Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy, Vol. 1

by Robert Silverberg, Stephen King, Orson Scott Card & Raymond Feist

New bestselling short novels by master storytellers are highlighted in this first of three volumes of a "stellar compilation" (Booklist) series sure to delight their fans as well as introduce new readers to the writers' world of fantasy and science fiction. Authors include Stephen King, Orson Scott Card and Raymond E. Feist.

Orson Scott Card's "Grinning Man," set after Heartfire, seems like it could be an extract from the forthcoming sixth Alvin Maker novel. Opening with Alvin and Arthur Stuart travelling through Kennituck, the two come upon a man who is grinning down a bear. Letting the grinning man get ahead of him, the travelers come to a small village where they meet up with some inhospitable villagers who had heard about Alvin from the grinning man. Card's tale is good, but it relies on more knowledge of Alvin, Arthur and their circumstances for it to be fully effective.

Raymond Feist has already shown how slavery exists on Kelewan in both the original Riftwar Saga and the Daughter of Empire series he wrote with Janny Wurts. In "The Wood Boy," Feists tells the story of a noble house on Midkemia which is captured by the Tsurani and has slavery imposed upon them. Feist's tale is told through the eyes of Dirk, a young woodgatherer who hopes to escape his servitude and live his own life once again.

Also included in this volume--

Stephen Kings Dark Tower -- The Little Sisters of Eluria
Robert Silverberg Majipoor -- The Seventh Shrine

My Opinion
I totally enjoyed this book.

Before each story there is a brief introduction that introduces us to the world that the author has written the story about. The only one that I have already read is Stephen King's Dark Tower. I have only read the first few books in the series but that made Stephen King's story my favorite as we travel with Roland on his journey and encounter what we can only describe as a form of vampire.

I have Card's books on my TBR mountain so his story was a nice introduction to his work and was enjoyable. Kind of makes me think of an American version of DiscWorld. lol

I also enjoyed Feist's Riftwar story as I also have some of his books on my TBR pile.

I have to admit that I did not read Silverberg's story as the introduction did not lead me to believe that I would care for the series.

Overall though a nice read with some great introductions, or additions to some wonderful series.

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