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Magic in the Mirrorstone: Tales of Fantasy Hardcover – February 12, 2008
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The 15 contributors to this fantasy collection—among them, many well-known YA fantasists, including Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments series. Others have primarily published for adult audiences, but despite their varied backgrounds, the storytellers consistently address themes teens will relate to—family, friendship, relationships, bullies. In Nini Kiriki Hoffman’s Jewel of Abandon, Ariel inherits a magic ring that allows her to spy on others, but when she discovers that the ring will hurt her, she gives it to a school enemy. Sean Manseau and Clare both contribute tales in which bullies meet an even more horrible fate (being eaten by a lake monster or sucked into a hell dimension, respectively). While most of the tales emphasize contemporary, urban fantasy, some take different tacks, as does Ann Zeddies’ lyrical Ten Thousand Waves, which weaves in Korean folklore. Ranging from funny to disquieting to bittersweet, the stories in this solid collection will appeal to most genre fans, including many adults. Grades 8-11. --Krista Hutley
About the Author
Steve Berman (editor) has sold over eighty articles, essays, and short stories to such anthologies as The Coyote Road, The Faerie Reel, and Love, Bourbon Street.
Holly Black is the author of The New York Times best-selling Spiderwick Chronicles, as well as the acclaimed YA novels Tithe, Valiant. Her graphic novel Good Neighbors is out Spring 2008.
Cassandra Clare is the author of the New York Times best-selling City of Bones. The sequel appears Spring 2008.
Cecil Castellucci is the author of acclaimed Boy Proof, a Booksense 76 Children's Pick, BBYA 2006 and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
Gregory Frost is the author of the dark fantasy novel Fitcher's Brides and the short fiction collection Attack of the Jazz Giants & Other Stories. His fantasy duology, Shadowbridge (Del Ray) is due Spring 2008.
Eugie Foster pens a monthly column, Writing for Young Readers, for Writing-World.com. She won the Phobos award and has been nominated for the British Fantasy, Southeastern Science Fiction, and Pushcart awards.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman won the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel, for The Thread that Binds the Bones.
Jim Hines is the author of the well-received Goblin series (DAW). Goblin War debuts in Spring 2008.
Top customer reviews
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The combination of the short form and the target audience of YA means that there isn't a lot of descriptive detail, world building, complex plots, or lengthy character development. But several of the authors work quite well within these constraints, creating strong characters (the young girl in "Out of Her Element") or a sense of otherworldliness ("Pig, Crane, Fox: Three Hearts Unfolding") despite them.
Perhaps the most consistently strong aspect of the collection is its tone. Many of the narrative voices are distinctive and enjoyable to spend even this short amount of time with. And there is an unexpectedly darker tone to most of these stories than one might have expected, though one whose darkness is perfectly suited to the target audience, from a story dealing with a ring that shows people the wearer cares about but only when they're doing something painful to observe to a Lovecraftian story of high school vengeance to a highly moral but sad story involving a sick girl and a fire salamander.
In the end, if none of the stories in Mirror are homeruns, there are more than enough singles and doubles, and maybe a triple or two, to make up for the few swings and misses.