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A Fantasy Medley 2 by Tanya Huff, Amanda Downum, Jasper Kent, Seanan McGuire
Edited by Yanni Kuznia
Review by April Disney
Subterranean Press Limited Hardcover / Trade  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596065147
Date: 30 November 2012

Links: Publisher's Book Page / Show Official Info /

A Fantasy Medley 2 is editor Yanni Kuznia's second collection of tales from top fantasy stars. This collection features stories by well-known names in the genre, and displays the dark edge of the modern fantastic. Each takes place in worlds many have already discovered and loved, breathing fresh life into the mythoi of these four fantastic authors. These short tales are individually well crafted, and together they create a piece which intimately binds dark and light, hope and sorrow into the reader's consciousness.

A few notes on each:

- Tanya Huff's Quartered: Set in Huff's world of the Quarters series, this tale is of Evicka, a bard on a mission. Simply told but surprisingly sophisticated, Quartered shows a talent for understanding the complexities of people and how our perceptions can be so different from the truth. Appearances can be deceiving, and sometimes there is a price for revelation.

- Amanda Downum's The Bone Garden: This is a sensually written story about different definitions of "haunting". She takes us on a journey to a place where spectres can haunt us--both literally and figuratively.

- Jasper Kent's The Sergeant and the General: This story is a little bit like War Horse--if it had been written by Edgar Allen Poe. It shows the hardships of war, forces us to consider the true meaning of loyalty, and is a dark tale that will both haunt and delight lovers of dark speculative fiction.

- Seanan McGuire's Rat-Catcher: This is a tale of 17th century London from a rather unexpected point of view. Calling to mind a bit of Neil Gaimanís Neverwhere, this story has moments of both beauty and tragedy, and is a bittersweet end to a hellish ride through the thorny rose garden of some of today's finest writers.

This is a good collection for any reader of speculative fiction, but especially for anyone curious about the styles and worlds of these four authors. Each story divulges the finely tuned abilities of each author and will probably make readers who have never read them want to know more about all four worlds represented in this short but satisfying collection. Recommended.

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