Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction

Availability: Ready to download

Firebirds is more than simply an anthology -- it is a celebration of wonderful writing. It gathers together sixteen original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. Together, they have won virtually every major prize -- from the National Book Award to the World Fantasy Award to the Newbery Medal -- and have made best-seller lists worldwide Firebirds is more than simply an anthology -- it is a celebration of wonderful writing. It gathers together sixteen original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. Together, they have won virtually every major prize -- from the National Book Award to the World Fantasy Award to the Newbery Medal -- and have made best-seller lists worldwide. These authors, including Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain), Diana Wynne Jones (The Merlin Conspiracy), Garth Nix (The Abhorsen Trilogy), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow), Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel Trilogy), and Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion), each with his or her own inimitable style, tell stories that will entertain, provoke, startle, amuse, and resonate long after the last page has been turned.The writers featured in Firebirds all share a connection to Firebird Books, an imprint that is dedicated to publishing the best fantasy and science fiction for teenage and adult readers.


Compare
Ads Banner

Firebirds is more than simply an anthology -- it is a celebration of wonderful writing. It gathers together sixteen original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. Together, they have won virtually every major prize -- from the National Book Award to the World Fantasy Award to the Newbery Medal -- and have made best-seller lists worldwide Firebirds is more than simply an anthology -- it is a celebration of wonderful writing. It gathers together sixteen original stories by some of today's finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. Together, they have won virtually every major prize -- from the National Book Award to the World Fantasy Award to the Newbery Medal -- and have made best-seller lists worldwide. These authors, including Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain), Diana Wynne Jones (The Merlin Conspiracy), Garth Nix (The Abhorsen Trilogy), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow), Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel Trilogy), and Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion), each with his or her own inimitable style, tell stories that will entertain, provoke, startle, amuse, and resonate long after the last page has been turned.The writers featured in Firebirds all share a connection to Firebird Books, an imprint that is dedicated to publishing the best fantasy and science fiction for teenage and adult readers.

30 review for Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Arya

    (DISCLAIMER): I know that in the past I have fervently asserted my hatred of short stories . . . I’m sorry! I usually do REALLY dislike short stories, but this time is different – they are “Fantasy” short stories – delicious! (5 stars) "Cotillion" by Delia Sherman: I really liked this one. It was a retelling of the story of Tam Lin. Celia is attending her debutante ball, in 1969, when she meets an intriguing young man by the name of Valentine. But he is much more than he appears. And Celia might (DISCLAIMER): I know that in the past I have fervently asserted my hatred of short stories . . . I’m sorry! I usually do REALLY dislike short stories, but this time is different – they are “Fantasy” short stories – delicious! (5 stars) "Cotillion" by Delia Sherman: I really liked this one. It was a retelling of the story of Tam Lin. Celia is attending her debutante ball, in 1969, when she meets an intriguing young man by the name of Valentine. But he is much more than he appears. And Celia might just be the only person who can save him. (4 stars) "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner: Interesting thought (if a bit unbelievable). Penny (Precious Treasure) was dropped in the Night Deposit box as an infant and is raised by the staff . . . but the secret of her birth is revealed in spectacular fashion at the end of the story. (5 stars) "Beauty" by Sherwood Smith: Is beauty only skin deep? Or is the loveliness of the soul the real treasure? Sherwood Smith explores this as she once again captures the attention of the audience who adored Crown Duel. Elestra is not beautiful, but – being the daughter of Shevraeth and Meliara – she is awesome! Pit her against the devilishly handsome Flauvic and we have a philosophical lesson in the making (with a bit of fiery bantering thrown in for good measure of course!) (3 stars) "Mariposa" by Nancy Springer: Very, very, very interesting. This is the story of a business woman who realizes her soul is missing. A play on modern society where it really does seem as if the majority of girls lose “themselves” in their haste to conform to the norm . . . strange theory . . . (2 stars) "Max Mondrosch" by Lloyd Alexander: I really thought that this would be a better story – it is Lloyd Alexander after all . . . but sadly I was not impressed. I would have much preferred a Prydain Chronicle short story. This was just a little creepy – a man cannot find a job no matter how hard he looks and at the end of the story he is beginning to cease to exist . . . CHILLS! (4 stars) "The Fall of Ys" by Meredith Ann Pierce: LOVED IT!! You go girl . . . that was one hell of a bad father (pardon my language). I cannot believe he “loved his daughter so much he could not be separated from her” and then he just left her to die! He deserves every bit of what the White Priestess did to him! The Princess Rocks! (3 stars) "Medusa" by Michael Cadnum: Finally someone looks at things from Medusa’s perspective – Arachne, get in line, everyone is dissing Athena! Medusa probably should not have slept with Poseidon – especially if she knew that he was engaged to Athena, and DEFINITELY not in Athena’s temple, but come on she is the human here, the responsibility for the evil lies squarely on Poseidon’s shoulders (not that Athena would EVER blame him!) Really I hate it when the (fairly blameless) girl is blamed! Go Michael Cadnum!! (skipped) "The Black Fox" by Emma Bull (adaptation) and Charles Vess (illustration): Ok confession time . . . I did not read this one. I respect the opinion of everyone who enjoys comics, but it is just not my thing. I have never figured out the way to read them where the story flows for me . . . skipped. (5 stars) "Byndley" by Patricia A. McKillip: Ms. McKillip . . . you are amazing! You have managed to stuff the entire plot of multiple novels into one charming (SHORT) story! I loved it. Man the Fairy Queen is just terrible . . . any unsuspecting young man who sees her should turn tail and run the other way! I’m serious, she’ll only give you heartache. (skipped) "The Lady of the Ice Garden" by Kara Dalkey: Ok what can I say . . . I don’t like the fairy tale of the Snow Queen . . . sorry Ms. Dalkey! Skipped. (5 stars) "Hope Chest" by Garth Nix: Awesomeness dude! Seriously more power to Annie Oakley! This was awesome. . .imagine Josey Wales, Resident Evil and Ann of Green Gables combined and you have Hope Chest – how do you people come up with this stuff? (4 stars) "Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein: Not so much fantasy as a cute story about “Aeroplanes”. And now I want to write about Mount Kilimanjaro – seriously, how cool of a name is that? (3 stars) "Little Dot" by Diana Wynne Jones: I don’t really like cats . . . so . . . interesting . . . (3 stars) "Remember Me" by Nancy Farmer: Story about a Changeling. I found the mother and daughter to be extremely mean-spirited. . . the dad had promise. Over all didn’t really like it . . . Sorry Ms. Farmer! I like your books! (5 stars) "Flotsam" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman: Besides Beauty this just might be my favorite story in this book. Poppy was brilliant, as was Becky’s whole family! LOVED it!! I hope that Ms. Hoffman will write some more stories about Poppy’s adventures in the future. (3 stars) "The Flying Woman" by Laurel Winter: Seriously I didn’t really get the point. It was sad, and I felt sorry for the sister who didn’t really seem to understand that her brother was in love with the Flying Woman until the very end . . . not that great, but not bad either. Over all a delightful book with stories just long enough to please and just short enough to swallow in one sitting!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marquise

