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A Fantasy Medley

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A Fantasy Medley features the superlative storytelling abilities of four diverse authors: In "Zen and the Art of Vampirism," Zoe Takano, the only vampire in Toronto, a city filled with supernatural creatures of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld, finds her place in the hierarchy threatened by two interlopers. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" returns us to the world of K A Fantasy Medley features the superlative storytelling abilities of four diverse authors: In "Zen and the Art of Vampirism," Zoe Takano, the only vampire in Toronto, a city filled with supernatural creatures of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld, finds her place in the hierarchy threatened by two interlopers. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" returns us to the world of Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars . Kareka, daughter of the begh of the Kirshat, hunts to take a man's head. It is her last opportunity to prove herself as a man or else she will find herself restricted to the role of woman and wife in the clan forever. Robin Hobb revisits her Farseer world in "Words Like Coins." Mirrifen, a failed hedge-witch's apprentice who has married to find security finds that threatened by a severe drought and the appearance of a pregnant female pecksie. C.E. Murphy takes us to frozen Moscow in "From Russia, with Love." Baba Yaga's daughter is a barmaid at a dive when Janx and Eliseo Daisani walk in. They discover, as they compete for the girl's affections, that Baba Yaga has plans for Janx and that her beautiful daughter had merely been the bait.


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A Fantasy Medley features the superlative storytelling abilities of four diverse authors: In "Zen and the Art of Vampirism," Zoe Takano, the only vampire in Toronto, a city filled with supernatural creatures of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld, finds her place in the hierarchy threatened by two interlopers. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" returns us to the world of K A Fantasy Medley features the superlative storytelling abilities of four diverse authors: In "Zen and the Art of Vampirism," Zoe Takano, the only vampire in Toronto, a city filled with supernatural creatures of Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld, finds her place in the hierarchy threatened by two interlopers. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" returns us to the world of Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars . Kareka, daughter of the begh of the Kirshat, hunts to take a man's head. It is her last opportunity to prove herself as a man or else she will find herself restricted to the role of woman and wife in the clan forever. Robin Hobb revisits her Farseer world in "Words Like Coins." Mirrifen, a failed hedge-witch's apprentice who has married to find security finds that threatened by a severe drought and the appearance of a pregnant female pecksie. C.E. Murphy takes us to frozen Moscow in "From Russia, with Love." Baba Yaga's daughter is a barmaid at a dive when Janx and Eliseo Daisani walk in. They discover, as they compete for the girl's affections, that Baba Yaga has plans for Janx and that her beautiful daughter had merely been the bait.

30 review for A Fantasy Medley

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn F.

    Anthology. 3.15 stars out of 5 stars. I usually round up on the star rating but since it's so close to three I'll keep it at three. 1. Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong. A Toronto vampire who is barely getting by has some other vampires try to take over her territory. It was just an okay story to me. 3 out 5 stars. 2. Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott. Native Indians on a quest run into some trouble and then on the way back find a druid (?) priestess and her com Anthology. 3.15 stars out of 5 stars. I usually round up on the star rating but since it's so close to three I'll keep it at three. 1. Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong. A Toronto vampire who is barely getting by has some other vampires try to take over her territory. It was just an okay story to me. 3 out 5 stars. 2. Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott. Native Indians on a quest run into some trouble and then on the way back find a druid (?) priestess and her companion. The female Indian goes with the priestess to start a new life. I wasn't crazy about this story because I was mostly confused at what was happening. Then I realized this was story 7.5 of the series - no wonder! 3 out of 5 stars. 3. From Russia, with Love by C.E. Murphy. Baba Yaga's daughter meets some male friends and her mother entraps one. She does what she needs to free him. Okay story. 3 out of 5 stars. 4. Words Like Coins by Robin Hobb. Misunderstandings between a almost-witch and a fae result in there being a misunderstanding that could be horrendous. Good story. 3-1/2 out of 5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Four very different fantasy tales that are all really good. Kelley Armstrong's 'Zen and the Art of Vampirism' pits Toronto vampire, Zoe, against two vamps determined to take over her territory. 'Riding the Shore of the River of Death' by Kate Elliott features a girl who does not want to accept her clan's gender role for her. I think a lot of women can relate to that one. My favorite was Robin Hobb's 'Words like Coins' which examines how mispoken words can have unexpected consequences. Finally numb Four very different fantasy tales that are all really good. Kelley Armstrong's 'Zen and the Art of Vampirism' pits Toronto vampire, Zoe, against two vamps determined to take over her territory. 'Riding the Shore of the River of Death' by Kate Elliott features a girl who does not want to accept her clan's gender role for her. I think a lot of women can relate to that one. My favorite was Robin Hobb's 'Words like Coins' which examines how mispoken words can have unexpected consequences. Finally number two favorite was 'From Russia with Love' by CE Murphy, mainly because Baba Yaga AND vampires... It has to be interesting and exciting. LOL

