seems like I can't turn around without tripping over a book that involves the two. And that's not necessarily a bad thing; I like faeries, and I like Elizabethan England. But as with most trends, it can become hard to find writers who are using the material in inventive ways. Fortunately, that's just what Seanan McGuire does with "Rat-Catcher". There are beings of faerie, but they are also cats. As one of them There's just something about faeries and Elizabethan England that mix, isn't there? It seems like I can't turn around without tripping over a book that involves the two. And that's not necessarily a bad thing; I like faeries, and I like Elizabethan England. But as with most trends, it can become hard to find writers who are using the material in inventive ways. Fortunately, that's just what Seanan McGuire does with "Rat-Catcher". There are beings of faerie, but they are also cats. As one of them--a rebellious prince who tries to stay out of court politics--learns of an impending disaster that will burn London, magical and mundane alike, he struggles with his split loyalties. I wish I could be unconditionally enthusiastic about this novelette, but in spite of its fun premise and adequate execution, it didn't quite leave much of an impression on me. Rand doesn't have much love for the goings-on in his father's court. He much prefers to spend his time in cat form, watching plays and hanging out with the actors. As an immortal, he is fascinated by mortality and the depth and passion associated with it. McGuire draws a contrast between the short-lived but brightly burning humans Rand observes and the dull, stagnant court that he attends as he tries to warn his father-the-king of their doom. The promise of eternal life makes each day seem less special, less important. McGuire also touches on self-fulfilling prophecies, with Rand wondering whether London would have burned at all if they hadn't acted in response to this prophecy. This isn't something she explores in much detail, though. And that's about all that I remember. "Rat-Catcher" isn't bad. In fact, I don't mind saying it's very good. It's a neat little story about a faerie-cat and his problems, with a good historical backdrop and some nice dialogue. Yet it is also an ephemeral experience; unlike some fiction, it has not left much in the way of a mindworm. I can tell how impressive a book is by how long it takes me to stop thinking about it after I finish reading it. "Rat-Catcher" does not take long to read and doesn't stick around for much longer thereafter. As with most of the Hugo novelettes this year, I'd happily recommend this but am not all that impressed by it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Araceli

    Finally received my copy today! I only bought it for Seanan McGuire's Rat-Catcher. Though I'm sure I'll read the other stories later, this review is only for Rat-Catcher. I absolutely LOVED this story. I'm so happy to finally read about Tybalt's past. It was nice to get to see how Tybalt was then and how he is now, so different, yet so similar at the same time. (view spoiler)[I was so proud of him when he stood up to his father and learned to control the s Finally received my copy today! I only bought it for Seanan McGuire's Rat-Catcher. Though I'm sure I'll read the other stories later, this review is only for Rat-Catcher. I absolutely LOVED this story. I'm so happy to finally read about Tybalt's past. It was nice to get to see how Tybalt was then and how he is now, so different, yet so similar at the same time. (view spoiler)[I was so proud of him when he stood up to his father and learned to control the shadows with ease, and so sad when Tybalt saw what his father did to Jill (hide spoiler)] Anyway, great read, anything Tybalt usually is :) Can't wait til The Chimes at Midnight comes out!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Nominated for the Hugo novelette category in 2013. This is just in the category of not my thing, really not my thing, definitely not my thing, it won't ever be my thing. Beyond that I don't really have the requirements to evaluate it. I'm not much of a cat person.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharon L