    Borrowed this book out of curiosity about Cotillion, Delia Sherman's retelling of Tam Lin set in our times, but found out most of the other stories are good as well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A collection of powerful, moving short stories by lots of great authors. Here's a list of the stories: Cotillion - Celia meets the most wonderful guy at her debutante party. Trouble is, he has a dark secret only Celia can save him from. Very vivid imagery. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box - Penny was left at the bank as a baby. She lives at the bank and doesn't go anywhere else. Can she save her town and real parents from an evil sorceress? I liked this one, especially the ending; it was short an A collection of powerful, moving short stories by lots of great authors. Here's a list of the stories: Cotillion - Celia meets the most wonderful guy at her debutante party. Trouble is, he has a dark secret only Celia can save him from. Very vivid imagery. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box - Penny was left at the bank as a baby. She lives at the bank and doesn't go anywhere else. Can she save her town and real parents from an evil sorceress? I liked this one, especially the ending; it was short and sweet. Beauty - Elestra has never been beautiful like her sisters. One day, she is kidnapped by the most beautiful man in the world - and both begin to learn what true beauty really means. Mariposa - Aimee has lost her soul by becoming caught up with looks and popularity. What will happen when she gets it back? Beautifully written. Max Mondrasch - This is a dark story about Max Mondrasch, a man who keeps trying to get a job but can't find one. The Fall of Ys - The island of Ys falls because of the king's wickedness. Good story, but not particularly touching. Medusa - Before Athena got jealous, Medusa was a lovely seductress. This story is written from her point of view. The Black Fox - A graphic novel/short story based of the ballad. I didn't like it. The Lady of the Ice Garden - Keiken and Girida are best friends, until an "oni" blade takes Keiken's friendship away. He rejects everything and is quite willingly taken by the Lady of the Ice Garden. Can Girida save him? Sad but very good. Hope Chest - This one's my favorite. Alice was found on a train with a mysterious chest, never to be opened until her 16th birthday. On her sweet sixteen, Alice opens it and finds her birthright: to save the town from the menace of the Servants and the Master. But what will it cost her? Dark and gory. Little Dot - A charming legend about cats and the sphinx. Flotsam - Becky loves Danny Ortega, but they're "just friends." What happens when Poppy, a fairy from another world, comes along? There's more stories, but I didn't get the chance to write all of them down.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    As with all short story anthologies, it's a little hit or miss. Some of the stories are amazing, some are ho hum. I particularly liked The Baby in the Night Deposit Box, by Megan Whalen Turner. Also good: Max Mondrosch, by the inimitable Lloyd Alexander, and Garth Nix's disturbing yet wonderful Hope Chest.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cinda

    I loved these stories. I don't read many short stories, but have been asked to contribute to an anthology. These are like small jewels, each complete and perfect in itself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    I'm still looking for my Sgt. Pepper's of Young Adult short story collections. I need one that's hit after hit after hit. ... Does that book exist? This was the closest I've come to what I'm looking for, but it's still not the book. Some stories had themes I wouldn't feel comfortable with having my 7th graders read, and a couple other stories just dragged. I about ditched the book half way through "Little Dot" - a story about a cat who could talk to a wizard and had no point whatsoever. (Maybe I' I'm still looking for my Sgt. Pepper's of Young Adult short story collections. I need one that's hit after hit after hit. ... Does that book exist? This was the closest I've come to what I'm looking for, but it's still not the book. Some stories had themes I wouldn't feel comfortable with having my 7th graders read, and a couple other stories just dragged. I about ditched the book half way through "Little Dot" - a story about a cat who could talk to a wizard and had no point whatsoever. (Maybe I'm just a dog person, but Dang.) Of course, some stories were gold - like "Mariposa" about a girl who lost her soul; or "Beauty" in which an evil wizard was turned into a tree. Some stories had a lot of similarities - "Baby in the Night Deposit Box" and "Hope Chest" both dealt with abandoned children and their destinies. (I loved "Hope Chest" - a Western, Supernatural, Hitler, Gunslingin' zombie-type story...) And of course, other stories were as different as could be. Once again it wasn't a bad collection, but ... (once again) not what I was looking for. I guess my CAP kids will have to wait a little longer. (3.5/5 overall)

  7. 4 out of 5

    ambyr

    Megan Whalen Turner's "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" stole the show for me, here, and reminded me that I really ought to seek out more of her short fiction. Other favorites included Lloyd Alexander's "Max Mondrosch" (although with its existential despair about the working world, it feels a little out of place in young adult collection that otherwise verges on inspirational reading), Sherwood Smith's "Beauty," and Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot" (which plot-wise is a sort of unfocused, ramb Megan Whalen Turner's "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" stole the show for me, here, and reminded me that I really ought to seek out more of her short fiction. Other favorites included Lloyd Alexander's "Max Mondrosch" (although with its existential despair about the working world, it feels a little out of place in young adult collection that otherwise verges on inspirational reading), Sherwood Smith's "Beauty," and Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot" (which plot-wise is a sort of unfocused, rambling mess, but won me over with a pitch-perfect cat point of view). If this anthology feels like it starts stronger than it ends, it's possibly because so many of the stories are thematically similar--changelings, fairies, learning to embrace being different. I think I might have enjoyed it even more if I'd read it spread out over more time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Bought a copy so I could reread. Have done so, and enjoyed just as much as expected/ hoped. Sad, now, though, as I must part with the book. Highly recommended, and certainly not just to teens. More fairy tale than sword&sorcery. More beauty, romance (in both senses of the word), literary value. Evocative, provocative, poetic, resonant, oh yeah. Even a bit of humor, both happy and dark. This is a book I would have read a hundred times when I was in my teens and over the next decades. Now, well Bought a copy so I could reread. Have done so, and enjoyed just as much as expected/ hoped. Sad, now, though, as I must part with the book. Highly recommended, and certainly not just to teens. More fairy tale than sword&sorcery. More beauty, romance (in both senses of the word), literary value. Evocative, provocative, poetic, resonant, oh yeah. Even a bit of humor, both happy and dark. This is a book I would have read a hundred times when I was in my teens and over the next decades. Now, well, I have to admit I didn't find any new authors to add to my to-read lists. The writing and ideas that are so wonderful are perfect in a short story anthology, but I'm not inclined to read a whole novel or series by any of them. Except Turner--my son keeps pushing The Thief on me, and since it's a Newbery I will read it someday.

