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Sword and Sorceress VI Mass Market Paperback – June 5, 1990
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From Library Journal
From Mercedes Lackey's tongue-in-cheek tale of poetic license ("The Making of a Legend") to Kier Neustaeder's mythical tale of a magical creature's vengeance ("And Saavuld Danced"), this collection of 15 stories featuring a varied group of female protagonists demonstrates the broad scope of contemporary sword and sorcery. For large libraries.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Among the high points here are Jennifer Roberson's "Sleeping Dogs" (a veterinarian-witch, summoned to help the young king's favorite bitch deliver her litter, finds the only surviving pup the catalyst for revelations she never expected); Mercedes Lackey's "The Making of a Legend" (heroines Tamra and Kethry wander into the town of Viden, whose overlord is a petty despot--but is he really as bad as they think?); Mary Fenoglio's "Burnt Offerings" (the story of a peculiar alliance between a wandering (male) warrior and a slightly inept (female) magic-user); Dorothy J. Heydt's "Ratsbane" (in which Greek sorceress Cynthia, to combat a Carthaginian sorcerer who's taken rat form to spread the Plague, tries to transform herself into a terrier and becomes a cat instead); Bobbi Miller's "Wolf Hunt" (a female outlaw in Medieval France seeks a ravening werewolf); Jessie D' Eaker's "Name of the Demoness" (a new mother must save her just-born child from a hungry malevolence); and Lois Tilton's "Hands" (a young thief, deprived of both her hands by the law, is rescued by a sorcerer who provides her with an invisible set of replacements, but he has an agenda of his own). As is usual in MZB's anthologies, all of them are competently written, some are superior, and a few have flashes of wry humor. The editor's introduction is something of a diatribe against romance novels (I think she overreacts: they're escapism, just as fantasy is), but like all her introductions it helps us understand something of where she was coming from. On balance this collection is at least as good as most of the rest of the series, and worth your time if you like strong, competent women in a variety of fantasy settings.
Diana L. Paxson: "Equona's Mare" - a woman and her horse, sort of
Shariann Lewitt: "The Hand of Fatima"
Lynne Armstrong-Jones: "Commencement"
Morning Glory Zell: "A Lesser of Evils" - a somewhat preachy story about ecology-conservation
Kier Neustaedter: "And Saavuld Danced" - blah
Linda Gordon: "Stone of Light"
Nancy Jane Moore: "Change of Command"
Vera Nazarian: "The Starry King"
Nina Boal: "Mirror Image"
Jennifer Roberson: "Sleeping Dogs" - I liked this one. The inside front cover text says "Summoned by the king when his favorite hound was about to bear a litter, the witch woman used all her arts in vain. To save the only surviving pup, she revealed an ancient knowledge that would forever change the king's own life..."
Elisabeth Waters: "Shadowlands" - I liked it. The inside front cover text says "Her husband killed in an accident, Oriana would do anything - even spell travel to the Shadowlands - to bring him back to life..."
Mercedes Lackey: "The Making of a Legend" - A Tarma & Kethry story, republished in the book "Oathblood". The first appearance of the bard Leslac. I like most of Lackey's work, and this is no exception.
Mary Fenoglio: "Burnt Offerings" - not bad
Doroth J. Heydt: "Ratsbane" - The third story of the Greek sorceress Cynthia published in S&S, and my favorite so far.
Bobbi Miller: "Wolf Hunt"
Carl Thelen: "Pearl" - This one's cute and funny.
Jessie D. Eaker: "Name of the Demoness"
Lois Tilton: "Hands" - not bad
Mary E. Choo: "Wolfrunner"
J.A. Brebner: "Until We Meet Again" - A not bad story about a sword & sorceress pair.
Gemma Tarlach: "Black Wolf" - I liked this one. The first story sold by this author, but hopefully not the last.