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Epic: Legends of Fantasy There is a sickness in the land Prophets tell of the fall of empires, the rise of champions Great beasts stir in vaults beneath the hills, beneath the waves Armies mass Gods walk The world will be torn asunder Epic fantasy is storytelling at its biggest and best From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the mega popular fantasy novels of today, these are the stories that express our greatest hopes and fears, that create worlds so rich we long to return to them again and again, and that inspire us with their timeless values of courage and friendship in the face of ultimate evil tales that transport us to the most ancient realms, and show us the most noble sacrifices, the most astonishing wonders Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams Wastelands, The Living Dead brings you seventeen tales by today s leading authors of epic fantasy, including George R R Martin A Song of Ice and Fire , Ursula K Le Guin Earthsea , Robin Hobb Realms of Elderlings , Kate Elliott Crown of Stars , Tad Williams Of Memory, Sorrow Thorn , Patrick Rothfuss The Kingkiller Chronicle , and Return again to lands you ve loved, or visit magical new worlds Victory against the coming darkness is never certain, but one thing s for sure your adventure will be epicTable of Content Homecoming by Robin Hobb The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K Le Guin The Burning Man by Tad Williams As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss Rysn by Brandon Sanderson While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott The Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal The Narcomancer by N K Jemisin Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan Otherling by Juliet Marillier The Mystery Knight by George R R Martin

  • Kindle Edition
  • 625 pages
  • Epic: Legends of Fantasy
  • John Joseph Adams
  • English
  • 14 May 2019

About the Author: John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE % IS THAT , OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH consisting of THE END IS NIGH, THE END IS NOW, and THE END HAS COME Called the reigning king of the anthology world by Barnes Noble, John is a two time winner of the Hugo Award for which he has been nominated nine times , is a seven time World Fantasy Award finalist, and served as a judge for the 2015 National Book Award John is also the editor and publisher of the digital magazines LIGHTSPEED and NIGHTMARE, and is a producer for Wired s THE GEEK S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY podcast You can find him online at www.johnjosephadams.com and on Twitter JohnJosephAdams.



10 thoughts on “Epic: Legends of Fantasy

  1. Mizuki Mizuki says:

    Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5 stars That is a rich, vivid, intriguing beginning story about the legends of the Rain Wilds River and its people I love it The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K Le Guin 4.5 stars A short story about a magician trapped in a cellar trying to fight off a mysterious powerful evil mage who no one has ever seen, who tries to steal his life and power In the end the magician escapes only after view spoiler he gives up his life and chases the evil mage through the Lan Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5 stars That is a rich, vivid, intriguing beginning story about the legends of the Rain Wilds River and its people I love it The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K Le Guin 4.5 stars A short story about a magician trapped in a cellar trying to fight off a mysterious powerful evil mage who no one has ever seen, who tries to steal his life and power In the end the magician escapes only after view spoiler he gives up his life and chases the evil mage through the Land of Death hide spoiler , it truly is another imgainive, intriguing tale from Ms Le Guin The Burning Man by Tad Williams 3.5 stars The story is good but after a few days I almost forget everything within this short story As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard 2 stars Okay.reincarnation and Asian style fantasy is great.but who on Earth would name her heroine Lam Daiyu, after the very heroine of the famed Dreams in the Red Chamber That s so ridiculous The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi 4 stars Now I know there is oneauthor I can rely on Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card Skipped because I won t read anything by this man The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss Skipped because I didn t enjoy The Name of the Wind at all Rysn by Brandon Sanderson A slice of life kind of short story, 3.5 stars While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock Some kind of an origin story of Elric of Melnibone, this story actually motivates me to want to readinto this series 4 stars Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn It feelslike a historical story than a fantasy one, 3 stars Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott 3 stars Gender role and tribe s rituals are introduced in this coming of age story, but those messages seem a bit forced The Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal I don t remember much of this story, but it isn t bad 3 stars The Narcomancer by N K Jemisin 3.8 stars The world building is interesting enough and LGTBQ being showed as a common way of life is always good Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn I don t remember had I ever finished reading this one at all The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan 4.5 stars It s a completed and nice story about a talented young man and his out of control ambition Otherling by Juliet Marillier 4.2 stars It s a fantasy short story based on Scotland and its traditions, the story is simple but it gives you a good understanding of Marillier s fantasy world The Mystery Knight by George R R Martin I don t remember had I ever finished reading this one at all

