A romantic fantasy anthology with four novellas from renowned authors of romance and fantasy...
USA Today best-selling author Claire Delacroix gives readers a revisionist version of the medieval legend of Melusine. USA Today best-selling author Lynn Kurland's trademark style shines in this tale of the magic and medieval romance between two lovers.
World Fantasy Award-winner Patricia A. McKillip tells of an artist's model and the transforming power of beauty and inspiration.
National best-selling author Sharon Shinn offers a compelling romance set in a strange new off-world of angels and revolving around the pursuit of love.
The very thrill of love comes dazzlingly to life when these four shining stars or romance and fantasy weave their own web of magic for their legions of fans.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Lynn Kurland is the USA Today bestselling author of Stardust of Yesterday, A Dance Through Time, This Is All I Ask, The Very Thought of You, Another Chance to Dream, The More I See You, and If I Had You. She is also a contributor to The Christmas Cat, Christmas Spirits, Veils of Time, Opposites Attract, and A Knight’s Vow anthologies. A full-time writer, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Patricia A. McKillip is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and the author of many fantasy novels, including The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, Stepping from the Shadows, and The Cygnet and the Firebird. She lives in Oregon.
Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked the anthology up for the first story, Patricia McKillip's "The Gorgon in the Cupboard." It is a story about Harry, a struggling painter desperately in love with his mentor's beautiful wife, and Jo, a girl destitute and forsaken on the streets after several hard turns of fortune. The fantasy element comes into play when Harry pulls out a painting he never finished because his model disappeared and paints his mentor's wife's mouth onto it in a fit of despondency that he will never be able to create a work worthy of her; he is understandably shocked when the mouth comes to life and begins to speak to him. That is the only fantasy element obvious in the story; the setting is vague and paintings speaking are clearly not a common occurrance. The romance is also very slight. This is because what the story is really about is perception, the ways that we see what we want rather than what is. It's gossamer-light, yet far richer than it seems on the surface, wise and sensitive to the myriad ways life is fragile and bittersweet, particularly for women. The second story, Lynn Kurland's "The Tale of Two Swords," is the one I suspect romance readers will be happiest with, and it made me smile and roll my eyes in equal amounts (often at the same time). It features self-conscious modern fairy tale narration; the combination of hopelessly modern actions on the characters' part even as they speak in hopelessly archaic (and likely inaccurate) dialogue; and despite the fact that the man has just lost his family and his kingdom in an epic battle & the woman has a price on her head, and all they do is frolic in the forest getting muddy. However, despite all those things that irked me, I still couldn't help liking the characters and liking their romance, so I suppose Kurland did her job well. The third story, Sharon Shinn's "Fallen Angel," is the one romance readers will have the most trouble with. It's set ten years after the end of Archangel and Shinn assumes that the reader has enough background knowledge of her books that she doesn't need to explain the unusual way Samaria works. Unfortunately, this has led to some readers calling the story sacrilegious, because they have no context for this tale of angels behaving badly. Please keep in mind that the angels are nothing more than humans with wings -- they are NOT the angels of Christian mythology. Still, "Fallen Angel" just doesn't quite work as either fantasy or romance -- Shinn doesn't give enough grounding in the fantasy world-building to satisfy those fans, and the romance is decent (if of the "ooo, what a sexy bad boy" variety) only until the ending destroys suspension of disbelief with an out-of-left-field resolution that heaps all the evils in the world on one head. Still, I didn't hate the story, because it actually starts to address some of the thornier side of the world of Samaria -- the sort of chaos that can ensue when a ruling class with a free love worldview comes into conflict with a merchant class with very strict rules of propriety. The fourth story, Claire Delacroix's "An Elegy for Melusine," is a retelling of the Melusine myth. It hews very closely to the story as described on Wikipedia (I wasn't overly familiar with the myth, so I looked it up, lol) and is rendered in serviceable enough prose that the myth's full power shines through. It has a totally unnecessary framing story, unfortunately, but other tha
Patricia McKillip. Artist Harry Waterman feels like a failure because he lacks a muse to motivate him. That changes when Medusa calls him from a painting he drew. She plans to inspire him by pointing to a model Jo who vanished....................... Lynn Kurland. Using a cloaking spell, part Elfin Maher flees from her father because she refuses to wed her sire¿s choice of a spouse for her. Her father Robert wants to forge an alliance with Hagarth through his daughter. She refuses and seeks the help of King Harold to learn how to use a book of spells she possesses. However, her father insists she is a valuable asset to further his ambitions...................... Sharon Shinn. In Samaria, Jesse the fallen angel desires the young Manadavvi woman who returns his love. However, her mother insists her family is too important to have her marry a loser insisting the daughter will wed into a wealthy family or the next Archangel...................... Claire Delacroix. An elderly woman overhears two gossips discuss Melusine, a demon who chose to live in the mortal world to cast her evil influence on Raymond who she married and had ten children with him. The old woman informs the two women that Melusine came to this world out of love for Raymond. Is she a malevolent devil or a female in love?.................. All four well-written romantic fantasies contain solid lead characters though in a couple of the tales the antagonist pales in comparison. Sub-genre fans will appreciate the quartet as all fun to read.......................... Harriet Klausner