    Only Rat-Cafcher by Seanan McGuire. A heartbreaking story of how Tybalt came to be King, and the price he paid for it. This is also a dear little keyhole, allowing us to see some of Tybalt's nature. I truly do love him.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I actually read the standalone version of "Rat-Catcher (October Daye 7.1) via http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic... (legal and free). How Tybalt became a King of Cats.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I've been in the mood to read short stories lately & in the mood to read new authors, so I decided to treat myself to this luxe new anthology from Subterranean Press. Two of the authors (Tanya Huff & Seanan McGuire) are favorites of mine and two (Amanda Downum & Jasper Kent) I'd never heard of before. The idea of the anthology is that each author writes a stand-alone story set in the world of a series of theirs, something that would be a treat for fans of the series or a gateway for I've been in the mood to read short stories lately & in the mood to read new authors, so I decided to treat myself to this luxe new anthology from Subterranean Press. Two of the authors (Tanya Huff & Seanan McGuire) are favorites of mine and two (Amanda Downum & Jasper Kent) I'd never heard of before. The idea of the anthology is that each author writes a stand-alone story set in the world of a series of theirs, something that would be a treat for fans of the series or a gateway for people new to that series. It's a wonderful idea for an anthology, and it worked out well for me. Three of the four stories were big hits with me & I'm not sorry I read any of them, so I call that a win. Tanya Huff's story is set in the world of her Quarters series, and as I haven't read those books for a really long time and have forgotten almost everything about them, I found the first few pages to be heavy going. Lots of capital letters as things were Sung or Called or Walked and new nouns whose meanings needed to be inferred - that kind of thing can make me grumpy. But I quickly got up to speed: this is a world where bards travel to both learn and transmit information, and these bards can communicate with rather dumb little elemental spirits called kigh, who represent the four quarters of air, water, earth & fire. After I'd got that on board I was utterly engrossed in this story of a young bard out on a mission to find out exactly what sort of goings on are occurring at a mysterious holding in the dead of winter. And when I finished I was flushed with satisfaction & planning on going down to the basement to find those Quarters books and give them the long-overdue re-read that they clearly deserve. The best comparison I can give is with the early Valdemar novels, the ones written back in the day when comparing something to a Valdemar novel was a compliment. Amanda Downum's story is set in a world I had never encountered before, but one that felt like a living, breathing place right off. I *loved* her world, it felt so real to me, and I felt so much sympathy for her main character. Gentian is not his real name, but it's the one he's using for now, as he tries to leave his refugee past behind and build a new life for himself as a performer (and prostitute) in his adopted city. I could have spent a lot more time in his rather louche theatre, getting to know all the denizens. Sadly for Gentian, his past would not stay hidden away in the refugee slum his family ended up in and he has to face his demons, quite literally. I will definitely be getting a novel of Downum's, I'm a bit torn as to which one. This story is apparently set in the world of the second volume of her necromancer series, so I don't know whether to start there, or with the first volume. I'm not hugely fond of demons, horror & gore as a rule, but I found this story so enjoyable that I am willing to give the necromancer books a go. Jasper Kent's story is set in a world that felt quite familiar after reading Sherwood Smith's Revenant Eve - Paris 1819. A young medical student takes rooms in a haunted house owned by a reticent Sergeant - but what is the house haunted by, exactly? And why? I won't spoil it for you by telling you. I was a bit jolted by the abrupt shift in POV from the medical student in 1819 to the Sergeant in 1812 or so, retreating back to Paris from the French invasion of Russia, but apart from that the story is well told. Military fantasy isn't really my thing, but I loved all the historical detail - and you never know, someday I might decide to check out the Danilov Quartet, which is apparently set on the Russian side of that particular war. Seanan McGuire's story is a major treat. She has set it in the world of October Daye, but instead of foggy 21st century San Francisco, we get foggy 17th century London and the story of how Rand, Prince of Cats, had to leave his kittenhood behind and become Tybalt, King of Cats. Tybalt is one of the most immediately engaging characters in Toby's world - McGuire combines her love of cats and her ability to write convincingly from pretty much any point of view to create a convincingly cat-like man. And finding out more of his backstory is just pure jam, even if, since this is a Seanan McGuire story, it does come with the requisite dose of heartbreak. Plus she made me laugh when I realized that the chief object of Tybalt's flirtations in this story was a lady called September...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenevieve

    A collection of short stories edited by Yanni Kuznia. I admit, I bought it solely because Seanan McGuire had a story about Tybalt in it. I do have some books by Tanya Huff on my to-read pile and this being me, of course I read the whole thing cover to cover. I can't stand only reading one story out of a compilation or even reading them out of order. So now my thoughts on each story: Quartered by Tanya Huff - Evicka, a Bard, is sent to spy on an assassin but the revelations she comes a A collection of short stories edited by Yanni Kuznia. I admit, I bought it solely because Seanan McGuire had a story about Tybalt in it. I do have some books by Tanya Huff on my to-read pile and this being me, of course I read the whole thing cover to cover. I can't stand only reading one story out of a compilation or even reading them out of order. So now my thoughts on each story: Quartered by Tanya Huff - Evicka, a Bard, is sent to spy on an assassin but the revelations she comes away with are more than anyone could have imagined. Bards in this world control kigh, spirits of some sort, through their songs and are used not only to spy but also to bring news to others and use their songs to influence people's opinions. Obviously a well built world and I'm intrigued to know more. Bone Garden by Amanda Downum - Genetian ran away from his people several years ago but now his cousin is on the doorstep of the theater he works and lives at and tells him it has to do with the babies and women being killed. Again, it seemed pretty obvious that this was part of a larger world but I'm still undecided if I want to know more. I just didn't get really invested in it. The Sergeant and the General by Jasper Kent - A crotchety old man is befriended by a student living in the same building. When the student mentions getting a horse, the old man tells him there is no room and takes him down to the stables to see why. In the stables, there are no horses but only a pendant with the likeness of a horse and a name etched on it but that night and for several afterward, the student hears hooves on the stairs leading to the old mans flat but even when the hooves sound like they are next to him, he sees nothing. A few days later the old man is dead, clutching the horse pendant. Then we are told the meaning behind the pendant. In all, it was well-written but I found it disjointed and hard to care about the characters. It says that it's from a series but I definitely won't be looking for it. Rat-Catcher by Seanan McGuire - Rand, adopted son of the King of Cats, has been charged to hear the message brought to Londinium, the fairy lands that coincide with London. What he reports back is that there will be fire that will sweep through all the lands and any who stay will burn but when the king decides to ignore the warning, Rand steps up to protect his people and a new king emerges from the battle, Tybalt. Very interesting to read how Tybalt became King of the Cats and my biggest complaint is that the story was simply too short. It told exactly what it needed to but not much more and there is soooooo much more I want to know about Tybalt. I imagine that for anyone who was more familiar with the other worlds in this medley, they felt the same way. I came away from this happy with the story I bought it for and a new series to look into. Unfortunately, I don't think the other two stories were strong enough to truly stand on their own as good introductions to their wolds for people like me who were completely unfamiliar with them.

  12. 5 out of 5

    April

    A Fantasy Medley 2 is editor Yanni Kuznia's second collection of tales from top fantasy stars. This collection features stories by well-known names in the genre, and displays the dark edge of the modern fantastic. Each takes place in worlds many have already discovered and loved, breathing fresh life into the mythoi of these four fantastic authors. These short tales are individually well crafted, and together they create a piece which intimately binds dark and light, hope and sorrow into the re A Fantasy Medley 2 is editor Yanni Kuznia's second collection of tales from top fantasy stars. This collection features stories by well-known names in the genre, and displays the dark edge of the modern fantastic. Each takes place in worlds many have already discovered and loved, breathing fresh life into the mythoi of these four fantastic authors. These short tales are individually well crafted, and together they create a piece which intimately binds dark and light, hope and sorrow into the reader's consciousness. A few notes on each: - Tanya Huff's Quartered: Set in Huff's world of the Quarters series, this tale is of Evicka, a bard on a mission. Simply told but surprisingly sophisticated, Quartered shows a talent for understanding the complexities of people and how our perceptions can be so different from the truth. Appearances can be deceiving, and sometimes there is a price for revelation. - Amanda Downum's The Bone Garden: This is a sensually written story about different definitions of "haunting". She takes us on a journey to a place where spectres can haunt us--both literally and figuratively. - Jasper Kent's The Sergeant and the General: This story is a little bit like War Horse--if it had been written by Edgar Allen Poe. It shows the hardships of war, forces us to consider the true meaning of loyalty, and is a dark tale that will both haunt and delight lovers of dark speculative fiction. - Seanan McGuire's Rat-Catcher: This is a tale of 17th century London from a rather unexpected point of view. Calling to mind a bit of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, this story has moments of both beauty and tragedy, and is a bittersweet end to a hellish ride through the thorny rose garden of some of today's finest writers. This is a good collection for any reader of speculative fiction, but especially for anyone curious about the styles and worlds of these four authors. Each story divulges the finely tuned abilities of each author and will probably make readers who have never read them want to know more about all four worlds represented in this short but satisfying collection. Recommended. This book was provided to me by SF Revu in exchange for an unbiased review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa King