  2. Ashley Ashley says:

    This was a pretty great anthology I was probably destined to like it because it s pretty hard for me to dislike most kinds of fantasy This is also different than some anthologies because the editor didn t commission pieces for this book, but collected them from other already published sources I sampled a lot of authors I ve been meaning to try for some time, although I m annoyed that some of the stories occur halfway through a series or something like that If you like Epic fantasy and are cu This was a pretty great anthology I was probably destined to like it because it s pretty hard for me to dislike most kinds of fantasy This is also different than some anthologies because the editor didn t commission pieces for this book, but collected them from other already published sources I sampled a lot of authors I ve been meaning to try for some time, although I m annoyed that some of the stories occur halfway through a series or something like that If you like Epic fantasy and are curious to try out an anthology, this would be a good place to start Below are reviews for each individual story, written as I read them Homecoming, Robin Hobb The first story novella, really is a prequel of sorts to Robin Hobb s Rain Wilds series It can stand on its own, but if you re like me, after reading it, you re really just going to want to read the rest of that series there are four books, most of which were published before she wrote this novella The story chronicles the first colony of the Rain Wilds continent The colony is made up of exiles, criminals, and hopeful businessmen Only, the environment they find is one that quickly takes its toll The river is corrosive, the land is almost all swamp Clean water and plentiful sources of food are scarce People start dropping like flies And the three ships that brought them either leave or are destroyed by the river The story is told through the journal of a noble woman forced into exile, an artist and writer, whose husband was part of a treasonous plot against their country s empire She is a very unpleasant person at the beginning of the story She s resentful, extremely snobbish, and feels too sorry for herself to do much of anything This was already interesting to me as a fantasy version of the first colonies in the now USA including the infamous missing colony of Roanoke But then when the main character starts to take charge of her life and help the colony survive, things get really interesting Really, really enjoyed this one, and it s a good sign, I think, that the first story in this collection is so good 5 5 stars The Word of Unbinding, Ursula K Le Guin I don t know about this one I think Le Guin and I just aren t simpatico as writer and reader All the stuff I ve ever read from her feels so beautifully impersonal I just don t get it I think I only liked this one as much as I did because it was very short and I didn t have to read much of it I liked the first half better than the second, which is when the wizard trapped in a well by another wizard keeps trying different ways of escaping Then as all of her stuff does, it got all mystical and poetic and sort of lost me I guess I can see why she s an important writer in the genre, but this story perfectly encapsulates why she isn t really my kind of writer I like tangibility in the books I read I m going to give her oneshot, though, because I ve only ever read her fantasy, not her sci fi I ll probably try either The Left Hand of Darkness or The Dispossessed. Any suggestions 3 5 stars The Burning Man, Tad Williams I expected a lotfrom this story I ve been looking forward to reading The Dragonbone Chair for quite a while now The mention of Angel Tower halfway through this tipped me off that this novella, like the Hobb one, is a prequel for his series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn It was okay I liked the first half better than the second, when it became clear that the ending was going to be pretty anti climactic The story is narrated by Breda, now an old woman, recalling her youth spent with her stepfather, and the story surrounding the time she saw The Burning Man I was unimpressed with Breda Her narration was overdramatic I also didn t believe the love story, which affected the way I experienced the ending Her relationship with her stepfather would have been the way to make this story interesting, and as it is, that relationship is mostly a missed opportunity I felt Breda was an uninteresting point of view into this story she was much too passive, and Williams doesn t do a great job portraying the mind of a fifteen year old girl or rather, an old woman remembering her time as a fifteen year old girl All in all, just a resounding meh to this one 3 5 stars As the Wheel Turns, Aliette de Bodard Oh, blech Three in a row This was a pretentious piece of mythological nonsense that spent way too much time trying to MEAN SOMETHING IMPORTANT instead of creating characters with interesting emotional arcs I normally like stories featuring Asian inspired mythology, but here it felt like de Bodard was using it to add to the IMPORTANTNESS instead of using it for other,practical reasons It did have some nice moments, although the dialogue was quite bad The main character, who is continually being reincarnated for a mysterious purpose, shuffles through her lives too quickly for us to really care about them, but one of her husbands does something really sweet and they have a moment after death that I liked This story might have been made to work if it was novel length instead of twenty pages Squishing it all together just highlighted the problematic stuff 2 5 stars The Alchemist, Paolo Bacigalupi I feel bad that I ve had The Windup Girl on my to read list for so long, because this story was great It takes place in a world where the price for magic is creeping, poisonous brambles which are very hard to destroy, because they put off seeds that scatter and take root even when burned They have reached a point where there is almost nowhere free from them It s a cool, sort of Sleeping Beauty inspired world, where the poisonous brambles cause a sleep that becomes permanent as the victim s blood solidifies in their body Except there are no princesses The main character is the titular alchemist, who has ruined his own life and impoverished his family in pursuit of a way to kill off the brambles for good It was really well written, had interesting twists and turns, and the world of the story was extremely vivid His characters also come to life very quickly The fifty page length seems likefrom how much depth you get out of it Really, really liked this one 5 5 stars Sandmagic, Orson Scott Card Hmm, I kind of liked this And I feel bad about that I actually haven t read anything by OSC since I found out what a crackpot he is politically One of these days I will do a re read of Ender s Game and Speaker for the Dead two of my all time favorite books with his extreme views in mind, and then write all about how those books actually contradict those beliefs, and how silly that is I am convinced it will be brilliant But in the meantime, this was here and it was only twenty pages, and it s not like he s going to profit from my reading it I didn t even buy the book it s a library copy This is a revenge story, a cautionary tale and a bit of a fable, about a boy whose parents are killed horribly in a war and his hatred festers into violence It takes the opposite tack of a normal fantasy story, because the hero ignores the wise mentor character and everything goes to shit It wasn t structured very well, though, and the first couple of pages were completely unnecessary 3 5 stars The Road to Levinshir, Patrick Rothfuss This story was one of the reasons I picked up the collection, the other being the story by Brandon Sanderson Joke s on me, though I d already read both of them previously when they were part of other books This one is an excerpt from the middle of Wise Man s Fear, the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, which was published in 2011 Apparently another version of this story actually was published in Writers of the Future way back in 2001, before Rothfuss even published The Name of the Wind, but it s the updated version in this collection Despite my annoyance at having already read it, the excerpt did work pretty well as a stand alone story There were a few instances where context was missing for people who weren t familiar