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Hmmm… some strange short stories… Zen and the Art of Vampirims by Kelley Armstrong (one of my favorite paranormal authors) Zoe, only vampire in Canadian town… she is gay, she is 300 years old, she is powerful, though she is thought of as weak as she refuses to fight other vampires & does not kill humans… she has an eclectic group of =supernatural friends, including a witch who needs to eat flesh, so she cuts a piece off her own arm daily to feed her – her ‘meat’ grows back afterall… Two vampires f Hmmm… some strange short stories… Zen and the Art of Vampirims by Kelley Armstrong (one of my favorite paranormal authors) Zoe, only vampire in Canadian town… she is gay, she is 300 years old, she is powerful, though she is thought of as weak as she refuses to fight other vampires & does not kill humans… she has an eclectic group of =supernatural friends, including a witch who needs to eat flesh, so she cuts a piece off her own arm daily to feed her – her ‘meat’ grows back afterall… Two vampires from New Orleans show up and want her town, and want her to leave… she says yes, offers to take them on a tour and introduce them around… she gets them to pay her bar tab, plus $1000… introduces them to her friends – including the flesh eating witch… and they leave, figuring it just isn’t worth it… she has her town back without violence. Riding the Shore of the River of Death Kate Elliott Strange story of Indians… of tribal chiefs and shamans… of a woman, daughter of the chief, promised to the chief of another tribe – who is ‘dressed’ with griffin feathers – very powerful, where she would be one of many wives (though he promises she will be his first wife), who secretly trained with her cousin, a shaman by genes, who must prove himself to be a man (by killing an ‘enemy’ and bringing back his/her head to the shaman)… and she plans on proving herself a man & a warrior so she would not have to leave her tribe and marry to become a 2nd class citizen… but her cousin is injured (ax wound to the belly) – and he takes the head…. But must return to the tribe to be named a man in the afterlife… she takes him, dragging him on branches behind the horse… but they are waylaid by a witch & her companion, who tie them up and heal the shaman… the witch and her companion dig a trench around them (for magic), working together to dig – working amicably… her betrothal comes – not just to rescue her but because he found a trader of the griffin feathers which apparently the witch wants, and he wants to kill the witch for wanting the sacred feathers… she helps the witch, garnering her promise to take her from this area… and they go 2 weeks into the future – and she wants to stay with the witch, where perhaps she can find a man who will treat her as his equal… Hmmmm From Russia, with Love C.E. Murphy BabaYaga’s daughter – beautiful, under her mother’s thumb – her mother’s house moves on chicken feet, her mother eats people – including her lover/daughter’s father – to consume their power… and a dragon/man & vampire come to Russia – to take the local dragon’s ‘kingdom’… the local dragon is under BabaYaga’s power (from an amulet that contains the daughter’s virgin blood)… the new dragon seduces the daughter, and BabaYaga comes out when they are finished and ensnares him… and the vampire wants to free his friend… and finally goes to the daughter to ask how… and her death is needed … so he sucks her blood, including that in the amulets – thus freeing the dragons – and they leave… and BabaYaga leaves the area (very angry) thinking she lost her daughter & the dragons – but in the spring, as magic runs through her veins, she is awakened a new creature – free of her mother finally. Words Like Coins Robin Hobb A cute story of pecksies (pixies)… two women are left on their own on a farm that has suffered through drought as their husbands left to find work & money for seed… one is pregnant, one is a partially trained hedgewitch… and the pregnant one is fearful of the rats that are taking their water & grain (they will starve if the rats take too much) and of pecksies… she tells the story of pecksies – that they are bound to you if you do them a favor, that ones words to them must be like coins – well spent… and precise – for instance if you tell them to wash the dishes, you must tell them to wash the dishes until they are clean,, then dry them and stack them in the cupboard – or else they will continually wash the dishes and nothing else… and the pregnant one is sure that the pecksies killed her infant brothers – as they both died in their sleep – so her mother sent away the pecksies by telling them to go away – and since there is no away they will walk until they are dead… the hedge witch meets a pecksie who is pregnant and injured – she gives the pecksie milk, and the pecksie drinks it – binding herself to the hedgewitch… the hedgewitch wants to do the right thing – she helps the pecksie & her friends, but will not bind the others to her (giving water to the one to share with the others), but the pregnant one is fearful… the hedgewitch attempts to give the pecksie a healing talisman, but the pecksie tells her she didn’t quite do it right = the pecksie bound to her is a spell caster herself.. the pecksies help out, chasing away rats… and our hedgewitch, giving into her pregnant friend’s fear, tells the bound pecksie to not hurt the baby, and to keep it safe…when it is time for the birth, the hedgewitch casts a keep out spell to keep the small people (she did not have a name for pecksie) out of the room.. unfortunately, the spell keeps the baby in the womb… the pecksie over rules her to protect the baby – breaks the spell and aids in the baby’s birth… the next morning, as the hedgewitch sees the good done, she comes to a right understanding, and finding trust and the right words, asks the pecksie to help her develop her powers…