    As you may know, A Fantasy Medley 2 has four short stories by four different fantasy authors. Of those four, I've only heard of two, Tanya Huff and Seanan McGuire. I bought the book to read Seanan McGuire's Rat-Catcher short since it was about Tybalt, King of Cats and how he came to be so. The book itself is a beautifully put-together hardcover. Excellent quality. As for the stories... Quartered by Tanya Huff I tried to get into this short story, I really did but I was SO lost when it came/> As you may know, A Fantasy Medley 2 has four short stories by four different fantasy authors. Of those four, I've only heard of two, Tanya Huff and Seanan McGuire. I bought the book to read Seanan McGuire's Rat-Catcher short since it was about Tybalt, King of Cats and how he came to be so. The book itself is a beautifully put-together hardcover. Excellent quality. As for the stories... Quartered by Tanya Huff I tried to get into this short story, I really did but I was SO lost when it came to 'kigh' that I gave up, frustrated. Definitely part of a larger story that, unfortunately, you have to be aware of for anything to make sense. Not a stand-alone story. 1 star. Bone Garden by Amanda Downum Very sad. Interesting that there were refugees, lost loves, witches and demons all wrapped up into one story. 3 stars. The Sergeant and the General by Jasper Kent Again, very sad. He trusted you damn it! That's all I am going to say. 3 stars. Rat-Catcher by Seanan McGuire Excellent! By far the best of the offerings. There is a theme to this collection, one of sadness and poignancy that this story of Rand, Prince of Cats, and how he came to be Tybalt, King of Cats, demonstrates. It's well told by one of my favourite authors. I always love to learn more about secondary characters in series that I add to my collection. 5 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abra

    I'm giving this book five stars for the Seanan McGuire story, Rat-Catcher. This is about how Rand, Prince of Cats, became Tybalt, King of Cats. It's set 10 years before Forbid the Sea and explains why Tybalt was alone after the great fire of London. Rat-Catcher doesn't have the poetry of Forbid the Sea, but it's still beautiful in its way. Quartered by Tanya Huff is a vignette from Quarters series and wasn't really a story per se. I haven't read that series so I can't really comment on this.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ronda

    I kind of read the first two novellas the wrong way round, but hey, it didn't take away the fact they were both fabulous reads... this one in particular! In this, the first novella, we see the prince become the king and how this event took place... we also gain a bit of history here, the Great Fire of London and the Black Plague that followed, now I know how it really happened and what became of the Cat Courts! It has to be time to get my claws (pardon the pun) into the fir I kind of read the first two novellas the wrong way round, but hey, it didn't take away the fact they were both fabulous reads... this one in particular! In this, the first novella, we see the prince become the king and how this event took place... we also gain a bit of history here, the Great Fire of London and the Black Plague that followed, now I know how it really happened and what became of the Cat Courts! It has to be time to get my claws (pardon the pun) into the first of the books now, I can't wait!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Meh. Cats. I guess this somehow fits into the October Daye series, with which I am unfamiliar. Since I'm not excited about either cats in fiction or fairies (the cats in the story are essentially a type of fairies), it didn't do much for me. It was competently executed, though. Not too much exposition for the size of the novelette, and a conclusion that seemed to fit the size of the story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Lovely... I'm a sucker for faerie stories like this. I could easily read a series of novels set in this world. Ah... after looking at Goodreads, I see that there IS a series of novels set in this world! MEOW!

  18. 5 out of 5

    A.J.