with Kvothe s story, and references to events that are left unexplained, but the basic story works There s even a bit of growth on Kvothe s part, although the larger context of it is missing here 4 5 stars Rysn, Brandon Sanderson Like the previous story, I already read this as part of a larger novel, in this case The Way of Kings, the first book in Sanderson s beyond epic Stormlight Archive series Both of the books published in that series so far are a solid five stars and I can t recommend them highly enough I don t think this story works on its own Robbed of the larger context of the whole series, it seems small and unimportant, and the revelations you get from it when read as part of that larger work are the most interesting part about it It s not actually a good story on its own There were other little excerpts from both books that would have worked better than Rysn, and Adams would have done better to choose one of them instead The books are split into POV character parts, interpersed with interludes, like the one included here, that lend depth to the world and bring in little clues about the larger context of the story Unfortunately, robbed of that larger context, it s pretty much a dud, I think 2 5 stars While the Gods Laugh, Michael Moorcock This novella is the origin of Moorcock s Elric Saga It was published ten years before Elric of Melnibone I suppose it s unfair of me to think this story was stupid and pretentious and boring, but this story was stupid and pretentious and boring I haven t read much fantasy from the 1960s, but if this is what it was like, yeesh No thank you Very pulpy Very melodramatic Shallow characterization The hero Elric of Melnibone, an albino with a magic sword, who was very famous for being one of the fantasy genre s first anti heroes, was extremely disappointing He s a cocky asshole who expresses his intelligence by moping around the world and brooding about how put upon he is Again, this is probably unfair becaus the story is over fifty years old, but time hasn t favored it Moorcock is clearly very impressed with himself as a writer, but all of his deep thoughts are thoughts any fifteen year with an attitude, a cigarette, and a moleskine can have Elric thinks he s the first man to ever emo and he s soooo special and alone, but any idiot can emo like Elric Additionally, everything else about this story was shallow The secondary characters including a laughable sex kitten sidekick The quest Elric s emotions Blech And I had been looking forward to reading Elric of Melnibone Maybe I still will A long time from now 2 5 stars The Mother of All Russiya, Melanie Rawn I liked this one It s a sort of pseudo fantasy, alternate history involving Saint Olga, the founding of Kiev, and a eunuch magician The magician part is what makes it fantasy and alternate history, of course, although Rawn claims the events detailed actually happened She has only changed the how I liked the overall story, but it illustrates my main problem with most short stories Authors who are used to writing novels a lot of the time do not know how to write characters or stories that are as interesting as they would be in a longer work I know what Olga does in this story, but I don t feel it I will forget almost everything about this story in less than a week because there was nothing in it for me to connect to the characters emotionally 3 5 stars Riding the Shore of the River of Death, Kate Elliott I ve never read anything by Kate Elliott before, but I liked this Again, it would have been better served by being a full length novel The tribal setting almost came across as stereotypical because so little space was spent developing it, but the interactions between the characters saved it I just didn t have time with her style to actually care for the characters But her world intrigued me, and she did some stuff with gender that I ve never seen before I m a little confused on the setting of this novel, and I think it s part of a larger series of hers, but I m unclear as to which and where in that series it takes place I already had her on my to read list, but this has made meexcited to get to her stuff eventually 4 5 stars The Bound Man, Mary Robinette Kowal I super liked this It was sort of weird at first, but then it clicked and I whipped through it It has a bunch of things I always like in stories time travel, stories about mothers and daughters, mucking about with prophecies, racial stuff, gender stuff and it was almost all treated in ways I haven t really seen before It was nothing revolutionary, just all of it was really well done Second novella I ve read by MRK this year, and both have been great I m really excited to finally start her Glamourist Histories series 5 5 stars The Narcomancer, N.K Jemisin Just a bunch of firsts up in here I ve had Jemisin s Inheritance series on my to read list for years now, and I finally managed to track down a used copy of the second book a couple of months ago, but this story got to me first It s a precursor to her Dreamblood series, the first novel of which, The Killing Moon, was was published in 2012 It s a world where dream magic exists, can kill, heal, etc The main character is a priest named Cet who is tasked with bringing peace to a village plagued by a narcomancer, a magician with the power over sleep I actually got a little teary eyed at the end of this story, though it did get a bit weird there for a while, but I guess it was a good kind of weird 4 5 stars Strife Lingers in Memory, Carrie Vaughn This story was tedious I get what she was going for No one ever follows the hero home after his heroic deeds are over well, no one except Tolkien, and even then, it wasof an afterthought to the story instead of the story itself And the kind of shit fantasy heroes especially face goblins, dragons, other scary monsters, etc would probably give you a hell of a case of PTSD Unfortunately, it s just not well written The characters were cyphers, and the writing felt like it was trying too hard Again, I think this is an author that does better withspace She doesn t have the gift of characterization I ve enjoyed some of the other stories of hers I ve read in anthologies, but they ve all beencontemporary, where her voice as a writer soundsnatural This was bleh 2 5 stars The Mad Apprentice, Trudi Canavan This was okay, but it was also sort of unpleasant The main character is the sister of a psychopath, the titular mad apprentice After he murders his master, he brings her along on his violent adventures, killing any magician he finds and taking their magic Soon he is also killing civilians, whole villages He is a horrible, horrible person, and she just sits there like a doormat and lets him do everything, either because she s scared of what he ll do to her or because she s in denial, or both It s understandable, but I didn t like her at all The style of the story was jarring as well, half told from her perspective and half told from another magician chronicling the events It would have been better to stick to one perspective Canavan s Black Magician series is still on my to read list, and I hope it s better put together than this was 3 5 stars The Otherling, Juliet Marillier First time reading Juliet Marillier, and it wasinteresting The fantastic parts were original and interesting, but the entire premise of the story is just so morbid I didn t like being made to feel like I should get positive resolution out of something that is so horrible SPOILERS The main character is a Bard, a prophet who sings the future of her people and warns them of things that threaten their survival There is always one Bard, and they are always a twin Their twin is killed at birth so they can absorb their strength and use it to work the magic of being a Bard This Bard disobeys and doesn t kill her apprentice s twin, and disaster almost follows The story ends when she finally kills the twin and rah rah our people are saved It wasn t celebratory, but it didn t make me feel super great, I can tell you that 3 5 stars The Mystery Knight, George R.R Martin Love this one I read it last year after first reading its companion novellas, The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword I didn t re read this time because this book is already four days overdue to the library, but my original review can be found here 4.5 5 starsAveraged rating of all stories is 3.38, but I m rounding up because the overall experience was very positive