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    Some nice little gems.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie (jjmachshev)

    I liked three of the four stories contained in "A Fantasy Medley", edited by Yanni Kuznia and with stories by Robin Hobb, Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murphy, and Kate Elliott. What I didn't like was the hardback price for less than 150 pages of reading! Tsk, tsk. Kelley Armstrong provides "Zen and the Art of Vampirism" which was quite a darkly humorous tale of a pacifist vampire and her non-violent battle to defend her city against two interlopers. 23 pages. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" by I liked three of the four stories contained in "A Fantasy Medley", edited by Yanni Kuznia and with stories by Robin Hobb, Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murphy, and Kate Elliott. What I didn't like was the hardback price for less than 150 pages of reading! Tsk, tsk. Kelley Armstrong provides "Zen and the Art of Vampirism" which was quite a darkly humorous tale of a pacifist vampire and her non-violent battle to defend her city against two interlopers. 23 pages. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" by Kate Elliott is apparently set in her 'Crown of Stars' world. I confess that I haven't read Elliott's series and that may be why I found this story the darkest, and most disappointing. A tale of a woman who risks everything to escape an unwanted life. 39 pages. A cold and witchy tale about friendship and betrayal, "From Russia, with Love" by C.E. Murphy gives a different look at the Baba Yaga myths. 25 pages. Robin Hobb completes the foursome with "Words Like Coins". For me, the best of the bunch and a wickedly tight tale that almost reads like a current Aesop offering. Right and wrong, and influence vs reality. 34 pages. I'm not sorry I read "A Fantasy Medley". It's certainly quite different from the 'normal' offerings by the authors I'm familiar with. It is, however, darker fantasy than I'm used to reading. It's also, as I said before, irritatingly short for the cost.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    A collection of four short fantasy stories with no real connection other than being by good authors. Fast reads. 1) Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong. 9.2 of the ‘Otherworld Stories’. 5 stars. A short, but very cute story about how to take care of the new vampires coming to town. 2) Riding the Shore of the River of Death’ by Kate Elliott. 7.5 of the ‘Crown of Stars’ series. 1 star. Didn’t finish. Native American witches chopping off heads, so not my style, too strange and didn’t ca A collection of four short fantasy stories with no real connection other than being by good authors. Fast reads. 1) Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong. 9.2 of the ‘Otherworld Stories’. 5 stars. A short, but very cute story about how to take care of the new vampires coming to town. 2) Riding the Shore of the River of Death’ by Kate Elliott. 7.5 of the ‘Crown of Stars’ series. 1 star. Didn’t finish. Native American witches chopping off heads, so not my style, too strange and didn’t catch my interest. 3) From Russia, with Love’ by CE Murphy. 3 stars. I’ve heard of Baba Yaga, but never read anything about her. Story a bit confusing and strange but not too bad. 4) Words Like Coins’ by Robin Hobb. 1.5 of the ‘Realms of the Elderlings’ series. 3 stars. This is the book I checked this out since I’m reading the rest of the series and has been reviewed on its own. Please see that.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fate's Lady