    Read for the 2013 Hugos. (Rat Catcher) This was a really cool story. It's an interesting world. I liked the main character and particularly how he progressed, which is the point the story, after all. Probably my favorite of the stories in its Hugo category.

  19. 5 out of 5

    The Flooze

    "Rat-Catcher" - Seanan McGuire travels into the past of the October Daye series to pull back the veils on both the world of 17th century London theater and the faerie Court of Cats...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tasha Turner

    Fascinating story of cat fae, prophesy, and sibling love, set in the London Fire. Completely had my attention.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Negine

    Eep! It's here! :)))) Seanan McGuire's story in this is "Tybalt's Origin Story". Enough said :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beth Roberts

    Like so many others to review this, I read only Rat-Catcher for Tybalt's back story. Following Seanan McGuire's short fiction in the complicated timelines of her larger body of work is a challenge on its own. I purchased a copy of this book before the story itself became available for free. At the time, it looked as if it might never do so. This would not be a book to purchase if you do not follow any of the included authors' series. Probably explains the obscurity of the book. I think Seanan is Like so many others to review this, I read only Rat-Catcher for Tybalt's back story. Following Seanan McGuire's short fiction in the complicated timelines of her larger body of work is a challenge on its own. I purchased a copy of this book before the story itself became available for free. At the time, it looked as if it might never do so. This would not be a book to purchase if you do not follow any of the included authors' series. Probably explains the obscurity of the book. I think Seanan is extremely clever in her series, and this one takes her homage to Shakespeare a step further, to the theatre, to London burning and the Great Plague. Fascinating how she weaves her modern tale back through the strands of history. I'd love to know if her story arc for this series came to her as a whole or appears piece by piece as she writes it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    L. Rambit

    "The truth of the matter is that where there are men, there have always been cats, and cream, and Cait Sidhe hiding their true nature behind a purr." Ratcatcher by Seanan McGuire, read during August 2018 in effort to complete the October Daye series. Link to story here. An excellent and interesting story of Tybalt's becoming king (in roughly the 1600s, I think? Correct me if I'm wrong.) Very informative on his character. Every time I hear cats fighting outside my bedroom window at night, now/>/> "The truth of the matter is that where there are men, there have always been cats, and cream, and Cait Sidhe hiding their true nature behind a purr." Ratcatcher by Seanan McGuire, read during August 2018 in effort to complete the October Daye series. Link to story here. An excellent and interesting story of Tybalt's becoming king (in roughly the 1600s, I think? Correct me if I'm wrong.) Very informative on his character. Every time I hear cats fighting outside my bedroom window at night, now, all I can wonder is whether our local court of cats is having an uprising.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kyrie

    A really short collection - four stories of which I understood and enjoyed Seanan McGuire's. I liked Jasper Kent's (well, not exactly liked, but appreciated). Bone Garden was pretty good, too. Tanya Huff's - well, perhaps if I was more familiar with her work, I would have liked it. Mostly I spent the time wondered what the heck some of the things were, why this person was on a journey, and had I wondered into the plot of someone's D&D game? Make it 3 3/4 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fate's Lady

    I really enjoy the first and especially the last stories. The two in the middle were written nicely enough, but I struggled to stay interested. One was just still and the other was basically two related stories one after the other in a conceit that didn't work for me and that ended in graphic violence against an animal.

