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A Fantasy Medley 3

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In “Goddess at the Crossroads,” Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O’Sullivan, revealing how one night’s dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s witches in the Scottish play. With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spiri In “Goddess at the Crossroads,” Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O’Sullivan, revealing how one night’s dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s witches in the Scottish play. With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she, her five-foot-long salamander familiar Sparky, and Hades’ Charon pursue a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge through the city’s festival in his dubious honor. “The Death of Aiguillon” finds Aliette de Bodard exploring an episode sixty years prior to the start of her latest novel, The House of Shattered Wings, in which the survivors of an ongoing magical conflict in Paris eke out a grim existence, and one woman’s wish for a better life is granted at a terrible price. And in “One Hundred Ablutions,” Jacqueline Carey, author of the much-beloved Kushiel’s Legacy series, tells the tale of Dala—a young woman chosen by her people’s overlords to be an exalted slave among slaves—and of the twining in her life of ritual, rebellion, and redemption.


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In “Goddess at the Crossroads,” Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O’Sullivan, revealing how one night’s dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s witches in the Scottish play. With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spiri In “Goddess at the Crossroads,” Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O’Sullivan, revealing how one night’s dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s witches in the Scottish play. With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she, her five-foot-long salamander familiar Sparky, and Hades’ Charon pursue a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge through the city’s festival in his dubious honor. “The Death of Aiguillon” finds Aliette de Bodard exploring an episode sixty years prior to the start of her latest novel, The House of Shattered Wings, in which the survivors of an ongoing magical conflict in Paris eke out a grim existence, and one woman’s wish for a better life is granted at a terrible price. And in “One Hundred Ablutions,” Jacqueline Carey, author of the much-beloved Kushiel’s Legacy series, tells the tale of Dala—a young woman chosen by her people’s overlords to be an exalted slave among slaves—and of the twining in her life of ritual, rebellion, and redemption.

30 review for A Fantasy Medley 3

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    I have to admit that the biggest reason why I decided to read A Fantasy Medley 3 was because it contains another Kevin Hearne Iron Druid story. Not only did Hearne deliver an exceptionally good visit with Atticus, Oberon and Granuaile, but this contained three other well written and entertaining short stories. A surprisingly good collection of modern fantasy prose. Hearne’s “Goddess at the Crossroads” proves again what a versatile and seemingly endless vehicle for good fantasy is his Iron Druid se I have to admit that the biggest reason why I decided to read A Fantasy Medley 3 was because it contains another Kevin Hearne Iron Druid story. Not only did Hearne deliver an exceptionally good visit with Atticus, Oberon and Granuaile, but this contained three other well written and entertaining short stories. A surprisingly good collection of modern fantasy prose. Hearne’s “Goddess at the Crossroads” proves again what a versatile and seemingly endless vehicle for good fantasy is his Iron Druid series. Similar to his earlier short story The Chapel Perilous, Hearne has the two thousand year old Druid narrate a tale told from his long and adventurous life. This one features William Shakespeare! What inspired the Bard to write Macbeth? Atticus recounts a very interesting encounter with three witches and Hecate. “Ashes,” is a short work by Laura Bickle and features her character Anya Kalinczyk, a very rare medium called a Lantern. Set in Detroit, this fast moving and vividly descriptive story reminded me of Neil Gaiman or China Mieville. Blending historic and mythic elements, Bickle tales of a cryptic chase of a fire elemental. “The Death of Aiguillon” by Aliette de Bodard describes a magical, post apocalyptic Paris where great houses vie for power amidst the ruins. Bodard illustrates a world where fallen angels and pre-mythic elementals control what’s left of humanity. Vivid and unearthly, Bodard’s tight prose is reminiscent of Catherynne M. Valente and tells a powerful urban fantasy. “One Hundred Ablutions,” is a short work by Jacqueline Carey. I have not previously read anything by Carey, but her writing is hypnotic and sensual. With language and setting that is evocative of a Muslim story, this is actually an alien contact story that is breathtaking, with a narrative that builds to a powerful conclusion. Of a strong anthology, this was my favorite. A very, very good collection.