  3. Claudia Claudia says:

    This anthology was a very nice surprise although it contains a lot of well known names, I have discovered new ones for me and was delighted by the stories.Some are fragments from novels and the others were already published before in other magazines or anthologies, but for me they were all a first reading.Here are my thoughts on them Homecoming by Robin Hobb the diary of an exiled court lady, which take us in a journey to a mysterious land for a new beginning The landscape reminded me a This anthology was a very nice surprise although it contains a lot of well known names, I have discovered new ones for me and was delighted by the stories.Some are fragments from novels and the others were already published before in other magazines or anthologies, but for me they were all a first reading.Here are my thoughts on them Homecoming by Robin Hobb the diary of an exiled court lady, which take us in a journey to a mysterious land for a new beginning The landscape reminded me a lot of Hamilton s Lalonde But Hobb s touch on characters is unmistakable view spoiler theoppressed, the better D hide spoiler and with some noir accents, the result is an astounding story 5 5 The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K Le Guin a confrontation between two wizards My 4th fantasy reading of Le Guin and I still think she should have stuck to sci fi meh 2 5 The Burning Man by Tad Williams a young step daughter has to choose between her step father and her lover a nice story about the meaning of religion and the choices we make in life 4 5 As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard a story based on a Chinese legend One is torn between duty and fear with no hope to find a solution But help came when unexpected 4 5 The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi in a city almost suffocated by some bewitched thorn trees, a man discovered the a way to get rid of them Too bad that he shares his discovery with the mayor and his acolyte 4 5 Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card a boy seeks revenge after his father got murdered and nothing can make his mind change 4 5 The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss a fragment form The Wise Man s Fear, Kvothe s encounter with a bunch of bandits, who took two girls as slaves 5 5 Rysn by Brandon Sanderson again a fragment from a novel, here The Way of Kings, which soon will be on my currently reading list Firts encounter with Rysn immediatly brought to my eyes the image of Erith, the Ogier Oh, how I liked WoT 5 5 While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock I understood there is entire series with this character, Elric de Melnibone What I don t know if it s part of any of the novels or a stand alone one, but I will not look into it for sure This story is about Elric being in search for Dead Gods Book Nothing drwan me not the characters nor the story, which lacks something, not sure what Anyway, 2 5 Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn new writer for me, but what a wonderful surprise a story based on real facts from Russia s history with some Oriental and Scandinavian accents Simply breathtaking 5 5 Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott a girl begins a journey together with his brother and a friend in order to prove her courage and to gain the freedom to live like a man instead of living the life of a married woman But her brother is hurt and she gives up the competition in order to help him However, something else happens on the way back Really nice idea, but a not so nice development 3 5 The Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal a story about a goddess brought back from time through an invocation of a sword, to fight along humans Nice approach of fate 3 5 The Narcomancer by N K Jemisin part of Dreamblood universe Two dream magicians begin a journey to help a woman and her village against a band of bandits, against whom they were helpless A story about love and selflessness 5 5 Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn a daughter of a wizard marries a prince and spends her whole life trying to comfort him from the bad nightmares which haunted him Too cheesy for me 2 5 The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan the story of a medieval Rambo and his dummy sister, view spoiler who wakes up when it s too late hide spoiler 2 5 Otherling by Juliet Marillier the story of a bard whose magic Songs lead the events in that village A wrong decision brings with it the alteration of the Songs 5 5 The Mystery Knight by George R.R Martin the adventures of a hedge knight, named Ser Duncan Dunk the Tall and his squire, Egg A mini pre GoT story 4 5 Overall, a great reading and a must for genre lovers