  9. 5 out of 5

    The Scarlet Pervygirl

    If for whatever reason you want to do the exact reverse of the thing that patriarchy does all the time and introduce yourself to a particular genre (fantasy literature, in this case, but it works with, oh, art and history and politics and sex and love as well) while pretending that it is exclusively the domain of women, this book will provide you with everything you need for getting as rich and full an experience as you would get doing it any other way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn, Reader of Things

    Since this is an anthology (that's smart-person talk for a book of stories/poems/stuff) I've decided to go through and write little mini-reviews for each story as I read it. Here goes nuthin'. Cotillion by Delia Sherman 1.5 stars This story was a remake of the legend of Tam Lin(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tam_Lin for more info on that). It read like the first chapter of a novel, which I really dislike in a short story. I didn't enjoy the weak characterization either. It was also rather boring. Since this is an anthology (that's smart-person talk for a book of stories/poems/stuff) I've decided to go through and write little mini-reviews for each story as I read it. Here goes nuthin'. Cotillion by Delia Sherman 1.5 stars This story was a remake of the legend of Tam Lin(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tam_Lin for more info on that). It read like the first chapter of a novel, which I really dislike in a short story. I didn't enjoy the weak characterization either. It was also rather boring. The only thing I liked was that the main character, Celia Townsend, was at least basically logical. The Baby in The Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner 2.5 stars The Baby in he Night Deposit Box tells the story of a baby girl found in the night deposit box of a small-town bank. This story is done in the classical short story style, with a clearly defined buildup and climax. It did kind of drag on in the beginning, though, and I would have liked it to have been a bit faster. It's nothing particularly special. Though the ending had a strange twist, is was still very mediocre. Beauty by Sherwood Smith 4 stars! Beauty is the story of the not-so-pretty Princess Elestra, a young princess trying to deal with being the plainest of her beautiful friends and family. When she wanders into her parents throne room, she is taken captive by the evil (but very handsome) Lord Flauvic. I loved this story! The writing is good, it's interesting, and it was a really fun read. It is told in first-person, from Elestra's POV. I thought Elestra's voice was unique and I really began to like her. The only reason it isn't 5 stars is because it does read somewhat like the first chapter of a novel, like maybe it should've gone on a bit longer, but the ending was satisfactory I suppose. In the author's note at the end, it said that this story was also written as a kind of novella for Smith's other novel, Crown Duel. Mariposa by Nancy Springer 3 stars This was a strange one. It was a modern-day fantasy kind of book about a young woman named Aimee, who had apparently lost her soul, or so she is told by her W.D. (Warlock Doctor a.k.a. Warlocter) and so returns to her childhood home to find said lost piece of herself. This story, in it's own way, was as much about finding yourself as it was about not losing who you are. Over the years, Aimee had become very shallow and snobby, very soul-less. Always trying to have the in-fashion and be popular. It was strange, but I found her kooky mother and grandmother to be humorous. The writing was decent and it was entertaining enough. All in all it was a good story. Not a great, but good. Max Mondrosch by Lloyd Alexander 1.5 stars Max Mondrosch is a short story about a guy looking for a job and getting denied over and over again. I fail to see how this story classifies as either science fiction or fantasy. The fantastical elements simply are not present, except maybe at the very end. The word-building is fine, the story is told as a short story, but it's simply pointless. Maybe there is some deep symbolism to this short story, but I sure didn't catch it. The Fall of Ys by Meredith Ann Pierce 2.5 stars A twist on the old Celtic legend of the seaside city of Ys, King Gralon, and his daughter. It was interesting enough. Not too much to say about this one. Just very average. Medusa by Michael Cadnum 3 stars The authors version of the Greek legend of Medusa, told by her. I liked this story well enough. It was interesting to read a Greek myth from the supposed "monster's" point of view. I ended up actually feeling kind of bad for Medusa at the end. The Black Fox adapted by Emma Bull, illustrated by Charles Vess 2.5 stars This one was interesting. The Black Fox starts with an old ballad about fox hunting, then launches into a motherflippin' graphic novella. Wow. I was so not expecting that. It was an interesting change of pace, both the graphic novella and the ballad. I was waiting for some kind of poem or song to appear in this book. While I enjoyed the change of pace, the novella was a bit hard to understand as I felt the illustrations were sometimes unclear, and took a bit too long to get to the point of the story. It made this story alot less awesome than it should've been. Byndley by Patricia A. McKillip 3 stars This was an okay story. It's a fantasy story about an accomplished wizard named Reck who just arrived in a strange little village called Byndley while bearing a mysteriously heavy pack. The writing was okay, the characters were likeable and overall it was a good story. Kept me entertained, but didn't leave a lasting impression. The Lady of The Ice Garden by Kara Dalkey 1 star Thia was supposedly a remake of Hans Christian Andersons "The Snow Queen" with a Japanese flair. It sucked majorly. It was soooooo slow and boring and overall pointless. The ending pretty much makes the entire goal of the story a moot point. Did not enjoy this one at all. I WANT MY WASTED BRAIN CELLS BACK. Hope Chest by Garth Nix 3 stars What the f*ck heck was this? A baby is found abandoned at a train station atop an old steamer trunk in the small town of Denilburg. It was a normal abandoned-baby story until about halfway through. Then it was...I don't know, alternate-reality? western? fantasy? I'm so confused. It was entertaining, and unlike a lot of the stories I've read, there was actual action. I just don't know... I gave it an extra half-star just for weirdness. Chasing The Wind by Elizabeth E. Wein 3.5 stars The story of a preachers daughter on her way to spend the summer with her parents in Africa. Of all the stories I've read so far, this one had the most realistic and well-developed characters. There is actual emotional depth, though it is rather slow at times. Overall, a very well-written story, though again I fail to see how it counts as fantasy or science fiction. Little Dot by Diana Wynne Jones 4.5 stars! Little Dot is the story of Turandot, a cat who lives on a farm with a wizard named Henry. This was an amazingly cute story. First of all, I just loved how it was told first-person from Little Dot's POV. She was a very smart, sensible little cat. The other cats all have their own personalities and are really cute. It's interesting, has a happy ending, and was overall a very happy, fun tale. Remember Me by Nancy Farmer 2 stars The story of a dysfunctional family's roadtrip to the desert. Not very entertaining. It had meaning, but it was just not really gripping enough to make the reader care. Ella is stupid. Jessie isn't much better, and is mean to her sister, Flo. Just not a great story. Flotsam by Nina Kiriki Hoffman 4 stars! A teenage girl finds a lost stranger in the corner of a basketball court one Saturday morning, and learns that all may not be as it seems. This is one of the longer stories in this book, but even so, I felt the length was just perfect the way it was. Becky, the main character, was well-written and realistic. It was quite bittersweet in the end, but I thought it was good and very entertaining, with a surprisingly moving ending. The Flying Woman by Laurel Winter 3.5 stars An interesting story of a brother and sister abandoned on an island. It's pretty good, though the actual flying woman doesn't come into the story until more than halfway through, and the ending seemed abrupt and really resolved nothing. Still, it was good enough. ************* Finally finished! Final tally: 16 stories! 3 favorite stories: Beauty, Little Dot, and Flotsam. 3 least favorite stories: Cotillion, The Lady of The Ice Garden (hated that one!), and Max Mondrosch. Other Comments: Overall, this an okay collection of stories, most of them are only mediocre, but there are a few jewels in there.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Navi