  26. 5 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/a-... A Fantasy Medley 2 By Multiple Authors (see individual breakdowns below) Edited by Yanni Kuznia ISBN# 9781596065147 Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi “Subterranean staffer Kuzina keeps to the successful formula in her second four-story anthology: having successful authors write winning novellas that function equally as gateway introductions for new readers and exciting material for fans of their popular fantasy worlds … resulting in four excellent stand http://openbooksociety.com/article/a-... A Fantasy Medley 2 By Multiple Authors (see individual breakdowns below) Edited by Yanni Kuznia ISBN# 9781596065147 Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi “Subterranean staffer Kuzina keeps to the successful formula in her second four-story anthology: having successful authors write winning novellas that function equally as gateway introductions for new readers and exciting material for fans of their popular fantasy worlds … resulting in four excellent stand-alone stories.” – Publishers Weekly This quote was printed on the back of this book. I had picked up this book for the October Daye short story, and was debating on reading just that story or the entire book. After reading that, I figured all the shorts could be read as stand-alones and that maybe, just maybe, I would fall in love with a new series or two! But sadly that wasn’t the case with all the novellas Quartered was really confusing having not read the series. 2 stars-Quartered Quarters, Book #4.5 By Tanya Huff Author’s Website: http://andpuff.livejournal.com/ Quartered takes us to Tanya Huff’s Quarters series. The bard, Evicka, is going on a Walk and is assigned to check up on a former assassin and be the Bardic Captain’s eyes and ears to check up on his suspicions that Vireyda and Gyhard are up to something. I had never heard of this series, let alone read any of the books. I found myself completely confused reading this. I didn’t understand what was going on especially with the bards and what the heck are the kighs? It never really figured it out, but could only guess! I’m not sure I would have liked this story even if I had understood everything, but I definitely needed more explanation to fully understand what was going on. The ending left me wondering what the hell I just read. It made absolutely no sense to me. This is not a happy fun story, and I really didn’t like it at all … 3 stars-Bone Garden The Necromancer’s Chronicles, Book #2.5 By Amanda Downum Author’s Website: http://www.amandadownum.com/ Gentian was out partying with Val after his theater performance, but when they come back home to the theater house they find a woman unconscious on the back doorstep. It’s not a safe place for her so they bring her inside, only to discover that its Gentian’s cousin, Sonya. She has come for his help against spirits that has been feeding off of their people. But to capture these spirits will cost them a sacrifice. I thought this was a decent story and I never felt lost since the author revealed all the information that I needed for me to understand what was going on. This tale can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I’m sure it adds a little more for those who have read the series. It kept my interest and was easy to follow. Although I don’t think there is anybody, male or female, relation or not that Gentian won’t kiss! 1 star-The Sergeant and the General The Danilov Quintet By Jasper Kent Author’s Website: http://www.jasperkent.com/TextPage.as... This is a grisly story about a man and his horse and the decisions that man made that haunted him up until his death. This story started out well enough as we are introduced to Sergeant Melle, but I quickly found myself pretty bored as the General started haunting Melle, the story got a bit repetitive, and then switched to Melle’s time in Russia. And, I’m really not a military reader so this dipped into tedium for me. But the story only got worse when he chose riches over his friend and horse that had kept him alive until this point. There was nothing I liked about this story. Obviously it wasn’t my kind of read, and I was disgusted by Melle’s actions by the end of it. There were no redeeming qualities about it … at all. 3 Stars-Rat-Catcher October Daye, Book #0.1 By Seanan McGuire Author’s Website: http://seananmcguire.com/index.php The carefree Prince of Cats, Rand, witnesses a prophecy foretelling the burning of their lands that will kill them all. His father will not listen to reason, forcing Rand to challenge him for the throne. This story is the reason I read this anthology. I have not read any of the October Daye books before, but once I understood that the characters were shape-shifting fae the story was easy to comprehend. I liked Tybalt’s character and the story was sound. This is a series I’d like to continue. Overall Thoughts: This anthology as a whole, did not impress me. The dark tales within just were depressing more than anything with a woman getting her legs cut off and a horse being slaughtered for food, even though it’s owner wasn’t hungry. Bone Garden was a decent read, and I did enjoy Rat-Catcher, the October Daye series is probably the only one I would consider continuing based on these stories. If you are considering reading this book just for the added story to a series, I’d just read that story in question and skip the others, save yourself from wasting time on content that’s just not all that interesting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Titus Fortner

    I have only read the McGuire's Rat-Catcher from this collection, but it is fantastic.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I read this for the Seanan McGuire story, which didn't disappoint. The other stories were also well-written, and I'll need to look into Huff's Quarters series. Quick read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Rat-Catcher: 3/5 stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    read for Rat-Catcher (October Daye) by Seanan McGuire

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