  4. J.A. J.A. says:

    I was drawn to Epic Legends of Fantasy by two names Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss I confess I was slightly disappointed to find that the selections from those two personal favorites were excerpts from novels I had already read, but their inclusion served its purpose well I wasn t familiar with the other works in the anthology, so this proved to be a great introduction I wouldn t have looked into Aliette de Bodard or Paolo Bacigalupi otherwise, and their stories stood out from this I was drawn to Epic Legends of Fantasy by two names Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss I confess I was slightly disappointed to find that the selections from those two personal favorites were excerpts from novels I had already read, but their inclusion served its purpose well I wasn t familiar with the other works in the anthology, so this proved to be a great introduction I wouldn t have looked into Aliette de Bodard or Paolo Bacigalupi otherwise, and their stories stood out from this top notch collection I really enjoyed the lead story by Robin Hobb, and it was good to read a story by Mary Robinette Kowal, one of the Writing Excuses podcasters I also liked Melanie Rawn s Mother of All Russiya and Kate Elliott s Riding the Shore of the River of Death I was drawn in by familiar authors, but what I m taking away is that there plentyfantasy writers, female fantasy writers in particular, with whom I ought to befamiliar As the editor John Joseph Adams states in the preface, Epic fantasy has become the literature ofAfter reading this anthology I have to agree

  5. Cherie Waggie Cherie Waggie says:

    My first love in reading has been fantasy, and in writing, so for a change of pace from mysteries, I have begun to readfantasy after so many years away Anthologies are a great way to start getting back into stories one really loves, whether fantasy, mystery, supernatural, or any other type of book Anthologies introduce the reader to the variety of writers of each genre, so that the reader can get the full feel of the genre.