    Once again I find that while I enjoyed some of the stories, not all of them were able to keep my interest. I'd recommend this volume anyway if it weren't so deuced hard to find, seeing as it was a limited run. The first one seemed so familiar that I'm almost sure I've read it before. The second took too long to say anything, and when I ended up zoning out, skipping three pages, and was able to pick up the story without feeling like I missed anything, I gave up. The third was told in fairy/folk t Once again I find that while I enjoyed some of the stories, not all of them were able to keep my interest. I'd recommend this volume anyway if it weren't so deuced hard to find, seeing as it was a limited run. The first one seemed so familiar that I'm almost sure I've read it before. The second took too long to say anything, and when I ended up zoning out, skipping three pages, and was able to pick up the story without feeling like I missed anything, I gave up. The third was told in fairy/folk tale style, and I think you kind of have to be in a particular mood for that to work. It was a decent enough story once I recalibrated. And last, the story by Hobb was also a bit of a slow starter but I found it interesting once it got going. It was sort of a message piece, though, and it was fairly predictable.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell

    A read this small collection mostly because of the Robin Hobb Elderling story in it. But really other than being near Buck and having hedge witches - it didn't seem an authentic part of the series. The pecksies in particular don't show up anywhere else. Still. The first story by Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong was a fine little urban fantasy story. A bit violent. But interesting and readable. The next two Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott and From Russia With A read this small collection mostly because of the Robin Hobb Elderling story in it. But really other than being near Buck and having hedge witches - it didn't seem an authentic part of the series. The pecksies in particular don't show up anywhere else. Still. The first story by Zen and the Art of Vampirism by Kelley Armstrong was a fine little urban fantasy story. A bit violent. But interesting and readable. The next two Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott and From Russia With Love by C E Murphy, I didn't care for much. I found neither very readable. They were interesting but not compelling. And really weren't worth deciphering. Robin Hobb's Words Like Coins was a pleasant little snippet of a story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sirbooksage

    A Fantasy Medley is a book of 4 short stories written by 4 female authors, each featuring a female protagonist. It's also edited by Yanni Kuznia. This is my first time reading anything by Kelley Armstrong, C. E. Murphy, and Robin Hobb. And, as a big fan of Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars epic fantasy series, I was delighted by her short story: Riding the Shore of the River of Death, set in that world. I enjoyed reading this, intrigued enough by each of the 3 authors I've never read before, to seek A Fantasy Medley is a book of 4 short stories written by 4 female authors, each featuring a female protagonist. It's also edited by Yanni Kuznia. This is my first time reading anything by Kelley Armstrong, C. E. Murphy, and Robin Hobb. And, as a big fan of Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars epic fantasy series, I was delighted by her short story: Riding the Shore of the River of Death, set in that world. I enjoyed reading this, intrigued enough by each of the 3 authors I've never read before, to seek out more of their works.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This was an interesting collection of stories by authors that I've heard many great things about but have yet to read. Each story can be read as a standalone and gives just enough of a hint about the worlds of each story to draw you in. I'm looking forward to diving right into each of the worlds and discovering who may become new favorites!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    The Kelly Armstrong story was fantastic. The others, not so much