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    *** “Goddess at the Crossroads” - Kevin Hearne This is a short story featuring the long-lived Druid Atticus, of Hearne's popular Iron Druid series. I've only read the first installment of that saga, which I believe is now up to eight volumes, but this story seemed very much in keeping with the tone I expected. Here, Atticus reminisces, telling his friend about the time he saved Shakespeare's life - and in the process, revealing the real-life artistic inspiration for Macbeth's infamous witches. Si *** “Goddess at the Crossroads” - Kevin Hearne This is a short story featuring the long-lived Druid Atticus, of Hearne's popular Iron Druid series. I've only read the first installment of that saga, which I believe is now up to eight volumes, but this story seemed very much in keeping with the tone I expected. Here, Atticus reminisces, telling his friend about the time he saved Shakespeare's life - and in the process, revealing the real-life artistic inspiration for Macbeth's infamous witches. Silly fun. *** “Ashes” - Laura Bickle Detroit paranormal investigator/arson specialist Anya and her 'familiar' salamander pursue a firebug imp known as the Nain Rouge, during a possibly ill-advised event celebrating the supernatural being. (http://marchedunainrouge.com/) Pleasant enough, but not terribly memorable, the short story clearly fits in with a larger series. *** “The Death of Aiguillon” - Aliette de Bodard Set in the same world as her recent 'House of Shattered Wings.' The writing is beautiful, and I love the concept: a decaying, gothic Paris full of fallen angels and ancient elementals. However, the novel was not without its flaws, and neither is this story, although I liked it better. The House of Aiguillon is the latest to fall in the ongoing wars between the angels. One human servant girl escapes with her life - and assists an angel, a being she perceives as ineffable and infinitely greater than herself, to escape as well. He leaves her declaring himself in her debt... The problem for me is that the crux of the tale hangs on a decision - and the way it's written, the decision the character makes is out-of-the-blue and inexplicable. I just didn't buy that, based on the way her psyche was presented, that she would've made the decision she did. (And it's a choice that really requires some convincing explanation.) ***** “One Hundred Ablutions” - Jacqueline Carey Centuries ago, directed by their god, the Shaladan left the desert and invaded a fertile valley, in the process liberating the native Keren people from their oppressors, the Jagan. Now, select Keren girls are selected for the great honor of becoming a handmaiden to the Shaladan's god. At least, that's how the Shaladan perceive their history. If you ask the Keren, you might get a very different answer regarding who is a liberator, who an oppressor, and what constitutes 'an honor.' As a small girl, Dala envied the handmaidens and their seeming life of luxury - but by the time she's chosen to become one she has no interest in a restricted life of enforced celibacy and devotion to a god in whom she does not believe. Beautiful and powerful, this story masterfully offers insight into the dynamics of invasion and class tensions - and also into some of the universals of humanity: the desire for freedom, the hunger for sex; and also the capability for empathy, obligation and guilt. _____ March 2016: Nominated for Hugo. (Unfortunately, I know the story's not going to get the recognition it really does deserve, because this was a low-profile book, released late in the year, meaning very few nominators have read it. It's a shame.) Many thanks to NetGalley and Subterranean for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinion is solely my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    This slim volume contains 4 short stories. I was only familiar with one author (Kevin Hearne) who happens to be the only male author of the four. His story, Goddess at the Crossroads is a fun little junket back in time with Atticus O’Sullivan telling a story of his adventures with William Shakespeare and relating to MacBeth. Very fun and lighthearted. The other three stories are all very entertaining as well, with Jacqueline Carey’s offering, One Hundred Ablutions, being the best of the four for This slim volume contains 4 short stories. I was only familiar with one author (Kevin Hearne) who happens to be the only male author of the four. His story, Goddess at the Crossroads is a fun little junket back in time with Atticus O’Sullivan telling a story of his adventures with William Shakespeare and relating to MacBeth. Very fun and lighthearted. The other three stories are all very entertaining as well, with Jacqueline Carey’s offering, One Hundred Ablutions, being the best of the four for me. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work and I know she’s coming up in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project. Of the four stories, this one to my mind examines the weightiest issues, the relationship between conqueror and conquered. At some point, I would like to read Laura Bickles’ full length works, but I found myself confused by Aliette de Bodard’s magical Paris, and unsure if I want to know more. With 3 out of 4 stories at 4 stars and one at 3 stars, I am going with a 4 star rating for the whole volume. Books of short stories are difficult to rate!