  6. Lisa Lisa says:

    This book is actually a collection of short stories, all based on the relatively broad genre Epic Fantasy It includes works from many of thefamous fantasy authors George R.R Martin or Robin Hobb and many stories written by people I had never known of I had began this book because I was hungry for a new story from my favourite author Patrick Rothfuss who had contributed to the making of the book My opinion was heightened by the fact that another wondrous fantasy writer, Brando This book is actually a collection of short stories, all based on the relatively broad genre Epic Fantasy It includes works from many of thefamous fantasy authors George R.R Martin or Robin Hobb and many stories written by people I had never known of I had began this book because I was hungry for a new story from my favourite author Patrick Rothfuss who had contributed to the making of the book My opinion was heightened by the fact that another wondrous fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson, also had a story filed within it One thing I must say, though I enjoyed most of the stories thoroughly I was extremely disappointed to find that neither of my favored authors had an original piece put in this book, but rather both had contributed extracts from their novels.I will quite certainly place this book under a book of short stories I had encouraged myself with the knowledge that I can always leave off reading any short story that I find badly written and move on, but there was no need New or otherwise, the stories were very intriguing and I am sure I have discovered at least a fewauthors whose novels I d like to investigate Picking three of these seventeen lovely tales was difficult It is a strange experience for me, reading short stories especially ones of epic fantasy The name itself suggests a long, complicated novel Epic fantasy short stories were very new to me The plots were less sophisticated and on a smaller scale, although, as always there were exceptions Many included a change in character, perception or a goal achieved that will lead to a larger part left unsaid in the story I am impressed about the amount of substance that can be fitted into 10 or so pages worth of writing I am glad to have read it seeing stories side by side provide a contrast and complement, of sorts.I eventually tried to pick three stories that were rather different in theme and plot, and so the stories I will be discussing in this review are The Alchemist , Riding the Shore of the River of Death and Bound Man The quote that stayed in my mind from the first story is When there is nothing to do but work, a great deal of work can be done It has a hint of underlying determination to it that I like The story Riding the Shore of the River of Death contains a line almost a warning A woman could live her life tending the fire of such a man s life It s heat was seductive, but in the end its glory belonged only to him It is the female protagonist s thoughts on a man that her parents are marrying her to In Bound Man there is a small extract that I feel represents the characters purposes, personalities and their relationships with one another really well Halld r stared as her long hair began flirting with the wind She smiled at the question in his eyes I have a prophecy to fulfill It describes when the main character finally comes to terms with her fate.From these stories I learnt that there are many definitions to epic fantasy but generally the stories center on a different world that is like, but unlike, Earth where something, usually a battle of some sort, is happening The main characters are normally either extremely powerful or nearly helpless The story is usually based around how they change and come onto themselves or their powers Short stories though, arelike a window into a different world, when the reader discovers a small piece of a story that may be vital From the stories themselves, though, I discovered a few perspectives about love Love not lust Two of them include a parent that have been separated from their child or children I would say that the tales were all quite genuine and original heartwarming and somber in various degrees The story of The Alchemist I gravitated towards because of the new idea of magic in the world of the story, a world that is fighting its magic s deadly consequences After a while, it is hard to find stories outside of the basic fantasy mould, so when one does read something new the story seems a very precious one indeed Riding the Shore of the River of Death has a tribal setting and the story has a kind of ruthless climate to it the kind found at the beginnings of civilization The characters are trying to prove themselves worthy in an adulthood ceremony of sorts I found that I wanted to discoverabout the culture of these almost barbaric people whose perspective the story was being told from The last, Bound Man , I included here because I love an original time travel story I was facinated by how the world of the protaganist differed from the one she arrived into, how their perceptions of humanity are subtlety different she had thought the people she met were another race entirely and the suggested idea that knowledge is lost throughout the course of history, even while it is gained

