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Charmed Destinies: 3 Novels in 1 Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2003
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About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is the prolific and popular author of over fifty novels, many of which are part of her acclaimed Heralds of Valdemar series. Her hardcover novels have reached the extended New York Times bestseller lists and the USA TODAY lists.
Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago, Illinois, and attended Purdue University. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.
Appropriately enough, Rachel Lees life reads like a novel. Name a part of America and the odds are she has resided there -- from the frozen North (Michigan) to the deep South (Florida), from the low-lying hills of the old West (Texas) to the heights of the Rockies (Colorado), and all three coasts of the contiguous United States.
She can also recite a string of occupations to go with her travels: selling houses on top of mountains, acting as a security specialist to the U.S. Department of Defense, programming computers, working as an optician and more. However, it seems she was merely gathering experiences for her true calling: writing. "Ive been writing since I was eight -- it all started with a grade-three school play -- but its only since 1990 that Ive been able to do it full-time. Its a dream come true, every single minute of it."
Little did Rachel realize that a Sleepless in Seattle-style romance of her own was to result from selling her first book, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, to Silhouette Books in 1990. Determined to learn more about her new career, Rachel joined an online writers group. Imagine the budding romance writers surprise when she fell in love with another member of the group. "I discovered that it is still possible to nurture a romance with the written word. We met face-to-face after seven months of steady correspondence, and a week later we moved in together."
Rachel is the winner of four Romantic Times magazine Reviewers Choice Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a five-time finalist for the Romance Writers of Americas RITA® Award.
Catherine Asaro was born in Oakland, California and grew up just north of Berkeley. A Nebula award winner (The Quantum Rose, 2001), has a doctorate in physics from Harvard University. She has published a number of papers on theoretical physics and established Molecudyne Research, which she currently runs. A former ballerina, she has performed with ballets and in musicals on both coasts, and founded the Mainly Jazz Dance program at Harvard. Her husband is John Kendall Cannizzo, an astrophysicist at NASA. They have one daughter and live in Columbia, Maryland. Catherine's fiction is a successful blend of hard science fiction, romance, and exciting space adventure. She has published nine novels, seven of which belong to her Saga of the Skolian Empire. Catherine was also recently elected vice president of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA).
Top customer reviews
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The novel begins with "Counting Crows" a story by Mercedes Lackey. My absolute favorite author, Ms. Lackey doesn't disappoint with this unique tale of a magically talented heroine betrothed to a neighboring lord. I loved the heroine's resourcefulness, which turned what could be a fairly run of the mill plot into an engaging page-turning read. The hero of the tale, not the foreign lord by the way, comes across as a soft, engaging gentleman, and the twist which brings them together is masterful storytelling.
Rachel Lee's story "Drusilla's Dream" takes place in a real life cube farm during the graveyard shift. While the story of a woman working at a drudgery job in order to support her dream (heck, I do this), is admirable, the actual story lacked imagination and skill. A shared daydream between her and a systems engineer a few floors above puts them both in a trite fantasy world, and although the heroine seemed quite well-rounded as a character, the hero fell flat. This story is by far the clunker of the three; however, the other two stories more than make up for this one's failings.
The final story, "Moonglow" by Catherine Asaro, is so sweet and tender that it's an awesome story. I found my breath taken away by the relationship between Iris and Jarid. His disabilities are played with thoughtful insight. I found the characters, and their relationship to be most powerful, and the geometric based magic intriguing. This novella makes a stunning finale for this collection, and introduces us to a most wonderful world.
All in all, this anthology makes an excellent introduction to the world of Luna fantasy novels, and is well worth the read, especially for fans of Asaro and Lackey.
I had never read anything by Rachel Lee before. The story idea was good, but I really didn't like her writing style...it seemed very simplistic. I found myself laughing out loud at some parts, but not because of the humor...because of the absurdity.
Catherine Asaro's tale was very good. It was a nice, fluffy fantasy with good characters. If you like this tale, read The Charmed Sphere which takes the story even further.
Overall, a good read. I wouldn't spend $20 on the book, but for $5.85 its not a bad deal.
Mercedes Lackey: Counting Crows
Lady Gwynhefar has to marry a man she doesn't even know because this alliance will protect her sick father and his lands from a power-hungry neighbour. But her husband is brutal and uncaring. He beats her and openly carries on with his mistress. The only way out and her only hope for a future with the knight she truly loves is Gwnyhefar's witchcraft - but if she is caught, she will be executed ...
This is an intense story about the situation women were in during the Middle Ages. Due to its realism in this respect, the story is often highly unpleasant and painful to read (rapes, beatings, humiliation, ...), but also very well written. The witch solution took away from the strength of the realistic writing, the end result being 4 stars.
Rachel Lee: Drusilla's Dream
Drusilla works the nightshift typing meaningless data into a computer, all the while daydreaming about a fantasy world where she is a princess out to save her realm. What she doesn't know is that her fantasies mix with those of the computer genius upstairs who actually wants to be a writer of romantic fantasy. Will their romance continue into reality?
This is the weakest of the three stories - and it didn't need to be! The story is so boring that even the heroine asks herself why she can't have more interesting fantasies (!), the computer, the softdrink machine etc. are too obviously turned into silly creatures of her fantasy world, and so on. The love scenes are beautiful and the one genuine fantasy scene, an extract from the novel the computer specialist is writing, is great. If Rachel Lee had written the whole story in that style, it would have been a really good story. As it is, I found it boring and often silly. Therefore 2 stars.
Catherine Asaro: Moonglow
It should be mentioned that this story is the beginning of a series that continues with the novels 'The Charmed Sphere', 'The Misted Cliffs' and 'The Dawn Star'. It can be read on its own, but it's important for the rest of the series.
In the fantasy kingdom where this story is set, the king is a military leader and he always marries the woman who is the most powerful mage in the land. She heals people and helps protect the kingdom with her magic. But things go terrible wrong one day when the carriage of the heir to the throne is attacked by robbers. He and his wife die and their little son becomes deaf, blind and mute due to a spell gone wrong. Nobody knows he survived and he grows up in the wilderness far away from court. Years later the king dies and a young mage, a girl who never expected to become a powerful magician, accidentally discovers that the prince still lives. Her difficult task now is to marry a young man she hardly knows, win his trust and heal him so that they can protect and rule the kingdom together...
This was a really intensive story with well-written characters and a beautifully developed world in which mages work their magic through shapes and their life force. I really enjoyed it and would give it 4.5 stars. It's not perfect, but really good.
The last story, Moonglow by Catherine Asaro, gets second place, because the general way the story was outlined and proceeded didn't appeal to me. It also seemed just a tad more "amateur" in its writing style, although it was more complex than Lackey's story.
The middle story, Drusilla's Dream by Rachel Lee - well, it was frustrating. Lee wrote a prologue wherein she indicates the characters didn't do what she originally intended. Too bad. I only got a couple chapters in and decided I'd had enough.
Most recent customer reviews
Counting Crows by Mercedes Lackey starts out this collection of fantasy tales.Read more