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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money
I'm a fan of several of the authors in this anthology: Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, and George RR Martin. I've been waiting for as long as Patrick Rothfuss told his fans that he had a story about Bast.

That's what I read first. It was beautifully done, and it was a perfect story about Bast. I am now content to wait for his novella on Auri and the...
Published 7 months ago by Caroline Luu

versus
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What you'd expect from a collection of short stories
Some stories were truly excellent and I found some new (to me) authors that I would like to read (Joe Abercrombie for one)! The Gillian Flynn story was truly fabulous as of course was Patrick Rothfuss. George RR Martin's introduction makes buying the whole book worthwhile, which is fortunate since his story was almost boring. I guess it's supposed to be an excerpt from...
Published 6 months ago by Katie


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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money, June 18, 2014
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This review is from: Rogues (Kindle Edition)
I'm a fan of several of the authors in this anthology: Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, and George RR Martin. I've been waiting for as long as Patrick Rothfuss told his fans that he had a story about Bast.

That's what I read first. It was beautifully done, and it was a perfect story about Bast. I am now content to wait for his novella on Auri and the Underthing The Slow Regard of Silent Things coming out this fall.

I read George RR Martin's story about the older Targaryens. It was good, and it was more hasty than his novels. That meant that it moved at a practically breakneck speed for him, and it was easier to keep track of than his deep games. I liked it a lot.

I then read Garth Nix's nonsense stories about godlets, and it was charming and adorable ESPECIALLY because there's a tiny elephant named Rosie who is a major character. Somehow, he sets up an entire world in a brief space. Lovely. It was a good story before his recent release of Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen.

The last that I read (of course I'm going to read the entirety of the anthology now that I've seen the quality) was Neil Gaiman's on the Marquis de Carabas. It tells you almost nothing, but it pulled me back into the world of Neverwhere: A Novel. It was nice.

This book is well worth the money.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What you'd expect from a collection of short stories, July 4, 2014
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This review is from: Rogues (Kindle Edition)
Some stories were truly excellent and I found some new (to me) authors that I would like to read (Joe Abercrombie for one)! The Gillian Flynn story was truly fabulous as of course was Patrick Rothfuss. George RR Martin's introduction makes buying the whole book worthwhile, which is fortunate since his story was almost boring. I guess it's supposed to be an excerpt from that anthology that he's publishing. It reads just like that book of genealogy that Ned reads to discover what it was that Jon Arryn was investigating.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mix of the good and the meh, June 19, 2014
This review is from: Rogues (Hardcover)
In general, I think one problem with this collection is that a lot of the stories are set in authors' previously-existing universes with already established characters, rather than being standalone stories. As a result, many of the stories are missing the fundamental building blocks you'd need to really enjoy the tale -- often the setting or worldbuilding is unclear, or the stories don't provide a lot of characterization or much of a reason for you to care about what's happening if you aren't already familiar with the setting and characters. In my case, as a reader, I'm familiar with the Gaiman and GRRM universes but none of the others.

Especially recommended stories (roughly in order with my favorites on top):
Diamonds from Tequila
How the Marquis Got His Coat Back
A Year and a Day in Old Theradane
The Lightning Tree
The Rogue Prince, or, a King's Brother
What Do You Do?
A Better Way to Die

So naturally I skipped to the end to read the Neil Gaiman and GRRM stories.

The Gaiman story, "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" is set in London Below and very solid, creative, and fun, as you would expect from a story about the Marquis.

The GRRM story is a bit underwhelming, and I do love GRRM, but it was just very dry. It's a prequel to "The Princess and the Queen" and it's very similar but just a little bit worse.

Then I went to the beginning to read it like a normal person:
"Tough Times All Over" by Joe Abercrombie -- The schtick here is that the narration follows the McGuffin, so we get the perspective of a new character every couple of pages, whenever the McGuffin changes hands. This means there's lots of rapid sketching and very little depth anywhere and no reason to care about anyone -- gets old very very fast. I abandoned this after about the fourth or fifth perspective change.

"What Do you Do" By Gillian Flynn -- This was an entertaining, well-written story about a prostitute-turned-fake-psychic. I found the ending unsatisfying, however, there was really no need to pile twist upon twist onto what's a solid, vivid, modern-day ghost story.