    I'm going to be honest, most of these stories are simply 'okay'. There are not very many that stood out to me, and there weren't many that we painfully awful either. In fact, I don't think any of these were so bad that I stopped reading it. Well, maybe one or two of them. My favorites were Little Dot, Beauty, Flotsam, Baby in the Deposit Box, and Mariposa. My least favorites were Black Fox and Hope Chest. The other ones were decent at best, some were more mediocre than others and some I just don't I'm going to be honest, most of these stories are simply 'okay'. There are not very many that stood out to me, and there weren't many that we painfully awful either. In fact, I don't think any of these were so bad that I stopped reading it. Well, maybe one or two of them. My favorites were Little Dot, Beauty, Flotsam, Baby in the Deposit Box, and Mariposa. My least favorites were Black Fox and Hope Chest. The other ones were decent at best, some were more mediocre than others and some I just don't honestly remember despite reading them a day prior to writing this. My least favorites were those two 'awful' ones that I was talking about. While neither was badly written, and I actually liked the lyrical part of Black Fox, both started out promising then turned into just a mess of blaaahhh. Spoilers for both stories ahead. Black Fox was a comic, you see. And while I'm sure the art was decent for the time, the style was one I found didn't really match the story. The story itself was confusing in its comic form, and I reread it several times trying to understand what exactly it was trying to convey. In the lyrics before the comic, the fox is described as turning into Satan. In the comic, he's the Guardian of Hunters or something similar. The characters thank him for the great hunt in the comic, which didn't fit the beginning lyrics. I would have been okay with the comic if it hadn't included the lyrics at the beginning. Hope Chest was exactly like Baby in the Deposit Box except with a train and set in the midwest. It was also significantly worse. This is really just a personal opinion, however, since I know that a lot of people consider this one of the stronger stories in this anthology. It started out okay, but once she got the chest open and an evil government official appeared, I knew that it had taken a turn for the worse. It literally turned into a gore fest for the last couple pages. There's nothing wrong with gore fests, but I wish there had been a bit more warning that it was going to include one. All in all, it was an okay anthology. I would not read this to middle schoolers, to which it is targeted. There's a lot of violence and a bit of inappropriate romance in a few of the stories. I think the only ones worth sharing with younger-than-high-school students would be Beauty, Mariposa, Baby in the Deposit Box, and possibly Little Dot - though for a story about talking cats and wizards that one did get a bit violent. 3 out of 5 stars overall.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathy * Bookworm Nation

    The Baby in the Night Deposite Box by Nancy Whalen Turner This is a story about baby Penny, who one night is dropped into a bank's night deposite box. When the bank manager/owner comes into work the next morning he finds the baby in with the rest of the deposites and decided that it is the banks responsibility to raise her. In this short story we watch as Penny grows from a young baby to a young adult. It didn't have much fantasy in it until the very end. For me it ended right when it was getting The Baby in the Night Deposite Box by Nancy Whalen Turner This is a story about baby Penny, who one night is dropped into a bank's night deposite box. When the bank manager/owner comes into work the next morning he finds the baby in with the rest of the deposites and decided that it is the banks responsibility to raise her. In this short story we watch as Penny grows from a young baby to a young adult. It didn't have much fantasy in it until the very end. For me it ended right when it was getting good, again I felt this was a great set-up for a full-length novel, but it was an enjoyable story. Beauty by Sherwood Smith I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story takes place in the same world of Crown Duel. It follows the daughter of Mel and Danric, who I loved, in the earlier books. Elestra is far from beautiful and is upset one evening and runs to the thrown room to get away, as soon as she enters the evil Flauvic (who had been imprisioned in a tree) takes her captive so he can make his escape. The curse that was placed on Flauvic in Court Duel has been lifted and although twenty years have passed he has hardly aged. All his family, friends and connections are long gone and he is all alone. As they travel toward the border a friendship grows between Elestra and Flauvic and before anything can really happen between them the story ends. I have mixed feelings about this one. Flauvic was such a "bad guy" in the Court Duel book it was hard for me to see him as a good guy in this one. I suppose living twenty years in a tree, losing everyone you know, and knowing that no one cared to rescue you is a pretty good punishment. Maybe he has learned a lesson and will strive to live a better life. The story ended a bit too quickly and I'm left wondering more about him then I ever was with the original story. It was fun revisiting and finding out how Mel and Danric are doing, although it didn't have the same magic from the other stories, it was still a fun read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Talarico