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    Full review at my Blog. Three of the four stories in this anthology are part of series. It was interesting to compare authors' choices how much introduction new readers would need - and thus duplicating well known elements from other stories in the series, which would be boring for readers who know the series already. I found that I couldn't stand Hearne's approach - the story was too short, there weren't enough new elements and in general too much repetition for my taste. The other authors had a Full review at my Blog. Three of the four stories in this anthology are part of series. It was interesting to compare authors' choices how much introduction new readers would need - and thus duplicating well known elements from other stories in the series, which would be boring for readers who know the series already. I found that I couldn't stand Hearne's approach - the story was too short, there weren't enough new elements and in general too much repetition for my taste. The other authors had a well-balanced exposition, but the best was the standalone story from Carey. A very nice mix of stories that I'd like to recommend. I guess, fans of one of those series might want to get the anthology alone for the respective entries. But it works also very well for readers who don't want to invest in new series. ★1/2 • Goddess at the Crossroads • short story by Kevin Hearne from the Iron Druid Chronicles • full review at my blog ★★★ • Ashes • 2015 • short story by Laura Bickle from Embers setting • full review at my blog ★★★★ • The Death of Aiguillon • novelette by Aliette de Bodard • a magically ruined city of Paris with a war between the Houses of Fallen • review ★★★★ • One Hundred Ablutions • novelette by Jacqueline Carey • a waterbearing slave's life among aliens • review

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Aight, even though I only gave it 3.5 stars in total, I immensely enjoyed reading Rogues last year. I always thought I wasn't into short stories, yet not only Rogues but also this Fantasy Medley proved otherwise. This short story collection contains four stories by four different writers. The fact that it's called a medley made me think it were four similar stories, but none of that was true. Each story is quite different from the others, which was something I really enjoyed. I'm going to rate ea Aight, even though I only gave it 3.5 stars in total, I immensely enjoyed reading Rogues last year. I always thought I wasn't into short stories, yet not only Rogues but also this Fantasy Medley proved otherwise. This short story collection contains four stories by four different writers. The fact that it's called a medley made me think it were four similar stories, but none of that was true. Each story is quite different from the others, which was something I really enjoyed. I'm going to rate each story separately: "Goddess at the Crossroads"  by Kevin Hearne (3 stars) A story based around the protagonist of the Iron Druid Chronicles: a male druid called Atticus. It starts off with him sitting by a campfire with his apprentice. He's telling her a story of how, in 1604, he disguised himself as the French Marquis de Crèvecoeur so he could get near to Shakespeare. After he succeeded in this, he and Shakespeare went on a witch hunt together in the middle of the night and here we are told of how Shakespeare used this experience for writing about Hecate and the three other witches in his 'MacBeth'. I have to shamefully admit that I'm quite ignorant when it comes to Shakespeare. I have a few books of him on my shelves but never came to reading them. So when someone mentions Shakespeare, I can only think of the movie Shakespeare in Love or conjure up an image of Leonardo DiCaprio in his early years. But I'm digressing...My point was that I've only heard of MacBeth, but don't know what it actually entails, which I guess kinda sucks when it comes to fully appreciating this story. However, I liked it anyways. Sentences like: " "You don't read Hamlet and think, "This man could not avoid stepping in shit every day of his life." " are priceless to me. It didn't really strike my definition of Fantasy, but there was paranormal stuff, gory stuff, humour and druid powers. Healing charms? Awesome! Makes me interested in reading the Iron Druid Chronicles for sure. "Ashes"  by Laura Bickle (3 stars) A very different story involving Anya, an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department who also happens to be a powerful spirit medium who can literally devour spirits! She has a salamander familiar named Sparky, who can track down spirits and is invisible to the regular human eye. When Detroit is celebrating yet another year of banishing the evil Nain Rouge (Wikipedia: "In 2010, a community-based movement began a tradition of a costumed community parade in the Midtown/Cass Corridor neighborhood. Called the Marche du Nain Rouge. At the conclusion of the parade, an effigy of the imp was destroyed, thus banishing the evil spirit from the city for another year. Each year, parade participants and spectators are encouraged to wear costumes so that when the Nain Rouge next returns, he will not recognize the persons who once again ousted him from the city limits and thus will not be able to seek personal vengeance."), Anya spots a gnome running through the streets while setting things on fire with his glowing hands. It soon turns out she's pursuing the ACTUAL Nain Rouge, who's now a destructive fire elemental. Along the pursuit, she meets up with Charon, a paranormal something guy who's job is to bring bad spirits and demons to Hell. While I enjoyed this story in general, there were some aspects that threw me off a little. Like a few revelations that were made which were quite a big of a deal, but a bit out of proportion for a short story. While I'm sure the fans of the Anya Kalinczyk-series, where this story is set in, will