"The Inn of the Seven Blessings" by Matt Hughes -- About a rogue who becomes possessed by a god. This is a story with boring characters, an okay plot, and a seriously affected writing style. It reads like the author was pretending to be from the 19th century, and for no particular reason. I started skimming about halfway through and don't feel that I lost much.

"Bent Twig" by Joe Lansdale -- A man rescues his stepdaughter from sexual slavery in a poor Southern town, with help from his best friend. To me this read like a violent wish-fulfillment fantasy. Something terrible happens, and then the protagonist comes in and stops it with a minimum of difficulty and kills all the bad guys. The writing was okay, but there really wasn't much to it in terms of plot, character development, or anything else. For someone who was familiar with Lansdale's work and knew and cared more about the characters, it might work, but it didn't do much for me as a standalone story.

"Tawny Petticoats" by Michael Swanwick -- Two rogues (one of whom I guess is apparently an anthropomorphic dog although I didn't realize this until the very end) and a roguish woman they meet work a confidence scheme in a New Orleans where zombies outnumber people six to one. You know, someday I will read a story set in New Orleans where professions exist other than voodoo priestess, confidence man, prostitute, musician, nightclub owner, food service worker, and riverboat captain, but today is not that day. Anyway, this was a cute little story, light and fun in tone. Not one of the most memorable items in this collection but totally acceptable.

"Provenance" by David Ball -- An art dealer sells a painting looted by the Nazis. This is one of the darker stories in the collection. It was gripping and well written although the twist was a bit too telegraphed. (Also, what happened with Joe Cooley Barber? Did I miss something? It seems like he just got ripped off and would presumably be very angry but you never hear of him again in the story.)

"Roaring Twenties" by Carrie Vaughn -- During Prohibition, two women with vaguely-defined magical powers (one can see the future and apparently perform magic related to manipulating time, the other can become invisible) walk into a bar. I felt like this one was reaching to be a little bit more than it was and it was hard to tell what the stakes were -- who the characters are and why we should care. The entire story is about the characters trying to avoid action, and we keep getting told that an action scenario will be impossible for the characters to handle, but then several action scenarios happen and the characters handle it just fine, which is sort of unsatisfying.

"A Year and a Day in Old Theradane" by Scott Lynch -- A retired thief is blackmailed into picking up her old career in a city of constantly-warring wizards. This is probably my favorite story in the collection so far. The protagonist is likeable and easy to relate to, with a clear, impossible seeming goal and dire consequences for failure. It's light and funny but with some serious emotional heft to it as well. There's an anything-can-happen element to the setting that feels deeper and more creative than you get in most short stories.

"Bad Brass" by Bradley Denton. A substitute teacher tries to rob high school students who are stealing (and then selling on the black market) brass instruments from the school where he teaches and his ex-wife is the principal. I'm not making that up and the story seems to take itself completely seriously. There's even a crazy Dickensian style twist ending where -- ok, I'm not going to spoil it, but you know how Dickensian twist endings work -- two characters are secretly related, another character is secretly wealthy, and so on. It's hard to have an opinion on this one, it just left me thinking "WTF?"

"Heavy Metal" by Cherie Priest. An obese man exorcises a murderous demon from an abandoned mine in rural Tennessee. Look, I don't come up with these plots. I really felt I was missing something in this story, there seemed to be some significance I failed to understand and I didn't get the ending.

"The Meaning of Love" by Daniel Abraham. A prince in hiding falls in love with a beautiful young maiden, and the prince's companion must save her from being sold into slavery. The writer does this very weird thing where he conceals the gender of the protagonist (who the reader would otherwise assume is a woman) except for one sentence about a third of the way through the story where he apparently by accident uses the pronoun "he". Again, found this one pretty mediocre and forgettable.

"A Better Way to Die" by Paul Cornell. In an alternate universe where alternate universes interact with our own, a British military officer is faced with his younger self. I have mixed feelings about this one. The setting is really cool -- very traditional British institutions being very traditional and incorporating completely off the wall elements like talking deer attending white tie dinner parties. At the same time, it's a bit underexplained in this particular story, or at least underexplained enough to be frustrating. As a result, this specific story was a little bit hard to follow, but it was intriguing enough that I would be interested in reading more stories in this setting.

