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Legends: Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy Paperback – August 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Acclaimed writer and editor Robert Silverberg gathered 11 of the finest writers in fantasy to contribute to this collection of short novels. Each of the writers was asked to write a new story based on one of his or her most famous series, and the results are wonderful. From Stephen King's opening piece set in his popular Gunslinger universe to Robert Jordan's early look at his famed Wheel of Time saga, these stories are exceptionally well written and universally well told. The authors include King, Jordan, and Silverberg himself, as well as Terry and Lyn Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tad Williams, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, and Raymond E. Feist. This is not only a great book in and of itself, but it's also a perfect way for fantasy fans to find new novels and authors to add to their "to read" lists. --Craig E. Engler

From Publishers Weekly

Microcosmic glimpses of broadly imagined worlds and their larger-than-life characters distinguish this hefty volume of heavyweight fantasy. Silverberg collects 11 previously unpublished short "novels" by genre celebrities, each a window on a sprawling saga that has shaped the way modern fantasy fiction is written and read. Stephen King weighs in with "The Little Sisters of Eluria," set early in the Dark Tower saga and deftly weaving threads of horror, quest fantasy and the western into a dangerous snare for his indefatigable gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Ursula K. Le Guin contributes "Dragonfly," a tale about a young woman who would be a wizard that offers a savvy dissection of the sexual politics that govern Le Guin's Earthsea empire. Neo-Arthurian fantasy gets its due in George R.R. Martin's "The Hedge Knight," a prequel to the Song of Ice and Fire series. Only a sliver of fantasy insinuates Silverberg's own "The Seventh Shrine," a Majipoor murder mystery that becomes a fascinating exploration of clashing cultures. Although most of the selections are sober sidebars to serious literary fantasy cycles, Terry Pratchett's "The Sea and Little Fishes" is a giddy Discworld romp that pits cantankerous witch Granny Weatherwax against her crone cronies, and Orson Scott Card's "Grinning Man" is corn-fed tall talk in which Alvin Maker outwits a crooked miller in the alternate America of Hatrick River. Some entries, among them Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar tale "The Wood Boy" and Anne McCaffrey's "Runner of Pern," shine only as light glosses on their authors' earlier achievements. Still, there's enough color, vitality and bravura displays of mythmaking in this rich sampler, which also includes tales by Terry Goodkind, Tad Williams and Robert Jordan, to sate faithful fans and nurture new readers on the stuff of legends still being created.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 715 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765300354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765300355
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The other stories were also very well written.
Pen Name
THE HEDGE KNIGHT is an entertaining tale from the Seven Kingdoms of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
acm@chem.ucsd.edu
Great collection of entertaining fantasy fiction from the masters.
intheforest

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for George R.R. Martin's "The Hedge Knight" story, DO NOT buy the paperback version of this book. As one other reviewer noted, the paperback only includes 4 out of the 11 stories. Very disappointing.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By acm@chem.ucsd.edu on October 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
LEGENDS: SHORT NOVELS BY THE MASTERS OF MODERN FANTASY, edited and introduced by Robert Silverberg, presents "eleven rich, robust new stories by the best-known and most accomplished modern creators of fantasy fiction, each one set in the special universe of the imagination that made that writer famous throughout the word." Thus we have, for instance, a Wheel of Time story by Robert Jordan, an Earthsea story by Ursula K. Le Guin and, of course, a Discworld story by Terry Pratchett.
THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA is Stephen King's contribution, set in the world(s) of The Dark Tower. It describes how the last gunslinger, Roland of Gilead, encounters first a band of mutant humans and then the not-so-benevolent sisterhood of the title.
THE SEA AND LITTLE FISHES features Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, set at the time of an annual competition to see who's the best at witching. Granny's inevitable victory shakes up the whole kingdom as she shows how she's bad at being nice but good at being right.
DEBT OF BONES is a story by Terry Goodkind, set prior to the events of his Sword of Truth books. Abigail come to plead with the First Wizard to save her family from an early invasion of the D'Harans, but her mission does not go quite as she intends...
GRINNING MAN presents Davy Crockett as he never was, in Orson Scott Card's alternate America of the Tales of Alvin Maker. Crockett causes trouble for Alvin who, thanks to the young Arthur Stuart, learns an important lesson in distinguishing truly good acts from the disguises taken by evil acts like revenge.
THE SEVENTH SHRINE describes an event on Silverberg's own Majipoor, late in the reign of Valentine as Pontifex, the senior ruler of the giant planet.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Agberg on August 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
There seems to be a lot of confusion over editions of LEGENDS. The complete eleven-story collection is available in the $14.95 trade paperback, a large-size book. The stories are also available as three smaller-size mass-market paperbacks, with the eleven stories divided over the three volumes. It costs more to buy the three smaller volumes than it does to buy the one-volume edition, so if you are looking for all the stories in the collection, the one-volume book is the way to go.

Robert Silverberg
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By sc_demandred on February 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Robert Silverberg's idea to collect short stories and novellas from some of this era's most notable and talented Fantasy authors is pure cream-filled joy for fans of the Genre. Despite having read the pertinent series by Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, Terry Goodkind, and Orson Scott Card, this book opened up new worlds to explore and new chapters in some of my favorite series.
My favorites were the ones by King, Williams, Silverberg, Feist, and McCaffrey. I have lost all interest in Terry Goodkind mostly because I find his characters to be wooden and uninteresting, and this story was no more compelling than the last book of his that I read. Goodkind also has a penchant for the "gotcha" ending, something that is frustrating to any reader who struggles to find logical connections between events and character motivation.
The best of this book, however, is The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin. I had never heard of Martin when I picked up Legends, and the first thing I did after finishing The Hedge Knight was to go pick up his novel "A Game of Thrones." Thanks to this book, I am now a fan of what may be the best epic fantasy series ever written, and yes, that includes Tolkien, Goodkind, and Jordan. The Hedge Knight is a simple tale of a young man recently knighted trying to make a name for himself in a tournament. The plain and honest style of Martin's prose hooks you in, and suddenly you care very deeply about this hedge knight, Dunk, and what is to become of him as he runs afoul of a vain and dangerous prince. Set approximately 100 years prior to the events that begin in "A Game of Thrones," this tale is a wonderful introduction to Martin's Westeros and the rich mythology and history he has built into it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Heffaloo on October 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I bought this book for Robert Jordan and Raymond E. Feist.
I do not care for the Dark Tower series, so I did not read that one.
Feist's tale of the Riftwar was exceedingly predictable, and could have been set in any fantasy world. He could have done something besides mention the Tsurani to make it seem unique to the Kingdom of the Isles.
George R. R. Martin's "The Hedge Knight" is by far the best story in the book, and his Song of Ice and Fire series might turn out to be the best fantasy series ever written. The first two books are incredible.
Terry Pratchett's story about Granny Weatherwax was so funny, I now own every Discworld book so far, and I've pre-ordered the next one from Amazon.co.uk .
Aside from skipping King's story, and the disappointment of Feist's (still decent) story, everything was wonderful. Definetly a must have.
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