  12. 4 out of 5

    TinaMarie

    Zen and the Art of Vampirism: Vampires try to talk over Zoe's territory and she finds a non-violent way to change their minds.

  13. 4 out of 5

    roopa

    12/2019: Words Like Coins (Realm of the Elderlings) - Robin Hobb

  14. 4 out of 5

    K. Axel

    I admit it... I ONLY bought this small collection of four fantasy stories because of Robin Hobb's new tale set in the Farseer setting. I had no intention of reading the others, but well... I might as well. This is a review-in-progress and I'll try to review these stories as I read them. Zen and the Art of Vampirism (by Kelley Armstrong) tells of Zoe Takano, a vampire (and cat burglar) in Toronto. She finds herself in the hands of old friends who wants to take over HER city. Well, it might not be s I admit it... I ONLY bought this small collection of four fantasy stories because of Robin Hobb's new tale set in the Farseer setting. I had no intention of reading the others, but well... I might as well. This is a review-in-progress and I'll try to review these stories as I read them. Zen and the Art of Vampirism (by Kelley Armstrong) tells of Zoe Takano, a vampire (and cat burglar) in Toronto. She finds herself in the hands of old friends who wants to take over HER city. Well, it might not be so desirable to them... afterall. I had no expectations going into this story, as I have never read anything of Kelley Armstrong's and have no relationship with vampire books. It may well be for these very reasons that I found myself liking this small story. It is very easy to read and has some great references. (3 stars) Riding the Shore of the River of Death (by Kate Elliott) is the story about a woman growing up in a mans world... wanting to become one of the men. Apparently, Kate Elliott has written other books in this setting and therefore doesn't tell the reader a lot about the world (or the characters for that matter). This is the story's big weakness. (1 star) From Russia, with Love (by C.E. Murphy) is a modern story about Baba Yaga, her daughter and those who hunt for them. It is easy to read, but I am not at all sold on the idea. (1.5 stars) Words Like Coins (by Robin Hobb) tells the story of Mirrifen the Hedge-Witch, who isn't a true hedge-witch at all (didn't complete her apprenticeship). She encounters a pecksie (a sort of fey creature) and then something happens... It's not a big epic story (like the other stories in this setting), but it is a small thoughtful story that makes you wonder about our own world. Also, if you want to know more about the Farseer realm, then don't buy this book, because there is just one reference to that realm, one of the gods (Eda) is mentioned once, but aside from that, this story could just as easily have been set in a different setting, in fact, it should have. (3 stars)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    I really enjoyed Robin Hobbs short story in this short story collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Osterman

    What a great group of authors to come together in one book. Two stories of high fantasy and two urban fantasy authors weave their tales in this short little appetizer of a book. Robin Hobb's "Words Like Coins" was the strongest story of the 4 - probably why it was last in the book. The author did a fantastic job of setting the mood of confusion and anxiety. This is the first I have read of Robin Hobb, though I have heard great reviews - I definitely will read more, based on this story. C.E. Murph What a great group of authors to come together in one book. Two stories of high fantasy and two urban fantasy authors weave their tales in this short little appetizer of a book. Robin Hobb's "Words Like Coins" was the strongest story of the 4 - probably why it was last in the book. The author did a fantastic job of setting the mood of confusion and anxiety. This is the first I have read of Robin Hobb, though I have heard great reviews - I definitely will read more, based on this story. C.E. Murphy's "From Russia with Love" re-introduces Daisani and Janx from her Negotiator series and pits them against the great Baba Yaga and her daughter. Kelley Armstrong's "Zen and the Art of Vampirism" is true KA style with a strong female lead, and a dash of humor to temper the macabre. Last but not least is Kate Elliot's "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" - the longest story in the book. I think I would have ranked this story higher if I had read more of her other works and was more familiar with her world. Still, an engrossing read. All in all, the only thing keeping me from rating this 5 stars is the fact that it is so short!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adam Shaeffer

