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Story two "How Old Holly Came to be is sort of like a poem or even biblical in its word choice. Very strange a tree a tower a woman a man a tower a tree...Time passes the tree grows the tower decays...Rothfuss declares his own work to be odd. He also states he wrote this in a single sitting."
Story three "Tad Williams tells a story about an old retired dragon slayer who asks an old dragon to split his profits for slaying him. The dragon and the dragon slayer strike up a mutually beneficial deal and than con the villages into paying the dragon slayer to kill the dragon in various places. Fun story."
Story four "Game of Chance is a story of people who live outside the world and influence life within it. Godlike or playing a video game with a broader view of how everything influences everything else. One of the characters is trying to influence things for wild political change. However the main character here is focused on the individual and not on the vast change she can make. It is a touching story."
Story five "Martyr of the Roses" was inspired by the authors dream of a rocky outcropping on a beach springing forth a batch of roses. It is a tale of a woman trying to protect a religious relic from unbelievers and had to walk a crazy distance and die which she does on a rocky outcropping on a beach and her footprints bloom roses. Its interesting but strange I suppose she wrote the story to match her dream..."
Story six "Mud Boy" sucked me into a world where demons rule the night and the houses need to be warded against their approach. After reading this short story I very much want to read "The Warded Man" The main character is a six year old who is doing his best to deal with the fear of demons and do his family proud. For a short story I became very invested. Very good."
Story Seven "The Sound of Broken Absolutes" is dark...full of sadness and deal with feelings one has when someone dies. It deals with the feelings of complete helplessness, intensely riveting. Even the title when you have absolutes like a parent or a belief that is absolute and than a parent dies...The Sound of Broken Absolutes. It is not a pleasant sound."
Story Eight "The coach with big Teeth" is heart wrenching. R.A. Salvatore tells in his introduction how he got black listed in little league baseball and how intimidated he was to play baseball for the adults. He was a good player when he played alone in "the sand lot" he was free to be himself. This is a story about how we pressure our kids to much."
Story Nine "Keeper of memory is a story of a man who knew the history of his people and his city and when his city is besieged all the records and record keepers are killed. He runs into a child that is more dream than reality and than the question ends with maybe the Keeper of Memory himself is a dream to the girl...the only record of the people and the city preserved in a vision or a dream. Really cool."
Story Ten "Heaven in a Wild Flower" is about reincarnated people. When they come back to earth they have to be adopted by a parent and than if the reincarnated dies or chooses to return to heaven the adopted parent also dies. The author was explaining that when someone we love dies the parent dies as well...in this story it was literal."
Story Eleven "Dogs" Was a story of a man who is mauled by dogs and his recovery process. It was an analogy to rape victims.
Story Twelve "The Chapel Perilous" is a short story starring the Iron Druid. Makes me want to read a longer story with him. He faces evils in a chapel and takes down a necromancer with earth magics. Very fun and exciting. Reminded me of Michael Sullivan's Theft of Swords series."
Story Thirteen "Select Mode" is from the world of "Prince of Thorns" which exists in a medieval post modern apocalyptic dystopia if that makes any sense. A computer goes back and forth between saying Select and Failure. When the computer god Selects you, you get to live. When you fail you die. Good times Modern and yet ancient tech."
Story Fourteen "All the Girls Love Michael Stein" is about a ghost cat who strives to comfort her grieving owner. The cat makes a deal with the Catfather and his owner is given the ability to see and speak with dead cats. This was a gift from the author to his 13 year old daughter. Touching.
Story Fifteen "Strange Rain" is the story of two adjoined twins who were surgically separated at birth and how through lightning control become fused as one again. Sounds cool sort of like Frankenstein."
Story Sixteen "Nocturne" is the dellusion of a boy fighting with a bout of pneumonia not very enjoyable story."
Story Seventeen "Unbowed" is a master swordsman who is determined not to be a killer not because of the moral question but because the ease of it. Being the best made it to easy to kill so he had determined not to and he is put at odds against his father who is determined to make his son a killer."
Story Eighteen "In Favor with Their Stars" Space and Dragon combat! Fantastic!"
Story Nineteen A short story about the bad guy in book 14 of the wheel of time series. Quick, brutal. Pretty fun."
Story Twenty "Jester" A short story with Royce and Hadrian from "Theft of Swords" it reads like the last chapter of a full feature. The hero is burned, scratched and has a broken leg. We get an epic final chapter and its a run and scream roller coaster ride!
Story Twenty one "The Duel" is brute strength vs every magical advantage in the book. Not that exciting of a fight, maybe there was more background that would of made this short story more enjoyable but it was a lopsided fight at its surface."
Story Twenty Two "Terry Brooks has a second and very short story that reads very much like a deleted scene on a DVD. It is an encounter between a druid and a dead man or phantom maybe a wraith and they have a confusing conversation not attached to any larger story. Uh Thanks?"
Story Twenty Three "Unfettered Knight" is the story of Charles the unfettered knight trying to keep the world safe from a world of trolls, witches and in this story vampires. I got the Harry Dresden vibe from this one. Also if you know the Orcs Must Die video game in which knights defend the rift from stuff coming through to our world that are not invited. It was a fun vampire story."
No matter what the reason, the quality of the pieces in Unfettered is unusually and consistently good. Good enough to make me look up other works by authors I had not yet read. Good enough that if one could give fractional stars, I would probably give it a 4.66. Good enough that since one cannot, I rounded up.
Buy this collection. You won't be disappointed.
This is a great collection of short stories that you won't be sorry you read! And it's all for a good cause, too.
Just a note regarding the story by Patrick Rothfuss: if you haven't read his other books don't judge them by this story. This short story is a little different.
This is an excellent collection of short stories, with some incredible gems among them, and no bad stories in the collection either.
While I didn't like a few of the stories, I will also honestly say that those stories are well written, and that my dislike is because I, personally, did not like the subject the authors chose for the stories in question.
Odds are, even if you don't like all of the stories, you'll find some that you do like among the mix.