Elliott’s delightful first collection contains pieces set in the worlds of her major fantasy series—the Spiritwalker Trilogy, the Crossroads Trilogy, the Crown of Stars series, and the Jaran novels—as well as several standalone works and four essays about writing. No familiarity with any of the novels is required to understand the stories set in those worlds, but the existing settings lend depth, complexity, and intrigue to what might otherwise be simple tales. “Riding the Shore of the River of Death,” a bildungsroman about a young female horse-nomad who wants to be a warrior, benefits greatly from the depth of setting, as does the slapstick comedy “To Be a Man,” about a shape-shifting saber-toothed cat with an eye for the ladies. But the standalones especially shine, and the political intrigue and subtle humor that Elliott brings to the fascinating culture and government system of “The Queen’s Garden” make it perhaps the finest work in the book. This collection serves beautifully both as an introduction to Elliott and as a treat for fans who want more of her marvels. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/2014 Release date: 02/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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