cover image Harrowing the Dragon: Collected Tales

Harrowing the Dragon: Collected Tales

Patricia A. McKillip, . . Ace, $23.95 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-441-01360-9

As shown in this excellent story collection, World Fantasy Award–winner McKillip (Od Magic ) can take the most common fantasy elements—dragons and bards, sorcerers and shape-shifters—and reshape them in surprising and resonant ways. In "The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath," a man determined to drive off a fearsome dragon learns that pride can be as cold and monstrous as any beast. "The Snow Queen" and "The Lion and the Lark" (based on Beauty and the Beast ) clothe old classics in new magic to examine the price of identity and the value of freedom. The bleak "Star-Crossed" details the official investigation into the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, while "Voyage into the Heart" tells of the heartless hunt to capture a unicorn's horn. "Baba Yaga and the Sorcerer's Son" is full of charm and humor, while the sly "Toad" reveals a frog prince who is far from innocent. Each of these tales is a gem of storytelling, a rich treasure for both fans and those yet to discover McKillip's deceptively simple magic. Agent, Howard Morhaim. (Nov.)