    Andrea Talarico Short Stories First, I didn’t realize that Firebirds was not just the name of the anthology, but a whole publishing imprint dedicated to Young Adult Science Fiction, which is really cool. Anyway, since it’s impossible to review all the varied stories in Firebirds, An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction, I will highlight some of my favorite moments: “The Black Fox,” by Emma Bull and Charles Vess, starts with a traditional ballad, written out in stanza form, and then mo Andrea Talarico Short Stories First, I didn’t realize that Firebirds was not just the name of the anthology, but a whole publishing imprint dedicated to Young Adult Science Fiction, which is really cool. Anyway, since it’s impossible to review all the varied stories in Firebirds, An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction, I will highlight some of my favorite moments: “The Black Fox,” by Emma Bull and Charles Vess, starts with a traditional ballad, written out in stanza form, and then morphs into a graphic novel-type telling of the ballad’s story. Very cool! Diana Wynn-Jones’ “Little Dot” tells the story of a wizard living in the modern world. Garth Nix’s “Hope Chest” tells the story of a magic box from 1922, mashing up historical fiction with fantasy. There is much to be enjoyed here, by sci-fi and fantasy fans of all kinds.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    An excellent collection of YA fantasy and science fiction short stories by a lot of great authors, including Lloyd Alexander, Kara Dalkey, Sherwood Smith, and Emma Bull. I particularly liked Garth Nix's "Hope Chest", a disturbing story about a girl who was left at a small town's train station as a baby, with only a hope chest; eventually she must use the contents of the chest to save her adopted family and the town from a would-be evil dictator. Diana Wynne Jones's contribution, "Little Dot", wa An excellent collection of YA fantasy and science fiction short stories by a lot of great authors, including Lloyd Alexander, Kara Dalkey, Sherwood Smith, and Emma Bull. I particularly liked Garth Nix's "Hope Chest", a disturbing story about a girl who was left at a small town's train station as a baby, with only a hope chest; eventually she must use the contents of the chest to save her adopted family and the town from a would-be evil dictator. Diana Wynne Jones's contribution, "Little Dot", was my other favorite, a humorous and charming tale told from a cat's point of view.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    I have a story in this anthology called "Beauty" which is a sequel to Crown Duel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    A really fabulous collection of YA scifi and fantasy short stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Cotillion - While I'm not completely familiar with the story of Tam Lin, it was refreshing to see a modern day version of it that kept to the basic outline of the original. I love tales of faerie and romance, but what I really liked about this tale was that the heroine didn't immediately fall in love with the man she saved. Even if it is 1969, she was very grounded in reality. Sometimes stories of love at first sight with no mind about consequences irk me. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box - Ther Cotillion - While I'm not completely familiar with the story of Tam Lin, it was refreshing to see a modern day version of it that kept to the basic outline of the original. I love tales of faerie and romance, but what I really liked about this tale was that the heroine didn't immediately fall in love with the man she saved. Even if it is 1969, she was very grounded in reality. Sometimes stories of love at first sight with no mind about consequences irk me. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box - There were a few things I had problems with in this story. I couldn't get into Penny's life so much. Most of what I saw were of the CPS lady and Homer, both of whom I hated. I didn't really like the fact that they were constantly fighting over her. I did, however, finally get into the story when the Enchantress came, but why did she have to return to the bank three times? And how did Penny know that it had to be three? There wasn't enough explanation about that. Who really knows if she's the Aunt or not. I would very much have preferred the security guard and his wife to take custody over Penny. Oh well. The last bit of dialogue made me laugh and in retrospect, the story was a little cute. Beauty - When one thinks of romance, they think of the burning passion and falling in love at first sight. The great thing about this story is that it wasn't that. It was the story of the first signs of romance, where both parties don't understand what's going on and just react to each other normally. It was, for lack of a better word, beautiful. And the world itself was great, too. As realistic as one can get about a medieval magical world. Mariposa - I don't know if all stories have messages in them, and perhaps I'm reaching in trying to find them, but Mariposa is such a cute little thing, a very short short story. A story about staying true to your childhood and embracing the whole of yourself. The added bonus of having souls in the shape of animals was completely adorable. Max Mondrosch - Comedic horror indeed. Reading the Author's Note, it does seem like a tragedy of the usual hero. The Fall of Ys - Riddles. I love riddles. Especially riddles given to siblings. Those usually tell the personality of a person, the mere essence of them. In this case, blaming inconsistency and selfishness on a woman's heart was a true reflection of the king's own nature. Anyway, Celtic stories taste grey and misty to me, with a touch of grass. This one was like that, but more icy and salty. The king got what he deserved, trying to steal his promise back from the Mistress Sea. Idiot. Medusa - I love Greek Myths more than any literary morsel. So reading another side of Medusa's tale was definitely pleasing. I've read her a seductress, a victim, an innocent. This is the first time I've read her a strong woman. Props. The Black Fox - I loved the transition from poem to graphic novel. Absolutely superb, though the font was a bit difficult to read. Burning wood sort of taste, lots of camouflage greens and browns. Byndley - You think you're reading one thing, but at the end you're reading another. I liked how the town that was closest to magic, really was magic itself. Or perhaps what it was is that the magician never left Faerie in the first place, that everything was the illusion, until he gave back the globe. So many different ways to perceive it. It tastes of water gel and starlight and smells of hot metal. The Lady of the Ice Garden - To be honest, I expected the heroine to marry the victim at the end of the story. To me, it wasn't that the oni blades showed his true nature, but actually exaggerated his negative side. It was unclear during the story if the effects of the oni blade had worn off. In any case, it was a nice Eastern take on a very Western story. I liked it. Hope Chest - I wasn't expecting something almost reminiscent of Steam Punk to be in this story, but considering Garth Nix wrote it, there had to be another element of it that was supernatural. I wasn't disappointed. I did love the shooting aspect of it, and the rules. Ah, the Master reminded me of Hitler. Chasing the Wind - I don't understand how this story is considered fantasy or science fiction. It was cute, nonetheless, and about discovering ones true purpose. Little Dot - A story about cats! How adorable. I love how each little cat had a part to play, however small, in driving out Fara. Something was definitely off about her. I knew from the start. Remember Me - A tale of finding where you belong. I like how in the Author's Note, she writes that people may have made up stories about Changelings to explain children with disabilities. That just made me so sad and, yet, it made so much sense. Flotsam - Poppy is so funny. I love that in his reunion with his family, he helped Becky reunite with hers. The Flying Woman - This one just killed me. There were parts that felt like Dr. Franklin's Island, so I was immediately invested in it. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the depressing and I, as well, got depressed by the end. I hope she finds a way to cheer up her brother.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I checked this out of the library for the Diana Wynne Jones story in it, but read the whole anthology. I'm not giving a star rating to each story, but I did keep a note of whether I felt positively or negatively toward each story when finished. 1. Cotillion by Delia Sherman + (was nice to start the anthology with a Tam Lin story, as Tam Lin is one of my favourite tales of all time.) 2. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner + 3. Beauty by Sherwood Smith + 4. Mariposa by Nancy Spr I checked this out of the library for the Diana Wynne Jones story in it, but read the whole anthology. I'm not giving a star rating to each story, but I did keep a note of whether I felt positively or negatively toward each story when finished. 1. Cotillion by Delia Sherman + (was nice to start the anthology with a Tam Lin story, as Tam Lin is one of my favourite tales of all time.) 2. The Baby in the Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner + 3. Beauty by Sherwood Smith + 4. Mariposa by Nancy Springer - 5. Max Mondrosch by Lloyd Alexander - (and what this was doing in an anthology of "original fantasy and science fiction" I will never understand. Regardless of what the author put in his note at the end, that "this tale [is]...in any case, a fantasy", it absolutely is not. It's straight realist fiction and depressing realist fiction at that) 6. The Fall of Ys by Meredith Ann Pierce + 7. Medusa by Michael Cadnum + 8. The Black Fox by Emma Bull (adaptation) and Charles Vess (illustrations) - (and very negative. I didn't feel the characters were drawn clearly enough to distinguish one from another, so I couldn't tell who the various events were happening to, which meant the thread of the story was impossible to follow, and since the drawings did not impress me and the story had already been written out in verse in its entirety before the comic version started, it was worthless to me) 9. Byndley by Patricia A. McKillip + 10. The Lady of the Ice Garden by Kara Dalkey -/+ (started out with negative feeling toward the story, the end I felt more kindly toward. It gets the rating in the order of negative first because I felt more negatively than positively toward it overall, mainly because it does hurt me to read kind people being treated cruelly) 11. Hope Chest by Garth Nix +/- (might have fared better if it weren't the second of two "baby-from-a-different-world/not-entirely-human-baby left as a foundling with a note pinned to it and important objects beside it" stories in an anthology made up of only 16 stories. Overall more positive than negative, but left me feeling unfulfilled) 12. Chasing the Wind by Elizabeth E. Wein + (I made a note on my list after this one "but doesn't FIT" and it's another case, like #5, of a straight realist fiction story being included in an anthology that calls itself fantasy and science fiction. The author's note even explains that while the characters and their emotions are fiction, the events are all true. I did like it, but it did not belong.) 13. Little Dot by Dianna Wynne Jones ++ (would have been hard to get a negative from me, as a DWJ story, but even setting that aside I did enjoy it. Partly, of course, this is because I read the story while being cuddled and purred and kneaded and bullied by the cats that own me, and my sweetheart and I talk to each other on behalf of the cats, in their personalities, regularly. So this is a story that makes sense to my world. A little obvious, (view spoiler)[as soon as Fara appeared it was clear she was the Beast, yet the way that revelation was made it seemed like that was supposed to be a surprise? (hide spoiler)] but still enjoyable.) 14. Remember Me by Nancy Farmer +/- (I felt torn about this one when I finished it, knew it'd be either a +/- or a -/+, but when I read the author's note I knew it had to be a +/- because I appreciate what she was saying and where her thoughts went with it. Mainly my negative feelings toward the story were similar to #10: it hurts me to read cruelty to innocent victims, and it especially hurts me to read cruelty where the person who is cruel gets away with it, is in some ways rewarded for it (by continuing to get what they want), and undergoes no awareness change. 15. Flotsam by Nina Kiriki Hoffman + 16. The Flying Woman by Laurel Winter - (sorry to end the book on a negative, too) Once I'd finished, I looked at my list and came away with numbers. Of 16 stories, I walked away with completely positive feelings about 9, completely negative feelings about 4, mixed but more positive feelings about 2, and mixed by more negative feelings about 1. Being generous, that's 11 positive to 5 negative. Reasonable, though not ideal, it's basically 2/3rds positive. So in deciding whether that was worth 3 stars or 4, I thought about the anthology overall. It's not cohesive. It wasn't arranged well. The stories don't flow from one to another. Multiple stories didn't fit the basic premise of the anthology. So 3 stars. Glad I read it for the DWJ story, and I clearly enjoyed enough of the others that I'm glad I didn't just read hers and ignore the rest, but if hers hadn't been in the collection, I could have easily given it a miss and not been sorry.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    My daughter has read this book twice, and even asked for a copy of her own last Christmas—so when she said I should read it too, I took that recommendation seriously. And she was right—Firebirds is, more than a decade after its release, a solid anthology of original short fantasy. The emphasis on "original" is important—though most of the authors were already well-known names even at the time, none of these stories had appeared elsewhere prior to being in these pages. I myself had not read any o My daughter has read this book twice, and even asked for a copy of her own last Christmas—so when she said I should read it too, I took that recommendation seriously. And she was right—Firebirds is, more than a decade after its release, a solid anthology of original short fantasy. The emphasis on "original" is important—though most of the authors were already well-known names even at the time, none of these stories had appeared elsewhere prior to being in these pages. I myself had not read any of them before. I think a great deal of the credit for this book's strength belongs to its editor, Sharyn November, founder and editor of the Firebird imprint of the Penguin Group (USA) from which this volume takes its name. Not only were the individual stories well-chosen and arranged; the structural elements of the book were also carefully designed—November's decision to put the authors' biographies and notes after each one's story, rather than before them or all bunched at the end, was particularly wise. All of the authors were contributors to the Firebird imprint. This lent Firebirds a thematic unity not always present even in themed anthologies. But the stories themselves are all different, and sometimes not even typical of the authors' own work (Lloyd Alexander admitted himself that "Max Mondrosch" in particular was extremely atypical). Other stories I really liked: * Sherwood Smith's "Beauty," about a princess who wasn't as pretty as her sisters, and the enchanted tree that stood in her father's throne room. This story is apparently related to Smith's novels, if you've read any of those (I haven't, yet), but definitely stands on its own; * Nancy Springer's "Mariposa," about a young woman's misplaced soul; * "The Fall of Ys," by Meredith Ann Pierce, an alternative (and to my mind highly credible) reading of a Celtic myth; * "Flotsam," by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, which drops a mysterious stranger into a suburban teenager's life. Honorable mention needs to go to Emma Bull's adaptation—ably illustrated by Charles Vess—of a ballad called "The Black Fox," which anchors the center of this volume. Which is not to denigrate any of the other stories in this collection (except one, which I'll get to in a moment)—although I did wonder a little at the inclusion of "Chasing the Wind," by Elizabeth E. Wein, which did not seem to contain any supernatural elements at all—perhaps the exotic nature of the setting (1950s Kenya) was considered sufficient for most readers. The only story I actively disliked—and the cold anger I felt at the end of this one actually unnerved me a little—was "Hope Chest," by Australian author Garth Nix, whose protagonist did not deserve to be jerked around so helplessly at her author's whim. Even the villain of the piece showed more human agency than poor manipulated Alice May. But that was just one story, out of the sixteen in this volume. The most amazing thing about this anthology, though, the thing that lifts it into that category for me, is just how deeply it engaged both my darling daughter and her dumb old dad. Now, we have a lot in common, we two—maybe more than most fathers and daughters, though I haven't made any formal study—but still, we don't usually read the same things. The stories in Firebirds are, individually, not always great. That'd be too much to ask. But collectively they are amazing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    "Cotillion" by Delia Sherman "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner "Beauty" by Sherwood Smith "Mariposa" by Nancy Springer "Max Mondrosch" by Lloyd Alexander "The Fall of Ys" by Meredith Ann Pierce "Medusa" by Michael Cadnum "The Black Fox" by Emma Bull (adaptation) and Charles Vess (illustration) "Byndley" by Patricia A. McKillip "The Lady of the Ice Garden" by Kara Dalkey "Hope Chest" by Garth Nix "Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein "Little Dot" by Diana Wynne Jones "Remember Me" b "Cotillion" by Delia Sherman "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Whalen Turner "Beauty" by Sherwood Smith "Mariposa" by Nancy Springer "Max Mondrosch" by Lloyd Alexander "The Fall of Ys" by Meredith Ann Pierce "Medusa" by Michael Cadnum "The Black Fox" by Emma Bull (adaptation) and Charles Vess (illustration) "Byndley" by Patricia A. McKillip "The Lady of the Ice Garden" by Kara Dalkey "Hope Chest" by Garth Nix "Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein "Little Dot" by Diana Wynne Jones "Remember Me" by Nancy Farmer "Flotsam" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman "The Flying Woman" by Laurel Winter I love fantasy, sci-fi, and fiction. Some of the stories are just too childish for me, but (I'm not blaming the authors/editor/the whole book) I blame myself for that. This collection is better than Firebirds Rising: An Anthology of Original Science Fiction and Fantasy, mainly because I find it more mature and dark than the latter (and less of the too-lovey-dovey tales [very much less] or so I remember). My favorites are (not in most-liked order, and it's almost all of them): Cotillion (re-telling of Tam Lin's story...not that I know much about it), The Lady of the Ice Garden (a re-make of the classic Snow Queen, and a very good one), Mariposa (deep and soulful), Medusa (how much would you like that it's Medusa telling the story?), Byndley, Little Dot (THIS IS AWESOME), and Flotsam. Chosen mainly because they induced onto me a greater emotional pull towards the fantasy world, and my imagination just surged towards those other worlds, besides instilling in me a deeper interest towards the unknown-making me ask questions that, I know, right now, are much too unknown. The others are not chosen, either because I simply cannot delve deep into the story (I cannot appreciate it), or the story is too dark for me, or it is too childish (i.e. lovey-dovey, with the exception of Cotillion). Max Mondrosch, Hope Chest, and The Flying Woman are great stories in each of their own. Hope Chest is an inspiring tale as opposed to the other two, but their common point is that they are somehow dark and very mature. However, they failed to capture me because I simply cannot appreciate the setting and what each is trying to say to me. Beauty is one good story, simply telling each one of us that beauty is not skin deep, but for me, it failed with all due respect to all its efforts: it is too childish in my opinion. The Fall of Ys is a dark tale, a re-telling of ...actually, I forgot. I simply didn't like the idea of a daughter being fooled by his father. I most liked: Cotillion, Mariposa and Little Dot. Little Dot: because it's too cute to handle-no, it's just amazing, really (I don't want to say anything on what it's about, okay). Cotillion: because it sent chills down my spine-too much thrill, suspense, love and imagination (and TAM LIN). Mariposa: because it made me wonder, 'how worldly can people get that their bodies become hollow shells for their empty souls?'. All in all: a must-read for YA and fantasy lovers. Let your imagination do wonders.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    In this kind of anthology, I tend to gravitate to the stories with the lightest touch. For better or for worse, this often means I like the funniest ones. So, I liked Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot," although it is about a cat and I understand might read to some people as kind of twee - for me, it was clever and an interesting update/twist on Puss 'n' Boots. I also enjoyed two stories about mysteriously orphaned girls who grow up: the sweet, funny, and clever "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" In this kind of anthology, I tend to gravitate to the stories with the lightest touch. For better or for worse, this often means I like the funniest ones. So, I liked Diana Wynne Jones's "Little Dot," although it is about a cat and I understand might read to some people as kind of twee - for me, it was clever and an interesting update/twist on Puss 'n' Boots. I also enjoyed two stories about mysteriously orphaned girls who grow up: the sweet, funny, and clever "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" and the much darker quasi-Western "Hope Chest," which seemed a bit like a Coen Brothers movie. Two outliers particularly struck me: Lloyd Alexander's "Max Mondrosch," which explores despair and is ultimately quite disturbing, and Elizabeth Wein's "Chasing the Wind" - not a variety of sff (there aren't any science fiction stories, actually), but a well-written and engaging story set in an unusual time period for this kind of anthology. And I like Patricia McKillip a whole lot, so I enjoyed "Byndley," a short story about a wizard looking for redemption. "Beauty" was a little schematic, but thoughtful and interesting. I liked "The Fall of Ys" a lot too, it's such an odd myth to begin with, and Meredith Ann Pierce does a good job of deconstructing it while keeping a mythic and mysterious atmosphere. Although I think "The Lady of the Ice Garden" was underdeveloped, I found a lot of what it did very interesting. There were a couple of stories that didn't work for me at all, I think perhaps because some writers aren't naturally short story writers. (And ultimately, they were unsuccessful enough that it brought down my overall impression of this collection.) "Medusa" sanitizes the myth and thereby removes the central act of cruelty which makes it such a striking story of injustice (contrast it with "The Fall of Ys" which does a much better job of reimagining a myth!). "Mariposa" was unformed, and sort of dull, although there were one or two interesting ideas. "The Flying Woman" was completely unremarkable. "Flotsam" seemed interesting, but turned out mostly incoherent. A bunch of other reviews have singled out "Remember Me" but I'd prefer, um, to forget it. And I think the Emma Bull/Charles Vess collaboration suffered from its choice of source material.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Metaphorosis

