LEGENDS II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy

Robert Silverberg, Editor . Del Rey $28.95 (656p) ISBN 978-0-345-45644-1

Brimming with action and energy, wit and charm, pathos and joy, Silverberg's anthology of short novels from 11 masters of fantasy, six of whom contributed to the original Legends (1998), provides a dazzling display of the genre's variety and versatility. Otherland fans will welcome Tad Williams's The Happiest Dead Boy in the World as a chance to visit with an old friend they never thought to see again. George R.R. Martin's The Sworn Sword , which continues the story of Dunk and Egg that he began in the first Legends , will also please his readers. All the returning authors more than live up to their reputations, except for Anne McCaffrey, whose Beyond Between , an ill-conceived explanation of what happens when a dragon fails to return from between, strikes the book's lone sour note. Yet for all the returnees' star power, it's the new authors who truly shine here. Elizabeth Haydon's entry, Threshold , follows five doomed friends left to guard the remnants of a civilization about to be destroyed in a cataclysm after most of the populace has already fled to a safe haven: a stunning tale of courage and honor, duty and friendship, it may be the book's best entry. Robin Hobb's Homecoming , the story of the settlement of the Rain Wild River and one woman's journey to independence, is the other contender. Terry Brooks, Diana Gabaldon, Raymond E. Feist, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman and Silverberg round out the all-star cast. (Jan. 2)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 530 pages - 978-0-345-47109-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 401 pages - 978-0-345-47578-7
Hardcover - 656 pages - 978-0-345-47075-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-345-47577-0
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