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Spell Fantastic Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2000
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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Although S&S tales predominate, the stories I liked best were the oddballs that involved spells, but not from the standard grimoire. My favorite, "A Spatter of Later Stars" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, concerns a girl who paints faces at a carnival. She comes into her gift at age fourteen: the gift of making people feel beautiful---or otherwise. No death-dealing wizards. No women in breast-plates. Just a slightly-out-of-the-ordinary carnival family and a wonderful fourteenth birthday present.
"A Spatter of Later Stars" would have deserved inclusion in the wonderful "Magic in Ithkar" fantasy volumes which were edited by Andre Norton and Robert Adams, if (alas) the series hadn't petered out after Volume Four.
"And King Hereafter" is a Boscobel League story by Rosemary Edghill, involving a slight, sorcerous meddling with the Royal Succession in England---what if that awful American divorcee had died before she could marry the future king?
Another offbeat fantasy in this collection, "The Midas Spell" by Julie E. Czerneda could be said to involve wizardly meddling with American history. It's the story of an all-star running back who really, really wants his team to win the Super Bowl.
All in all, thirteen tales of (mostly) original magic, a leetle heavy on S&S for my taste.
This wonderful treasury of short stories features written works by Kristine Kathyrn Rusch, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Michelle west, Jane Lindskold and many more.
This is the perfect book to take with you on a train, ferry, airplane ride or in the car. The short stories make it easy to read with interruptions, since each story is about 25 pages or so, give or take.
There are many compelling stories. Such as the one about the wizard who runs a magic shop and finds himself a prime suspect in a murder, to the very short story about a magical computer.
The only reason I did not deem this book 5 stars is because I sometimes find short stories dissatisfying. I am not criticizing any of the authors or their stories, but due to my personal tastes, I prefer regular novels. Compelling and "fantastic" nevertheless. *S*