From Publishers Weekly
Brimming with action and energy, wit and charm, pathos and joy, Silverberg's anthology of short novels from 11 masters of fantasy, six of whom contributed to the original Legends (1998), provides a dazzling display of the genre's variety and versatility. Otherland fans will welcome Tad Williams's The Happiest Dead Boy in the World as a chance to visit with an old friend they never thought to see again. George R.R. Martin's The Sworn Sword, which continues the story of Dunk and Egg that he began in the first Legends, will also please his readers. All the returning authors more than live up to their reputations, except for Anne McCaffrey, whose Beyond Between, an ill-conceived explanation of what happens when a dragon fails to return from between, strikes the book's lone sour note. Yet for all the returnees' star power, it's the new authors who truly shine here. Elizabeth Haydon's entry, Threshold, follows five doomed friends left to guard the remnants of a civilization about to be destroyed in a cataclysm after most of the populace has already fled to a safe haven: a stunning tale of courage and honor, duty and friendship, it may be the book's best entry. Robin Hobb's Homecoming, the story of the settlement of the Rain Wild River and one woman's journey to independence, is the other contender. Terry Brooks, Diana Gabaldon, Raymond E. Feist, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman and Silverberg round out the all-star cast.
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Many contributors to Legends
(1998), Silverberg's first collection of short(er) stories set in the worlds of their authors' successful fantasy series, return in the follow-up. Anne McCaffrey offers a freestanding tale of Pern; Raymond E. Feist, a tale from the middle of his Riftwar saga; George R. R. Martin, a direct successor to his Legends
contribution about a squire on the way to knighthood and his peculiar boy sidekick; editor Silverberg, another Majipoor story; and Orson Scott Card, a yarn in which Alvin Maker meets some of the Alamo's destined defenders. Splash first timers include romantic historical fantasist Diana Gabaldon, of Outlander fame, with an episode in her Lord John Grey series; Neil Gaiman, with a story starring Shadow, hero of his award-winning American Gods
(2001) and named after Sir Edwin Landseer's famous painting Monarch of the Glen;
and Robin Hobb, whose creepy, Liveship Traders-related "Homecoming" (think H. P. Lovecraft rewriting The Swiss Family Robinson
) opens this book and sets the bar of quality extremely high for what follows. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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