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Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress XXII Hardcover – November 15, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
Book 22 of 24 in the Sword and Sorceress Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elisabeth Waters sold her first story in 1980 to Marion Zimmer Bradley for The Keeper’s Price, the first of the Darkover anthologies. She went on to sell dozens of short stories to a variety of anthologies. Her first novel, a fantasy called Changing Fate, was awarded the 1989 Gryphon Award. She is working on a sequel to it, in addition to her short-story writing and editing the Sword and Sorceress anthology series. She has also worked as a supernumerary with the San Francisco Opera, where she appeared in La Gioconda, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, Khovanshchina, Das Rheingold, Werther, and Idomeneo. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934648159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934648155
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,938,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The twenty-first volume of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress came out in 2004, and many readers (myself included) mourned what we thought would be the end of the series. Happily, a new publisher has picked up the torch.

For anyone unfamiliar with the series, the book collects sword & sorcery tales with strong female protagonists, a broad enough theme to encompass a variety of good stories from authors both experienced and new. I settled down, cracked open the book ... and found myself vaguely disappointed. The first few stories didn't satisfy me. Had I romanticized the series so much that nothing could live up to my expectations?

But no, as I read further, I found stories that drew me in. Stories where the struggles felt real, and the heroines fought toward endings both satisfying and believable. I even ended up recommending one (Bearing Shadows, by Dave Smeds) for the Nebula.

After a rocky start, I enjoyed somewhere around half to 2/3 of the stories, which makes for a pretty good collection.

Sword & Sorceress XXII continues the legacy Marion Zimmer Bradley began, presenting stories of strong women (stories that don't bash the reader over the head with "message") by both experienced and new authors. The trade paperback format still feels a little weird, but I can get used to that.

All in all, I'd say this one's worth buying, both for some strong stories, and to support one of the oldest anthology series in the genre.

(Bonus trivia: Norilana Books, the publisher behind Volume XXII, is run by Vera Nazarian, one of the writers Marion Zimmer Bradley mentored years ago.)
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Format: Paperback
I wasn't impressed with this volume at all. After poking around the Web, I think this is partially because the particular formula of these stories isn't as appealing to me as it maybe once was. The S&S submission guidelines point to an old MZB article on what makes a short story: she summarizes it as "A LIKABLE CHARACTER overcomes ALMOST INSUPERABLE ODDS and BY HIS OR HER OWN EFFORTS achieves a WORTHWHILE GOAL". If that sounds completely appealing to you, you will probably like this anthology. If it sounds a bit constraining or possibly trite, you almost definitely won't.

Most of the short stories in this volume do follow this formula. The heroines are typically likable (and mostly somewhat interchangeable, in my opinion). The stories are typically extremely task-oriented, which often makes them feel like a chapter in someone's novel rather than the kind of short story that takes your breath away as it stands on its own. The endings are almost all essentially happy-- everything wraps up with a nice, pat finish (the kind where the heroine secretly smiles to herself and sets off for her next adventure). The stories do not especially challenge, disturb, or intrigue the reader, and some are hopelessly predictable if you have read enough of this kind of fiction.

I did think very highly of two of the stories-- Fairy Debt (by T. Borregaard) was creative and fun, and Bearing Shadows (by Dave Smeds) was excellent. However, if you are looking for short fiction that will do more than play out the same kind of story over and over again, I'd suggest looking elsewhere.
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By NikkiCat on March 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This particular anthology (#22) was better than the later ones I've read. Possibly because it was published so soon after MZB's death. There were so many great stories that I really can't pick just one that I liked the most!

Nikki
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a perfectly serviceable entry in a fine series; it is neither the best nor the worst of the lot. This is true both in terms of the quality of the stories in it, and in terms of the smoothness of the editing.

I am very glad to hear that the series will be continuing; I look forward to reading volume XXIII.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent as usual. Elisabeth Waters was well-trained by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Her choice of stories is every bit as good. This book has the usual collection of familiar names from the past and excellent new writers. I always look forward to the new collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very prompt! Got it just before I needed it. I have the series! Love it; love it; love it; love it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very nice collection of short stories where the protagonists are female. I rather enjoy the unique way the various authors have of presenting their characters and the challenges they face.
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