  7. Caroline Caroline says:

    Overall this is a really strong collection of fantasy stories While reading these stories the main things I considered were how good is the worldbuilding this is an epic fantasy collection after all , and how well does this story stand on its own given that the majority of the tales take place within larger series These factors are in addition to the normal considerations of idea, plot, character, pacing, and language A note a rating of 4 from me means that the story was well crafte Overall this is a really strong collection of fantasy stories While reading these stories the main things I considered were how good is the worldbuilding this is an epic fantasy collection after all , and how well does this story stand on its own given that the majority of the tales take place within larger series These factors are in addition to the normal considerations of idea, plot, character, pacing, and language A note a rating of 4 from me means that the story was well crafted and enjoyable, but lacked anything about it that made me go wow, I needof this RIGHT NOW The stories that I gave 5 stars to were so good that I either purchased a book from the author because of it or moved an already owned book to my short tbr list A 4 star story is an author I will readof in the future, but not necessarily ASAP Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5 Wow, what a story to kick off with Every factor here is incredibly well done The story had me fighting sleep to stay up and read and the world felt real enough that I actually got out of bed to turn on a light because of how creeped out I was getting The story stands completely on its own while also making me incredibly eager to start the VERY long series it belongs in So much so that I have already purchased Assassin s Apprentice The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K Le Guin 3 The language here is stunning as it always is with Le Guin , but the story itself is a little too cut and dry with too neat an ending I ve already read Earthsea and love it , but had I not, I m doubtful that this story would have had me rushing to start it The Burning Man by Tad Williams 2 It took me days to finish this one and when I wasn t reading it I had trouble recalling what the story was about The bones of the story aren t bad and the writing is fine, but the story is dragged out over an incredibly basic setting with generic characters that made it difficult to care about anything that happened As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard 5 Fantastic use of mythology within a real world setting The story grabs you from the first sentence and doesn t give you a chance of letting go The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi 4 A really well built world and story with good characters and pacing that stands perfectly on its own Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card N A Card is a misogynistic, homophobic, racist who I will not spend any of my time on The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss 3 a decent side story, but I think the fact that I have already read the Kingkiller Chronicle hindered my enjoyment of this piece Kvothe felt very out of character for large parts of this story Further, there is almost no worldbuilding within the story itself aside from name dropping people, terms, and locations that are meaningless if you haven t done 2000 pages of reading before starting Rysn by Brandon Sanderson 2 a piece that has almost no story and is completely centered on world building Which would be fine if that world building wasn t done in the laziest was possible The whole thing boils down into a 7 page list of how things are the opposite in our world from yours While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock 1 The worst story in the collection The biggest issue here is that the female main character is nothingthan an object used to create situations where the male hero can show off how much smarter, braver, andselfless he is than her Elric ignores, curses, and belittles her every chance he gets in between sleeping with her, ofc Something he does immediately after stating how above he is of such a thing He actually says he does it just because she s there, so why not Yikes I will not be readingof Moorcock Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn 4 an excellent piece of mythology inspired historical fiction Rawn brought the characters, setting, and time period to life in a way that felt effortless Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott 4 I ll be honest, I was dubious about the story when the author was introduced as having written a Afro celtic post Roman icepunk regency adventure fantasy with swords, sharks, and lawyer dinosaurs trilogy, because with an intro like that its got an 80 20 change of being the worst thing ever written After reading this short, however, I m a lotconfident that the trilogy is in that 20% of being bizarrely great The world building here is very smoothly done and the plot is well paced The only thing holding me back from giving this one 5 stars is that the end fight scene was hard to follow due to the way the setting is described Hows that guy fighting on horseback in a scar in the rocks Was it a cave A clearing a tunnel I don t know But I do know that I will be starting the first book in the series this story is from very soon The Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal 3 this one starts off very strong with characters that instantly pull you into the story Unfortunately the pacing in the second half, and an oddly placed, unclear time jump detract drastically from the overall quality of the idea The Narcomancer by N K Jemisin 4 strong world building, plot, and characters in a story that manages to stand completely on its own while still being a good introduction into Jemisin s The Dreamblood Duology Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn 4 this is the second Vaughn story that I have really enjoyed and the second one that deals with a side of the traditional fantasy story that is rarely ever seen or dealt with The first focused on what happens to the people left behind when a chosen one disappears into another world, while this one tackles the happily ever after in a realistic, dark, but ultimately hopeful way The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan 3 this is a fast paced little story with an interesting magic system that would have been a solid four if the plot had not been as predictable as a recipe for hamburgers Otherling by Juliet Marillier 4 An interesting, unique idea that is well executed in a world that is elegantly brought to life through Marillier s imagery and prose The Mystery Knight by George R R Martin 3 a fun story, but is better enjoyed if you have read the previous novella, The Hedge Knight, first.Follow me on Twitter forreviews and other bookish things