"Ill Seen in Tyre" by Steven Saylor. This story is an extended litany to the wonders of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, wrapped up in a narrative that is cute, I guess, but totally predictable and pointless. I haven't read Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, so it felt pretty flat.

"A Cargo of Ivories" by Garth Nix. The first sentence gives you the tone of the whole thing pretty well: "We should have purchased the monkey," whispered Sir Hereward, as he balanced precariously on the ridge of the tiled roof, which was shining bright under the moon and had become extremely slippery, the result of the squall of needle-sharp rain that had just blown through and over the erstwhile knight and his puppet-sorcerer companion, Mister Fitz." I pretty much had no idea what was going on the entire time, and it's not exactly deep literature, but it was cute and creative and I liked it.

"Diamonds from Tequila" by Walter Jon Williams. In order to save his career after a shooting in Mexico, a film star must solve a murder and raise ten million dollars. This is the best story in the collection. Funny, smart and cynically sharp, with a gripping plot and satisfying ending.

"The Caravan to Nowhere" by Phyllis Eisenstein. A teleporting minstrel tends the camels for an Arabian merchant with a drug-addicted son. The narrative was well set up to make you want to know what happens next, but the story was a little weird, for example the inclusion of a teleporting character in a setting that had no other obviously fantastic elements. The matter of the merchant's son being an addict was also played in a surprisingly literal way -- sort of like Dune, if Dune was about a character trying to get his son to go to rehab for spice addiction.

"The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives" by Lisa Tuttle. A Victorian detective is asked to find a missing person. This story is basically an adaptation of the notoriously horrible film "Manos: The Hands of Fate" as a Sherlockian mystery. It was...okay, I guess? I just spent most of the time scratching my head, trying to wonder why anyone would want to write a Victorian Manos.

"Now Showing" by Connie Willis. A girl and her ex-boyfriend uncover a conspiracy at a theme-park-like movie theater of the future. I don't know. It was okay, I guess? Not bad, but didn't really do anything for me. The stakes are very low and the humor is mildly amusing.

"The Lightning Tree" by Patrick Rothfuss. Bast, a magical horndog who is probably a fairy and has planning skills that are alternatively excellent and very poor, acts as a fixer and wish-granter for local children -- but only if they do him a favor first. I'd never heard of Patrick Rothfuss before, but I noticed in the reviews that a lot of people said they bought the book for this story, so I was looking forward to it. I wasn't disappointed -- this was an elegant and intriguing tale.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another nerdgasm for fantasy fans!, June 30, 2014
This review is from: Rogues (Hardcover)
What we have here is another collaboration between George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Yes, another potentially nerdgasm-inducing reading material for fantasy fans out there. Once again, like a box of "Whitman's Sampler" chocolates, the purpose is to give readers a "sampler" of works from several authors.

Let me begin by saying that I am a long-time fan of George Martin's work. I bought this book primarily to read about Daemon Targaryen, the rogue prince. However, I have also enjoyed the other short stories within the volume. That is the advantage of an anthology such as this. You get to sample short stories from a lot of authors to see if one of them will interest you. And, you get to do this without having to read a 500 page novel. With this, you will know right away whose work interests you. I find that to be a valuable service to the picky reader, like me.

Abercrombie's short story was fine. A little too repetitious of a plot, as an item changes hands throughout the story. It was not for me, that story. Flynn's started off hilarious and definitely will hook you into the female character. There are lot of variety here. Some you will like, and some you will not.

I am a regular at the forums of www.towerofthehand.com. While I am far from being a prolific creator of posts over there, I do check in on a regular basis. I read just about everything that I can get my hands on that is related to "A Song of Ice and Fire". Once again, the big man did not disappoint. This short story, "The Rogue Prince" tells of the events which led to the Westerosi civil war known as the "dance of the dragons". The events here predate that of "The Princess and the Queen". The central character is that enigmatic man, Prince Daemon. The same man who met his end on the back of a dragon in the first volume. As the story unfolds, the events which may have led to the bloody war are presented to us. And in true George Martin fashion, we are still not completely sure just how accurate these are. We get conflicting accounts, from two sources. As in the main novels, the desires of the human heart is the primary motivator of events. The Targaryens have a fascinating history. Their history is full of colorful characters. Some are destined for greatness, possessing great abilities and vision like Daenerys Stormborn in the current novels. While some are quite the rogue, like Daemon, pursuing their own self-interests. Rhaegar, who by all accounts had the potential for greatness, and foolishly threw it all away due to one weakness. And others like Aerion Brightflame, full of petty cruelty and prone to fits of insanity. It is doubtful that the events here will have any impact on the plot in the current novels. However, this just serves to enrich the history of the Targaryens, which is the history of Westeros for the last 300 years.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of The Lightning Tree, July 24, 2014
By 
Daniel Estes (Kansas City, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rogues (Hardcover)
This review only covers "The Lightning Tree" by Patrick Rothfuss. I'm sure the other stories are varying degrees of brilliant, but Pat's work is what interests me at the moment.