    This was an interesting and enjoyable collection of novellas (novelettes?) by some of fantasy's leading women. "Zen and the Art of Vampirism" : Of the four stories, I felt this one was the weakest. It seemed like Armstrong had a larger story in mind, but had to trim lots of it to make it fit in this collection. 3 stars. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" : It was so good to revisit Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars setting. I liked the placement of this story after even Crown of Stars' Epilogue. This was an interesting and enjoyable collection of novellas (novelettes?) by some of fantasy's leading women. "Zen and the Art of Vampirism" : Of the four stories, I felt this one was the weakest. It seemed like Armstrong had a larger story in mind, but had to trim lots of it to make it fit in this collection. 3 stars. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" : It was so good to revisit Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars setting. I liked the placement of this story after even Crown of Stars' Epilogue. It was great to have reference to the characters we met in the series, but not actually have them appear. 4 stars. "From Russia, with Love" : I think this story qualifies as my first foray into the more romantic side of urban fantasy. Murphy gave us intriguing characters, which is saying something given the limited space, and I'd definitely be on board to read more of Janx's exploits in the world. 4.5 stars. "Words Like Coins" : I see now why Robin Hobb has such a following. This was a great story. I was impressed to see so much believable character growth in a span of 34 pages. I especially enjoyed the _Wee Free Men_ feel to the pecksies. 5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I enjoyed three of the stories very much. I hate the title of the anthology, a strong response for a title, but there it is. Reminds me of "garden medley" on restaurant menus. I'm afraid it will turn people off and prevent them from reading the anthology. However, I'm sure it is hard to think of anthology titles. Kelly Armstrong's clever vampire and her friends won my admiration and made me laugh. I'd like to read more tales about her. Kate Elliot's tale of Kareka (Karaka?) was unusual to me, inte I enjoyed three of the stories very much. I hate the title of the anthology, a strong response for a title, but there it is. Reminds me of "garden medley" on restaurant menus. I'm afraid it will turn people off and prevent them from reading the anthology. However, I'm sure it is hard to think of anthology titles. Kelly Armstrong's clever vampire and her friends won my admiration and made me laugh. I'd like to read more tales about her. Kate Elliot's tale of Kareka (Karaka?) was unusual to me, interesting, and surprising. I enjoyed Kareka's cleverness and choices. I was pleased that it had a Native American twist. Hobb's tale of pecksies and people was also unusual to me. It kept me on the edge, not knowing what to expect, a great compliment to any work of art. It was a bit scary and suspenseful while also fun and original. Murphy's Baba Yaga tale did not appeal to me. You should try it out, however. I know none of the Baba Yaga tales and so had no reference point. It felt unfinished and pointless to me. I recommend the book in spite of the silly title. You can see if your library has it if you don't want to buy it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James Aschbacher