    This is one of the better anthologies I've read. All anthologies are something of a mixed bag. The reader's taste very seldom meshes exactly with the editor's, or the editor has had to make some compromises along the way. Firebirds is substantially above average. The book is helped, of course, by having some very big names in SFF - Lloyd Alexander, Patricia A. McKillip, Garth Nix, to name a few. Aside from her first couple of books, I've never read anything by McKillip that wasn't terrific, and t This is one of the better anthologies I've read. All anthologies are something of a mixed bag. The reader's taste very seldom meshes exactly with the editor's, or the editor has had to make some compromises along the way. Firebirds is substantially above average. The book is helped, of course, by having some very big names in SFF - Lloyd Alexander, Patricia A. McKillip, Garth Nix, to name a few. Aside from her first couple of books, I've never read anything by McKillip that wasn't terrific, and that's true here. The value of anthologies is in introducing readers to new authors. Here, I read a story ("Beauty") by Sherwood Smith, an author I'd never heard of. I was struck by how well developed the world was for a short story. It turns out that's because it is a well developed world. But I nonetheless immediately went out and bought the related novel, Crown Duel. I'll be looking up Nancy Farmer as well. But this anthology also has some other surprises. "Max Mondrosch" was a startling departure from the Lloyd Alexander of the Chronicles of Prydain (The Book of Three), but no less good because of it. The editor says she built the book around a graphic novel by Emma Bull and Charles Vess, and I looked forward to it. I'm sorry to say that that story is by far the weakest in the book. Happily, almost all the other stories range from good to excellent. In short, well worth picking up.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    Firebirds is, as the full title indicates, an anthology. Meaning, it is not a novel, but a book with many short stories. There are 16 short stories, well, actually it is more like 15 short stories and a short comic. Each one is by a different author. Despite the title, none of the stories have anything to do with firebirds. The title comes from the Firebird imprint. This book was made to celebrate the creation of the Firebird imprint. There are also the books "Firebirds Rising" and "Firebirds Soari Firebirds is, as the full title indicates, an anthology. Meaning, it is not a novel, but a book with many short stories. There are 16 short stories, well, actually it is more like 15 short stories and a short comic. Each one is by a different author. Despite the title, none of the stories have anything to do with firebirds. The title comes from the Firebird imprint. This book was made to celebrate the creation of the Firebird imprint. There are also the books "Firebirds Rising" and "Firebirds Soaring" that are out as well. The three books are all part of the same anthology series, but otherwise have no connection. I think the short stories are more aimed at teens, especially since the editor talks about providing enjoyable fantasy and science fiction stories for teens in her introduction. It would be difficult to really go into complete detail of the contents since each story is different. Also, since they are short stories, it can be a bit difficult to say too much without giving too much away. I think my favorite would have to be "Mariposa". The story starts off with Aimee getting a diagnosis from a Warlock Doctor AKA Warlocter. She is told that she has lost her soul, which is apparently a common thing. This was the second time I read stories in this book and I read some stories that I had skipped last time. But I still find Mariposa to be my favorite. A couple of other favorites of mine are "Beauty" and "Fall of Ys". Though "Baby in the Night Deposit Box" and "Little Dot" were entertaining as well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christin