appreciate these facts, new readers like me are just bound to be a tat bit baffled by it. It's like showing someone who's never heard of  Star Wars the few seconds where Darth Vader tells Luke he's his father. It's seemingly a very important piece of information, but all you can do is shrug then, right? Reasons I did enjoy this story is that it's fast-paced and fun and reminded me of this at one point: Damn, I never noticed she was this busty before (Anya is nothing like April O'Neil, but badass chick running through a sewer mkay.) The ending was pretty cool as well and a giant invisible pet salamander just screams awesomeness. "The Death of Aiguillon"  by Aliette de Bodard (4 stars) This story takes place sixty years prior to the start of the Dominion of the Fallen-series. The first book came out in August 2015 and I'm very curious about it after reading 'The Death of Aiguillon'. It's a dystopian story set in a Paris which is suffering from a big war, a magical war between the Houses spread out over the city. Houses are like factions, living in mansions, each mansion occupied with a rich, magical 'family'. Huyen, a kitchen maid at the House of Aiguillon has been able to escape while soldiers murdered pretty much the rest of her House...except for a Fallen called Mandias, a bit of a dark angel you might say. Houseless people now live a grim life, having to live in camps and kill and scavenge things just to survive. It's not easy to describe what this story is about without giving too much away. All I can say is that this is some fantastic world building with such a grim atmosphere, you can't help but being dragged into it. "One Hundred Ablutions" by Jacqueline Carey (4 stars) This is the only story which isn't part of a series and also the only story which is set in a different world than the one we live in. It tells the tale of Dala, a young woman chosen by her people’s overlords, the Shaladan, to be an exalted slave among slaves. This was a very interesting and enjoyable story. At first, I assumed all the characters were human, but it turned out they are part of completely different races. The author lets you discover these things bit by bit, which is great for building up the plot. I loved the world setting. It reads a bit like it's taking place in some Arabic country, with a desert close by and the Shaladan all having Arabic names. The characters were well defined, especially for a short story, and everything just adds up in the end. There are no cliffhangers, open endings or whatnot; just a finished story. That doesn't mean there isn't a possibility of delving deeper into this world. I know I, for one, would love to read more about it! One of the races is the Jagan, which reminded me a lot of the Khajiit from the Elder Scrolls video game series. That certainly adds another factor of coolness to the story. All in all, I don't know why this book has such low ratings on Goodreads. I certainly liked it and if you're into Fantasy or just paranormal stories, I would definitely recommend reading it when you get the chance. It might even get you to love short stories as much as I do! I'm giving it 3.5 stars in total. Edit: I do have to say I think the cover is a bit shite, but that might just be me. An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Glaiza

    Ahhh I finished 'The Death of Aigullion' and need 'The House of Binding Thorns' to find out what happens to Huyen. Ngoc Bich, the Dragon Empress is everything. I just love how this prequel focused on the outsiders and the dragon empress holding their own ground among the fallen angel houses in Paris. I picked up this short anthology for the above story but also enjoyed the playful take on Shakespeare's witches in 'Goddess at the crossroads' by Kevin Hearne.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I requested A Fantasy Medley from Netgalley pretty much because of Kevin Hearne. Then Laura Bickle rang a bell as the author of The Hallowed Ones, which I liked; and then Jacqueline Carey registered as the author of Kushiel's Dart, which was not to my taste. But, all in all, I asked for it because of the ancient Irish bloke and his dog. I'm disappointed. The story – "Goddess at the Crossroad" – was not good. In brief: Atticus tells his apprentice the tale of that time he heard about this Shake I requested A Fantasy Medley from Netgalley pretty much because of Kevin Hearne. Then Laura Bickle rang a bell as the author of The Hallowed Ones, which I liked; and then Jacqueline Carey registered as the author of Kushiel's Dart, which was not to my taste. But, all in all, I asked for it because of the ancient Irish bloke and his dog. I'm disappointed. The story – "Goddess at the Crossroad" – was not good. In brief: Atticus tells his apprentice the tale of that time he heard about this Shakespeare bloke and went to England to look him up, and ended up saving his life from witches. I didn't like the tale; I didn't like the way it was told; I didn't like Atticus, Oberon, drunken Shakespeare, or the apprentice whose name I don't remember. I disliked it all so much that I had to go back to my review of Hounded to verify that I actually did like it. And … I loved the dog? Really? Okay. Not this time; without his interjections and interruptions I might feel disposed to rate this higher. Based on this story I would never continue with the series. Two stars for this one. "Ashes" by Laura Bickle is set in a very different place from The Hallowed Ones, following a pretty unique character ("Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk" – that's