    "Zen And The Art Of Vampirism" by Kelley Armstrong leads off this book with a quirky yet fun take on a mobster controlled town - however in this case the word mobster is replaced by the word monster. A refreshening aperitif. Then comes "Riding The Shore Of The River Of Death" by Kate Elliott, which I thought was the weakest story of the four. A lot of violence with an ending that left you hanging (no, not literally) - like it was the first chapter of a book and you wanted to know what happens ne "Zen And The Art Of Vampirism" by Kelley Armstrong leads off this book with a quirky yet fun take on a mobster controlled town - however in this case the word mobster is replaced by the word monster. A refreshening aperitif. Then comes "Riding The Shore Of The River Of Death" by Kate Elliott, which I thought was the weakest story of the four. A lot of violence with an ending that left you hanging (no, not literally) - like it was the first chapter of a book and you wanted to know what happens next. Only, the story is over. Very unsatisfying. The 3rd story, "From Russia, With Love" by C.E. Murphy was a nice change of pace with lots of wit and witchcraft. A solid good read. But my favorite story was the last one, "Words Like Coins" by Robin Hobb. Now this woman can write! I was totally sucked into her storytelling and couldn't get enough of the "perksies" - pixie-like creatures that are at the heart of the story. This little gem wants me to read more of Robin Hobb's work - loved it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Penny Ramirez

    This was a very short collection - 4 stories! Two of my favorite authors, Kelley Armstrong and Robin Hobb, and two I wasn't as familiar with. I read one of the other authors' stories - C.E. Murphy - but the 4th was set in a universe I haven't read, and I wasn't up to yet another world at this point..... Armstrong's story was set in her Women of the Otherworld series, and featured a vampire, Zoe Tanaka. Zoe appeared as a side character in one of the full-length novels, and it was nice to have some This was a very short collection - 4 stories! Two of my favorite authors, Kelley Armstrong and Robin Hobb, and two I wasn't as familiar with. I read one of the other authors' stories - C.E. Murphy - but the 4th was set in a universe I haven't read, and I wasn't up to yet another world at this point..... Armstrong's story was set in her Women of the Otherworld series, and featured a vampire, Zoe Tanaka. Zoe appeared as a side character in one of the full-length novels, and it was nice to have some backstory on her character. Good twist! Robin Hobb's story was a good fantasy about folk beliefs - "pecksies" - which I interpreted as "pixies". She has such solid storytelling skills, it's always a pleasure to read her work. The Murphy story was interesting as well - witches, vampires, and dragons, oh my! I may have to look for more of her work!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    Four short stories by very different fantasy authors. I read the collection because the first story is by Kelley Armstrong, the author of the Women of the Otherworld series. I really liked this story and thought it was a neat addition to her Otherworld novels. The three other stories, however, were harder to like. I believe all the stories fit into the authors' other works, which can feel strange if you haven't read anything set in that world before - I hadn't read anything by any of these author Four short stories by very different fantasy authors. I read the collection because the first story is by Kelley Armstrong, the author of the Women of the Otherworld series. I really liked this story and thought it was a neat addition to her Otherworld novels. The three other stories, however, were harder to like. I believe all the stories fit into the authors' other works, which can feel strange if you haven't read anything set in that world before - I hadn't read anything by any of these authors. The second story was very confusing and felt like maybe it was a prequel to one of her novels. The story with Baba Yaga could stand alone, and the fourth story with the pecksies also felt like it could stand alone. Overall, it's a book I would get from the library or the used book store if I knew and liked one of the authors' writings. Not really worth buying just to have.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    I like short story collections. They don't require the same commitment as a book, I discover new authors and the stories are usually wonderful. This is a great collection - very small, with only four stories, but I enjoyed them all. My favorite is Zen and the Art of Vampirism. I am not a vampire fan, generally, but I do enjoy the 'how they live in this world' themes, which are usually lost within the erotic angst of most stories. This tale provides a small glimpse into the challenges of being a I like short story collections. They don't require the same commitment as a book, I discover new authors and the stories are usually wonderful. This is a great collection - very small, with only four stories, but I enjoyed them all. My favorite is Zen and the Art of Vampirism. I am not a vampire fan, generally, but I do enjoy the 'how they live in this world' themes, which are usually lost within the erotic angst of most stories. This tale provides a small glimpse into the challenges of being a vampire in our world. The author adds a few twists to the usual myths - quite nice. Interesting that so many vampires would find Canada a good place to live. I also liked Words Like Coins very much. The complex ideas are well woven into the story - there to be noticed if you wish, making the story richer but not preachy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Roswita

