cover image Dark and Stormy Knights

Dark and Stormy Knights

Edited by P.N. Elrod, St. Martin's Griffin, $14.99 paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-59834-1

Elrod's urban fantasy anthology has a strikingly similar vibe to 2009's Mean Streets, though the two are otherwise unrelated. The one author both volumes share, Jim Butcher, does his usual top-notch job with the Dresden Files tie-in "Even Hand," a dramatic character study of Chicago crime boss John Marcone and his little-known but powerful drive to protect small children at any cost. Equally as good is Carrie Vaughn's taut and suspenseful "God's Creatures," in which a hunter searches for a werewolf among the residents of a Catholic reform school. Rachel Caine's "Even a Rabbit Will Bite," in which a dragon slayer is rendered redundant by the near extinction of her quarry, is unexpectedly poignant. Six less memorable stories round out the volume. (Aug.)