cover image Shattered Shields

Shattered Shields

Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Jennifer Brozek. Baen, $15 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3701-0

In this well-built anthology, 17 original stories cut to the heart of military fantasy, diving directly into the most exciting moments of dramatic bravery, grand battles, and life-changing heroism. New stories in the well-established worlds of authors Glen Cook, Elizabeth Moon, and Seanan McGuire will satisfy fans but fall a little flat outside of their fuller context. Freestanding tales feature compact worldbuilding and characters who rise from everyday to exceptional in the face of the challenges, such as the bard-turned-warrior of John R. Fultz's "Yael of the Strings." SCentaur battalions in Cat Rambo's "Hoofsore and Weary" contrast with alternate-WWI dragon shapeshifters in Sarah A. Hoyt's charming "Rising Above." James L. Sutter's standout "Bonded Men" offers warrior teamwork and a grand tribute to the power of love. Readers who prefer to cut straight to the action, but want more depth than pure hack-and-slash, will find these offerings appealing. (Nov.)