    Four charming fantasies by four talented writers. Kelley Armstrong's Zen and the Art of Vampirism is a fun story about Zoe, the Toronto-based vampire she introduced in Broken. Zoe is Toronto's only vampire. She uses brain over brawn to defend her territory. Kate Elliot's Riding the Shore of the River of Death is about a young girl's struggle against the expectations of her family and clan. C.E. Murphy's From Russia, with Love is a Baba Yaga tale with a twist—a dragon and a vampire, and Robin Hob Four charming fantasies by four talented writers. Kelley Armstrong's Zen and the Art of Vampirism is a fun story about Zoe, the Toronto-based vampire she introduced in Broken. Zoe is Toronto's only vampire. She uses brain over brawn to defend her territory. Kate Elliot's Riding the Shore of the River of Death is about a young girl's struggle against the expectations of her family and clan. C.E. Murphy's From Russia, with Love is a Baba Yaga tale with a twist—a dragon and a vampire, and Robin Hobb's Words Like Coins teaches a life lesson to a young farmer's wife who has just enough education to be dangerous. This collection is a wonderful addition to any library. I highly recommend it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Ryan

    I'm a bit torn on this one. I LOVED the first story by Kelley Armstrong and I also really liked the last one by Robin Hobb. However, the 2 other stories seemed boring and odd to me and unfortunately took up half the book. I gave this 4 stars since I really liked those stories but I'd probably only give the other stories about 2 stars. They just seemed rambling and strange and didn't make tons of sense. All of the stories were somewhat darker fantasy, which was interesting. I was impressed the au I'm a bit torn on this one. I LOVED the first story by Kelley Armstrong and I also really liked the last one by Robin Hobb. However, the 2 other stories seemed boring and odd to me and unfortunately took up half the book. I gave this 4 stars since I really liked those stories but I'd probably only give the other stories about 2 stars. They just seemed rambling and strange and didn't make tons of sense. All of the stories were somewhat darker fantasy, which was interesting. I was impressed the authors could tell their story in 20-40 pages. I wouldn't mind seeing more collections like this.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Only read Kelley Armstrong's short story "Zen and the Art of Vamprism" about Zoe Takano. A nice little tale about a couple of vamps trying to take over timid Zoe's territory - Toronto - and her plan to get rid of them in a peaceful manner. Interspersed with the story of Zoe's transformation into a vampire. Wish the story were longer. Only read Kelley Armstrong's short story "Zen and the Art of Vamprism" about Zoe Takano. A nice little tale about a couple of vamps trying to take over timid Zoe's territory - Toronto - and her plan to get rid of them in a peaceful manner. Interspersed with the story of Zoe's transformation into a vampire. Wish the story were longer.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Briggs

    Okay, the thing about anthologies is that they are such a toss up. You can have fabulous stories beside awful stories beside mediocre stories. Three of the four stories in this book were worth it. All four contained strong female narrators, all of whom became stronger over the course of the story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    I only read Armstrong's story. It was entertaining, but I thought it would tie in somewhat. It was rather disturbing how she "fed" her friend/necromancer. It was very short. It was only 32 pages to begin with and the typeface and spacing are huge. Maybe a 15 minute read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Tempted By Books

    I like any story that puts Hans in his place. This is the story of how "Hans" tries to move into Toronto and take over as the Vampire leader of that city. It was short, a little icky and a whole lot of "YES!" Very short, not really huge on the overall plot line of the story but still entertaining.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Metagion

    I LOVED this book! I thought it was very charming and the tales were very sweet (and short)! I wish it had been a LITTLE longer...say, 15 stories instead of (five, I believe)? Great read, though...well worth it. :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    You can't go wrong with short stories by these authors. I loved it.

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