    Like most short fiction collections there are stories in Firebirds that are stronger than others and some that are weaker. Overall it's a rather good anthology. However, I am rather spoiled for fantastic short-fiction books (Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors & Fragile Things, the Fairy Reel and Coyote Road collections edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) so Firebirds in this circumstance does not measure up to the extremely strong compilations I've read before. It may be due simply to Like most short fiction collections there are stories in Firebirds that are stronger than others and some that are weaker. Overall it's a rather good anthology. However, I am rather spoiled for fantastic short-fiction books (Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors & Fragile Things, the Fairy Reel and Coyote Road collections edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) so Firebirds in this circumstance does not measure up to the extremely strong compilations I've read before. It may be due simply to the lack of a unifying theme. The stories in Firebirds range all over the spectrum of science-fiction and fantasy with some barely different from a realistic story and others being complete flights of fancy or magic. Overall it doesn't feel as honed as The Fairy Reel or The Coyote Road (both of which I recommend highly) but it is still a different and enjoyable enough read. I especially recommend the stories Mariposa by Nancy Springer, The Black Fox by Emma Bull with illustrations by Charles Vess, Byndley by Patricia A. McKillip, Little Dot by Diana Wynne Jones, and Remember Me by Nancy Farmer since they are each a particularly unique and beautiful take on fantasy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elijah

