The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry

Edited by Sean Wallace. Running, $14.95 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-762454-66-2
The 25 contributors to this superior anthology have all mastered the considerable challenge of fantasy worldbuilding in the confines of the short-story. Aliette de Bodard’s “A Warrior’s Death” is a whodunit set in the Aztec-like empire of her Obsidian & Blood series, where a failed warrior is assigned to identify the perpetrator behind an unauthorized human sacrifice. The late Jay Lake evokes George R.R. Martin in “Small Magic,” in which a neglected frontier outpost clings to its mission of defending its realm against the Ice Tribes. The hidden price of traditional heroics is movingly portrayed in Carrie Vaughn’s “Strife Lingers in Memory,” in which the military successes achieved by the Heir to the Fortress, Evrad, are followed by profound night terrors that make true rest impossible. Evrad bears the memories of the lives lost under his command, and his wife’s response to his suffering is especially moving. Naomi Novik’s “Vici,” set in the world of her Temeraire novels, is a tongue-in-cheek tale of a Roman wastrel who’s given a chance to redeem himself through combat with a dragon. Fantasy fans will savor these stories and then eagerly hunt down their authors’ longer works. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/2014
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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