"The Lightning Tree" is a character exploration of Bast, who is Kvothe's quick-witted, enigmatic employee, sometimes student, and good friend. Bast is "not from around these parts" but that morsel of truth isn't crystal clear here unless you've read the multi-volume Kingkiller Chronicles. It's not necessary that you do though, and I'd be curious to hear from other readers who haven't. How strange and melodic Pat's writing must seem if this is your first introduction to him. He's a gifted author of description via what people say and do, and also of moments based on feeling more than tangible depictions.

I recommend this story. If the writing draws you in and you haven't read Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, then I cannot recommend that one enough.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walked in the door for Abercrombie and Rothfuss..., June 26, 2014
By 
Jason "reading adventurer" (pottstown, pa, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rogues (Kindle Edition)
Walked in the door for Abercrombie and Rothfuss... I walked out the other end of this HEFTY conglomeration of 'rogue' stories interested in some new writers!
I KNEW that Abercrombie, Rothfuss, Lynch and Gaiman are automatic wins but I was pleased by the rest of the writers as well. Martin delivers a genre spanning collection of well written stories.
I'm now going to check out some other writers while my favorites are completing their current projects ((Half a King in less than a month!!))
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story collection of various genres loosely united by the motive of rogue leading character, June 20, 2014
This review is from: Rogues (Hardcover)
‘Rogues’ is a new anthology signed by editors George R.R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois that consists of 21 stories though majority of readers will be most probable attracted with new ‘A Game of Thrones’ story written by Martin himself.

Inside its covers reader can find following stories:
George R.R. Martin - Everybody Loves a Rogue (Introduction)
Joe Abercrombie - Tough Times All Over
Gillian Flynn - What Do You Do?
Matthew Hughes - The Inn of the Seven Blessings
Joe R. Lansdale - Bent Twig
Michael Swanwick - Tawny Petticoats
David W. Ball - Provenance
Carrie Vaughn - The Roaring Twenties
Scott Lynch - A Year and a Day in Old Theradane
Bradley Denton - Bad Brass
Cherie Priest - Heavy Metal
Daniel Abraham - The Meaning of Love
Paul Cornell - A Better Way to Die
Steven Saylor - Ill Seen in Tyre
Garth Nix - A Cargo of Ivories
Walter Jon Williams - Diamonds From Tequila
Phyllis Eisenstein - The Caravan to Nowhere
Lisa Tuttle - The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives
Neil Gaiman - How the Marquis Got His Coat Back
Connie Willis - Now Showing
Patrick Rothfuss - The Lightning Tree

As is the usual case with story collection edited by Martin this one also doesn’t disappoint with its length – more than 800 pages of well-made text that doesn’t share genre or theme, from fantasy to thriller fans inside you’ll be able to find something for you, only loosely united by the motive of rogue leading character.

Speaking about the quality, as it’s always the case with the anthologies, stories are not always easy to compare because it depends on question of personal liking and intention, why on the first place you bought it. For the most people reason for buying this one will be either for learning about some new pieces of puzzle from ‘Songs of the Ice and Fire’ universe or story ‘The Lighting Tree’ by Patrick Rothfuss that brings story (or actually few of them) about previously known and intriguing character Bast from ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’.

Martin’s ‘Everybody Loves a Rogue’ will bring more light for ‘Princess and the Queen’ found in the other Martin’s anthology, that speaks about Prince Daemon Targaryen, who was brother of King Viserys I, who wed his niece Rhaenyra and took her side during the war called Dance of Dragons, between Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon I. The reader should not be disappointed getting no particularly rounded story, but more of a background to bit complicated family tree of Targaryen.