    Like most anthologies, this book collects some great stories and some not-so-great stories. It features names I know and adore (Lloyd Alexander, Patricia McKillip, Megan Whalen Turner) and names I'd never heard before. While most of the stories stand alone, a couple are connected to longer works. Sherwood Smith's story is a sequel to her Crown Duel books, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's story is said to be from "a longer work" which as far as I've been able to determine has yet to be published. The va Like most anthologies, this book collects some great stories and some not-so-great stories. It features names I know and adore (Lloyd Alexander, Patricia McKillip, Megan Whalen Turner) and names I'd never heard before. While most of the stories stand alone, a couple are connected to longer works. Sherwood Smith's story is a sequel to her Crown Duel books, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's story is said to be from "a longer work" which as far as I've been able to determine has yet to be published. The variety of authors and styles in this collection has inspired me to look into more of the authors' works, even when I wasn't impressed by the particular story included. (I'm convinced that Alexander's story was just a bad choice, as I've not read anything like it from him before.) Nancy Springer's story, "Mariposa," was one I didn't care for, but it made her novel about Mordred seem more logical, given some of the similar themes and plot devices she uses in both. The best stories for my money were Turner's "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box," Smith's "Beauty," McKillip's "Byndley," and Garth Nix's "Hope Chest."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adobe

    A collection of short stories from authors with books published by Firebird, a YA fantasy imprint. YA fantasy spans a wide range of reader maturity, and that range is evident in this collection. Nancy Springer's sugar-coated, condescendingly stupid "Mariposa" (which I hated, if you can't tell) is apparently directed at five-year-olds, while Garth Nix's awesome, bloody "Hope Chest" wouldn't be out of place in an adult horror collection. With the obvious exception of the Springer story, most of th A collection of short stories from authors with books published by Firebird, a YA fantasy imprint. YA fantasy spans a wide range of reader maturity, and that range is evident in this collection. Nancy Springer's sugar-coated, condescendingly stupid "Mariposa" (which I hated, if you can't tell) is apparently directed at five-year-olds, while Garth Nix's awesome, bloody "Hope Chest" wouldn't be out of place in an adult horror collection. With the obvious exception of the Springer story, most of the stories ranged from middling-good (Sherwood Smith's "Beauty") to awesomely great (Nix). I was familiar with most of the authors (which included Lloyd Alexander, Emma Bull, (illustrator) Charles Vess, Diana Wynne Jones, and Patricia A. McKillip), but the anthology has spurred me to find further books by two unfamiliar authors. Megan Whalen Turner's "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" manages to be funny and sweet without being cloying ("Mariposa," I am looking at you!), and Elizabeth E. Wein's "Chasing the Wind" is a charming story about a teenage girl's 1950 airplane flight across Africa.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cali

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not the best of Anthologies and not the worst either. Some stories were pretty well-made, while others were a bit... messy. One didn't even make sense... The few that I liked though were: "Medusa" (a very interesting take on the normal story), "Chasing the Wind" (Elizabeth Wein's writing voice is unique and her characters and story, well-developed), "Little Dot"(cats are just so funny), "Hope Chest" (badass Alice May who's a pro at shooting - apparently it's in her blood, very Westerny) and "Bea Not the best of Anthologies and not the worst either. Some stories were pretty well-made, while others were a bit... messy. One didn't even make sense... The few that I liked though were: "Medusa" (a very interesting take on the normal story), "Chasing the Wind" (Elizabeth Wein's writing voice is unique and her characters and story, well-developed), "Little Dot"(cats are just so funny), "Hope Chest" (badass Alice May who's a pro at shooting - apparently it's in her blood, very Westerny) and "Beauty" (heroine & villain love thing :D) For "The Lady of the Ice Garden"... now that was a depressing ending... I mean I read a book similar to that ("Breadcrumbs") but it had a MUCH happier ending... The comic one was strange too... So the black fox was actually the Devil? Or was he a hunting god...? Still unclear about that. "Cotillion" was weird too... It was so sudden... Apparently the dude's a faery offering or something... I have no clue. The rest were ok I guess. I didn't really hate any of them. It's just that some were kind of confusing and not really to my taste.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    My favorite stories in this anthology were "Little Dot" by Diana Wynn Jones-- a tale told from the perspective of a cat-- and "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Walen Turner. I also liked the Garth Nix story a lot. There are several re-tellings of fairy tales. Nancy Farmer's tale about a changeling/girl with a disability made me very uncomfortable. There is one story in this collection that does not seem to be genre at all: "Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein, a story about flying My favorite stories in this anthology were "Little Dot" by Diana Wynn Jones-- a tale told from the perspective of a cat-- and "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box" by Megan Walen Turner. I also liked the Garth Nix story a lot. There are several re-tellings of fairy tales. Nancy Farmer's tale about a changeling/girl with a disability made me very uncomfortable. There is one story in this collection that does not seem to be genre at all: "Chasing the Wind" by Elizabeth E. Wein, a story about flying in planes in Africa in 1950, as told from the perspective of a missionary's daughter. I kept waiting for something fantastical to happen. Overall I enjoyed this anthology a lot and would recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy or young adult literature. It is labeled "An anthology of original fantasy and science fiction" but is mostly fantasy, as I find to be true of most YA genre fiction.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Mcroberts

    I liked the individual stories in this anthology well enough, but I really struggled to keep reading it. I actually chose to watch TV rather than read at least 2 nights while I had this book started...much to my husband's chagrin, I never choose television over my book - ok, I guess it isn't never, but very rarely... I really read this book because three authors whose work I love had contributed to it (Megan Whalen Turner, Elizabeth Wein and Diana Wynn Jones). I did find another author whose work I liked the individual stories in this anthology well enough, but I really struggled to keep reading it. I actually chose to watch TV rather than read at least 2 nights while I had this book started...much to my husband's chagrin, I never choose television over my book - ok, I guess it isn't never, but very rarely... I really read this book because three authors whose work I love had contributed to it (Megan Whalen Turner, Elizabeth Wein and Diana Wynn Jones). I did find another author whose work looks interesting and whom I looked up and added to my "to read" list, Sherwood Smith. Much of the book just kind of crawled along for me. Perhaps the stories just couldn't attract me away from TV because they were just too short to leave me with anything left to read and to draw me back in when I had to put the book down to make dinner or run an errand.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    3.5 stars. Am going to categorize each story below (which I rarely, if ever do): Just fucking outstanding: Little Dot by Diana Wynne Jones The Lady Of The Ice Garden by Kara Dalkey Remember Me by Nancy Farmer I want to read more of these characters: Flotsam by Nina Kiriki Hoffman Hope Chest by Garth Nix Beauty by Sherwood Smith The Baby In The Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner Good, almost great: Cotillion by Delia Sherman Mariposa by Nancy Springer The Fall Of Ys by Meredith Ann Pierce The Black Fox 3.5 stars. Am going to categorize each story below (which I rarely, if ever do): Just fucking outstanding: Little Dot by Diana Wynne Jones The Lady Of The Ice Garden by Kara Dalkey Remember Me by Nancy Farmer I want to read more of these characters: Flotsam by Nina Kiriki Hoffman Hope Chest by Garth Nix Beauty by Sherwood Smith The Baby In The Night Deposit Box by Megan Whalen Turner Good, almost great: Cotillion by Delia Sherman Mariposa by Nancy Springer The Fall Of Ys by Meredith Ann Pierce The Black Fox by Emma Bull and Charles Vess (more great for the Vess than the Bull.) Byndley by Patricia A McKillip The Flying Woman by Laurel Winter Outstanding but odd in this collection: Max Mondrosch by Lloyd Alexander This was a fantasy story?: Chasing The Wind Just. No. Stop: Medusa by Michael Cadnum.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.