  8. Silvana Silvana says:

    What I love about anthologies is the chance to sample authors I have never read before but heard about a lot This one in particular made me want to readfrom Tad Williams, Melanie Rawn, and Juliet Marilier It also givespositive light on authors whose works I did not enjoy previously such as Bacigalupi, or reconfirm my liking for familiar authors such as Jemisin But then, I am also disappointed with some, such as Sanderson s piece which I think is one of the weakest Moreover, my in What I love about anthologies is the chance to sample authors I have never read before but heard about a lot This one in particular made me want to readfrom Tad Williams, Melanie Rawn, and Juliet Marilier It also givespositive light on authors whose works I did not enjoy previously such as Bacigalupi, or reconfirm my liking for familiar authors such as Jemisin But then, I am also disappointed with some, such as Sanderson s piece which I think is one of the weakest Moreover, my interest to read some authors also died down e.g Moorcock For some other authors e.g Elliot I will reserve judgment first but their books won t be on the top of my TBR Highlights excluding The Mystery Knight and Homecoming which I read and loved before The Burning Man , The Narcomancer , Mother of All Russiya.Lowlights While the Gods Laugh , Rysn , Riding the Shore of the River of Death Individual reviews Homecoming by Robin HobbI think it is one of the best in the book Another example of how Hobb can write a story with a good character development from a vain and easy to hate character to someone you want to root for Aside from that, the world building of the Rainwilds is amazing Magical rainforest that is both dangerous and beautiful and literally changed people The story is also available in her story collection The Inheritance a must read for Hobb fans The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K Le GuinI found the story really dull and could not remember anything except that two wizards were fighting Note to self Strike two for Le Guin The Burning Man by Tad Williams Another favorite It is very immersive I found myself drawn to the castle and the sad eerieness of the people I think I will try reading The Dragonbone Chair As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de BodardA Taoist reincarnation story, which was pretty interesting Yet, the ending was predictable I might try her the Xuya stories The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi I liked this a lot, loved the main character, worldbuilding, the magic and the ending I might actually try to readof his stuff later, after being so disappointed with The Windup Girl before Sandmagic by Orson Scott CardThe story started really slow for me but I loved the climax and the ending Been a long time since my last and only Card novel Ender s Game so I forgot the style and could not compare the two The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss Nothing special in my reread since this is basically taken from Wise Man s Fear but I remember that I liked this part of the story, especially Kvothe s thoughts on Edema Ruh, his strong identity and society s stigma And the story is pretty dark ooh I loved it when my protagonist gone cold blood , although there is one laughable, so not Rothfuss sentence no all men are like that Rysn by Brandon SandersonWow, very stingy of Sanderson for this super short story which led to nowhere he might as well not giving any to the collection Lucky for me this is not my first Sanderson While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock The most annoying story of the book Pretty sure I read an Elric story before it was not memorable , but man this one made me think that he was such a pervy jerk, the main and only female character here was so weak but obviously hot enough to bang, ugh and the quest thing was boring as hell Even the fight scene with the so called awesome blade of his Stormbringer was just meh I won t be reading anything from Moorcock soon Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn A great adaptation of a great historical person And despite the length and the limited setting of events I think the author managed to put a great sense of epicness Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott I don t remember anything except there was a girl who did not want to marry Boring But I heard she wrote an icepunk story about shark and lawyer dinosaurs So I might check that one out The Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal The armor was cool The story started out strong but when it comes to portal fantasy and time travel it was just okay Oh and the ending felt a bit abrupt The Narcomancer by N K JemisinI LOVE YOU NK JEMISIN I adore her Hugo winning Broken Earth trilogy and I will definitely read her Dreamblood duology, which this story is based on The magic is sooo interesting And it is hard nowadays to find a main character who is likable, kind and also very capable so this is kind of refreshing Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie VaughnI expectedfrom this story and it ended really abruptly Some interesting parts would be when the queen thought about war and its aftermath and what simportant significant longlasting It kept me thinking about PTSD since this tells you what happened next off screen after your hero won Often, it is not happy ever after, not entirely This is her third story I read, one of them I really loved Raisa Stepanova from Dangerous Women The Mad Apprentice by Trudi CanavanI have mixed feeling on this At one side I appreciate reading the POV of someone who was unlucky enough to be related with an abusive person, but the act of mad destruction was repeated way too many times it lost its meaning Otherling by Juliet MarillierLoved it It felt like a fairy tale albeit a sad one it was really immersive, full with longing and inner conflict, and I enjoyed every sentence The Mystery Knight by George R R Martin I am a Martin fangirl so I hugely immensely wholeheartedly loved this one and thus my review is biased A fourth reread This is the third book from the Dunk and Egg stories and it is mostly focused on the Blackfyre Rebellion specifically, the Second Blackfyre Rebellion And we actually met one of the most mysterious and influential characters from ASOIAF as well as one of the most hated characters.Dunk and Egg s exchanges are so funny sometimes and I just love the fact that we could see someone who d become so important in the future spent his childhood travelling across the realm and interacted with so many colorful characters.However, to get to full context I think one needs to read ASOIAF first and then the first two DE novels

  9. Ivan Ewert Ivan Ewert says:

    A wonderful selection of short epic fantasy HOMECOMING, by Robin Hobb aka Megan Lindholm , was the best of the lot in my opinion An excellent look at a society and culture very different from the standard fare, a strong heroine, and a remarkably tense climax.RIDING THE SHORE OF THE RIVER OF DEATH by Kate Elliott was a close second This had a great old school feel blended with a truly satisfying series of culture worldbuilding.Aliette de Bodard s AS THE WHEEL TURNS was wonderfully done, with A wonderful selection of short epic fantasy HOMECOMING, by Robin Hobb aka Megan Lindholm , was the best of the lot in my opinion An excellent look at a society and culture very different from the standard fare, a strong heroine, and a remarkably tense climax.RIDING THE SHORE OF THE RIVER OF DEATH by Kate Elliott was a close second This had a great old school feel blended with a truly satisfying series of culture worldbuilding.Aliette de Bodard s AS THE WHEEL TURNS was wonderfully done, with an exotic locale, a bold storyline, and a remarkable cast of gods.I thoroughly enjoyed THE NARCOMANCER, by NK Jemisin, in which we learn the ultimate fate of Cet hero of her book, THE KILLING MOON A very sensual and dreamlike read And Juliet Mariller s OTHERLING showed a great deal of heart.Fans of Game of Thrones will enjoy George RR Martin s THE MYSTERY KNIGHT, and of course it s always good to revisit Ursula K LeGuin and Michael Moorcock for me.The one story that didn t work for me was RYSN, by Brandon Sanderson It felt a bittell than show, with little conflict or change in the major characters.Overall I d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sweeping epic fantasy

  10. Fantasy Literature Fantasy Literature says:

    Epic Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it s very difficult to tell short epic stories though some of these authors do manage to pull it off but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves George R.R Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K LeGuin, Epic Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it s very difficult to tell short epic stories though some of these authors do manage to pull it off but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves George R.R Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan, and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume.Epic Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Robin Read More

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