- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: DAW; First Thus edition (July 1, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0886771412
- ISBN-13: 978-0886771416
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,480,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sword and Sorceress III (Sword and Sorceress) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1986
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Bradley was a notoriously tough editor and had no patience with whiners and other nonprofessional types, and her tastes don't always match mine, but in her earliest efforts in this series, at least, she succeeds in entertaining me more times than not.
MZB once more serves up a range of voices; from familiar returning favorites, to brand new first sales. Probably one of the most noteworthy new authors, in my opinion, is Mercedes Lackey. "Sword Sworn" is, I believe, Misty's debut as a published author, and is certainly the first introduction to her unforgettable mercenary heroines, Tarma and Kethry who are the protagonists of Lackey's later novels; OATHBOUND and OATHBREAKERS. Lackey has gone on to quite a career since then, but even this first short story showcases her talents as a writer. As to returning favorites, MZB has included an interesting tale of a dragon and a young nature-wizard "Dragon Amber" by Deborah Wheeler (noteworthy, in part because Bradley tends to dislike any sort of `cliché' dragon story), "Valley of Shadow" by Jennifer Roberson, "Journeytime" by Dana Kramer-Rolls, "Marwe's Forest" by Charles Saunders, and "The Mist on the Moor" by Diana L. Paxson.
"Journeytime" by Dana Kramer-Rolls, "The River of Tears" by Anodea Judith, and "Sword Sworn" by Mercedes Lackey are more serious ventures, dealing with the transformation of character and the journey, both physical and spiritual, these characters make. Unlike her first two anthologies, number three has a greater number of serious stories, the balance of humor is not as prevalent, still there are one or two that lighten the mood. "Orpheus" by Mary Frances Zambreno is about an unusual pair of women adventurers sent to retrieve a soul from the underworld, and "Bargains" by Elizabeth Moon where the bargains in question, may be no bargain at all.
Among my favorites is "A Tale From Hendry's Mill" by Melisa Carpenter, an interesting take on the `rape and revenge' theme, and one very likable heroine. "More's the Pity" by L. D. Woeltjen is a haunting tale that works its spell very effectively in a few short pages. As mentioned above, "Sword Sworn" by Mercedes Lackey is her introduction to two female mercenaries, and a powerful story of both sword and sorcery-and vengeance. Perhaps the most intriguing story is Jennifer Roberson's "Valley of the Shadow". It's one you'll just have to read.
All of the stories in this anthology are strongly written and well selected, although there are quite a few longer, more serious pieces than in the last two anthologies. I still consider this collection worth five stars, but could have wished for one or two shorter humorous pieces interspersed in the mix. For any reader who enjoys reading stories about women in fantasy, this is definitely a good place to find them! If you have read this anthology and have enjoyed it, I highly recommend finding the first two anthologies-they're just as well written!
Happy reading! ^_^ --shanshad