I will read and review in pairs except today where I review three stories.
Before we go into details let me say thank you to EOS for the ARC of Swords & Dark Magic (July 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0061723810], edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders.
"Swords & Dark Magic is the most important new fantasy anthology to be published this decade. Featuring new stories from the bestselling and brightest writers working in the genre, including: New York Times bestselling authors Scott Lynch and Garth Nix; genre greats Michael Moorcock (with an all-new Elric novella), Michael Shea (with a fully authorized new Cugel the Clever adventure), Robert Silverberg (with an all-new Majipoor tale), Glen Cook (with an all-new Black Company story), Gene Wolfe, and C. J. Cherryh; and hot new writers who've been re-inventing swords and sorcery like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Tim Lebbon, and many more." [Back of the book]
You should definitely read the very informative introduction by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders.
I never reviewed short stories before.For me it is really different. We will see where it ends ......
Bloodsport (17 pages) by Gene Wolfe who is best known for his Book of the New Sun series.
This has been my first Gene Wolfe read.
To be honest I read the story twice and I'm still not sure whether I understood it or not.
This is the story about the knight Valorius- told by himself - who takes part in the Game. The Game is played by kingdoms and it is chess like with real persons as token. Valorius meets a female token named Lurn .
Every word more would be a spoiler ...
My take: It is definitely not my favorite story of the anthology. I read it with a kind of distance.
The Singing Spear (11 pages) by James Enge, the author of the Ambrose series.
This is a story about Enge's favorite character Morlock Ambrosius, a wandering magician and swordsman who has obviously a problem with alcohol. The Singing Spear is a weapon named Andhrakar which has been made by Morlock. And this weapon influences people....
My take: An introduction to the unusual character Morlock Ambrosius. After this story you will know whether you want to read more stories with Morlock or not. The story is clearly structured and contains a bit humor.
A Wizard in Wiscezan (34 pages) by C J Cherryh, author of more than fourty books and winner of several prices. And yes, I don't now any of her books.
This is the story of the magician Cazimir Eisal who lost his interceder and now lives hidden together with his last remaining apprentices Willem, Jezzy and Almore. One day a stranger named Tewk appears and change their lives ...
My take: I really liked C J Cherryh's prose. The story contains dosed action, a pinch of humor and magic. It is a story about trust and self-confidence. I definitely need to have a deeper look at one of her series.
That's all for today. More stories coming soon.