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Lace and Blade (Volume 1) Paperback – February 14, 2008
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About the Author
Deborah J. Ross began writing professionally in 1982 as Deborah Wheeler with her novels, JAYDIUM and NORTHLIGHT, and short stories in Asimov’s, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy and STAR WARS: TALES FROM JABBA’S PALACE. Now under her birth name, Ross, she is continuing the Darkover series of the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as original work, including the fantasy trilogy THE SEVEN-PETALED SHIELD. She is a member of Book View Café. She has lived in France, worked for a cardiologist, studied Hebrew, yoga and kung fu, and is active in the local Quaker community.
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I hope Norilana keeps on doing these.
This is a diverse collection of skilled authors who bring their unique voices to a common theme. The stories fit very well together without being uniform. The fantasy elements aren't overbearing. In each story, the magic has a natural, sometimes subtle, sometimes strong but integrated feeling. I always had a sense that I was in a real place and time, even though there's no way for a head to be able to do that on our world. There are some fascinating, inventive ideas in this collection that kept me thinking long after I'd reached the end.
The cover art transmits the feeling of these stories very well. There's swashbuckling, romance, and a strong sense of culture (but not uniform culture--there's a wide variety of settings.) It's not entirely set in a given century or region, and one of the stories occurs at sea. It's a lush, dangerous, bejeweled group of tales and fans of lace and blade type stories will not be disappointed.
The authors are (in order of appearance): Madeleine E. Robins, Diana L. Paxson, Robin Wayne Bailey, Tanith Lee, Dave Smeds, Catherine Asaro, Mary Rosenblum, Chaz Brenchley, and Sherwood Smith.
I liked some better than others, but there weren't any stories I would skip on reread.
I'm keeping this one, and plan on rereading it many times.
The publisher, Norilana, is new and the book and anthology collections coming from it are, without erring in the books I've read so far, great! Support a new publisher (flesh blood) and get yourself some great reads with this book, Warrior Wisewoman and A Posse Of Princesses.
I am usually not a huge fan of story anthologies, but I found the theme intriguing and well represented by these stories. I found this collection well worth the read and will definitely look for the second collection of LACE AND BLADE.
The ideas behind the stories were good and they were well-written but the sex in the book was too huge of a turn-off to positively recommend this book of anthologies.