For fantasy fans also interesting would be Scott Lynch’s ‘A Year and a Day in Old Theradane’ who wrote a story set in a land led by the wizards about the woman thief called Amarelle who will join hands with a group of interesting characters including female goblin and wizard.

Though describing all the stories in detail would require to wrote another book, in short, in another stories reader can find zombie story set in twisted version of New Orleans, story about the rescuing the troubled daughter, fantasy story about the god imprisoned in a box, customer service representative who decided to step on the dark side and many others.

General judgment when it comes for story anthologies is always difficult to give; I admire authors who have ability to present cohesive story and interesting characters in short format, therefore if you think like me you’ll probably like this collection as much as recently released ‘Dangerous Women’ also edited by Martin. On the other hand if you are not a fan of short stories and you are only eager to read new GOT material it would be better just to borrow this one and save money for the future installments of Martin works.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anthology of the open genre rogues..., June 25, 2014
This review is from: Rogues (Hardcover)
I would love nothing more to review this book as a 5 star to the amazing authors this anthology has in store for us. This "open genre" rogue short stories are quite good. Some play off of already popular story lines that most of us die hard fans are biting our nails for the next installment to. Others are unfamiliar stories from authors that are up in coming or just a stand out in the eyes of George RR Martin & Gardner Dozois.
Unlike some people, who may have bought this anthology for the one or two stories from those said authors, I started from the beginning. I worked my way up to the GRRM and Rothfuss masterpiece that I, too, had primarily purchased this for.
A lot of these stories were great, open ended short stories that leave what comes next to the imagination. Others were... a little risque or out of the ordinary where I was struggling to find a "rogue" character within the story. Perhaps my interpretation of the term "rogue" is different in the eyes of others, but not everyone will find a common ground with this book since it's an Open-ended genre.
All in all, I won't review each title separately, but I would recommend this book to those who are not quite sure whether to take that leap. It's a great anthology of well known authors who own bragging rights to some of the best stories, trilogies, etc ... that I'm grateful to have read and will continue to read and support.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought this for Abercrombie., Rothfuss, & GRRM., June 23, 2014
By 
J. Berube (Loganville, GA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rogues (Hardcover)
At 20+ stories from a variety of authors, it's hard to go wrong with this book, especially for the cost of the e-book. As mentioned in the heading I got because it features 3 of my favorite authors.

Abercrombie's story is fast paced. The story continues to switch to different perspectives, sometimes a character only gets a few paragraphs. This story is NOT about character development (but it was nice to see what Friendly is up to), it's a 'day in the life' story. I like how Abercrombie writes; his wit, tone, humor, style. . .I'm a fan.

Rothfuss is an amazing writer; his combination of words is just incredible (I try to write, read his stuff and ask myself, "What's the point?). Kvothe makes an appearance or two, but this story focuses on a character named Bast (Kvothe's apprentice) who trades favors, secrets, and 'things' with the local kids. It's got a lot of humor, but one of the kids has a serious problem and I love how Bast deals with it. Of the three I've read so far, this is my favorite. Come on next Kingkiller book!

GRRM. For some that is enough said. Commercially, anything with his name on it is going to sell, so I am happy that some lesser known authors are getting a chance to be read in GRRM's ROGUES. Martin's story takes place before ASOIAF, before Dunk and Egg and before just before The Blacks and the Greens. It reads much like a very entertaining history book. ASOIAF is AMAZING. Dunk and Egg, LOVE them. This story was just OK. Wish is it were more--I certainly appreciate the history of the Targaryens, but I wish it had been about *just* Deamon and done as a story and not as research paper.

Next on the reading list: Heavy Metal by Cherie Priest, Neil Gaiman, and Scott Lynch.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on Patrick's The Lightning Tree, June 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rogues (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book to read more about the kingkiller world until book 3 comes out. It is a great story about Bast. You get to learn a bit more about Fae, Bast, and the people of Newarre, which will all probably be good background info for the next book. It was fun reading about what Bast does when he is out and about town and how he creatively deals with people to piece together things he wants. It is a pretty long story. Took me a few hours to get though. I am happy with the purchase for 12 bucks, digital. I will probably come back to it and read a few more stories when I read the other authors' work.
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Rogues
Rogues by George R. R. Martin (Hardcover - June 17, 2014)
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