kind of awesome) as she chases down an arsenous elemental before it burns down the city. I liked it. I didn't love it; I was uncomfortable with the main character going about consuming others' souls; but I wouldn't turn down more adventures with Anya and her familiar Sparky. Three and a half stars. “The Death of Aiguillon” by Aliette de Bodard reminded me of Paula Volsky's Illusion, taking place in the ruins of Paris – of a Paris. It's grim and beautiful, and unpredictable, both gritty and poetic. Impressive. Four and a half stars. Kushiel's Dart was not my cup of tea, but I never argued with the skill of the writing – and Jacqueline Carey's hard-edged lyricism was very much evident in “One Hundred Ablutions”. That was impressive. That was shatteringly impressive. A solid five stars. The gentleman was very much outclassed by the ladies in this collection – but what a weird collection of stories it is. There's no theme, no rhyme nor reason to their being together in one book except the big umbrella of "fantasy". The first two are borderline comedic, with a talking dog and Sparky the salamander and action movie violence – urban fantasy, though the city of the Hearne story was 17th century London; the second two are elegant and dark, with violence more likely to cost a civilization, or a soul – high fantasy. I suppose one could look at it as a sort of technical overview of what the genre can include. It would be more successful at that task if all four entries were of the same level. I received the collection from Netgalley for review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    A Fantasy Medley 3, edited by Yanni Kuznia, is a short anthology published in the last day of 2015 by Subterranean Press. They were kind enough to provide me with an e-arc. While I haven't seen the finished product, I don't doubt it will be as gorgeous as the rest of their publications. Subterranean tends to pay at least as much attention to the design of their books as it does to the content. This anthology contains four original pieces of short fiction. They are all probably at the low end of A Fantasy Medley 3, edited by Yanni Kuznia, is a short anthology published in the last day of 2015 by Subterranean Press. They were kind enough to provide me with an e-arc. While I haven't seen the finished product, I don't doubt it will be as gorgeous as the rest of their publications. Subterranean tends to pay at least as much attention to the design of their books as it does to the content. This anthology contains four original pieces of short fiction. They are all probably at the low end of the novella range in wordcount. Authors Kevin Hearne, Laura Bickle and Aliette de Bodard each contribute works tied to their novels. Jacqueline Carey's story is unrelated to anything she published before. As with all anthologies, I liked some stories more than others but on the whole A Fantasy Medley 3 is a good read... Full Random Comments review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    The two-star rating is an average of the four long short stories (short novellae?) gathered in this collection. "Goddess at the Crossroads," written by Kevin Hearne and part of his Iron Druid series, is a bland, forgettable, not-well-written tale about the narrator's encounter with Shakespeare and the real-life witches who inspired the Scottish play. I've seen Hearne's name before but if this story is a reflection of his writing style, I'm not going to be seeking out any more of his work. The same The two-star rating is an average of the four long short stories (short novellae?) gathered in this collection. "Goddess at the Crossroads," written by Kevin Hearne and part of his Iron Druid series, is a bland, forgettable, not-well-written tale about the narrator's encounter with Shakespeare and the real-life witches who inspired the Scottish play. I've seen Hearne's name before but if this story is a reflection of his writing style, I'm not going to be seeking out any more of his work. The same is true about the second entry, Laura Bickle's "Ashes." The writing is bland, the characters uninteresting, and there's nothing to recommend it to the reader. The last two entries save the collection. The quality of writing and the interest I took in the characters in both stories are like night and day compared to the first two tales. Aliette de Bodard's "The Death of Aiguillon" is set in the world of her novel The House of Shattered Wings but it's a standalone and the reader doesn't need to know about the Fallen or the circumstances of war-ravaged Paris to enjoy this story about a woman who realizes that the price for comfort and security is sometimes too much to pay. A similar theme pervades Jacqueline Carey's "One Hundred Ablutions." I'd be hard pressed to say which one I liked more; both are pretty good. I can't recommend purchasing this book but if you see it at the library or in a used-book store, you might consider it for the last two stories' sake.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelly at

    Review will be posted at www.books-n-kisses.com . NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 3/4 I read this one for Kevin Hearn’s Goddess at the Crossroads As with all of Kevin’s IDC stories it is so much fun to watch and learn more about Atticus’ past. It was a lot of fun to listen to Atticus tells Granuaile and Oberon his adventure with Mr. William Shakespeare. And of course it is great to hear Oberon’s take of this harrowing tell. Silly dog. As one who has listened to all of the IDC via audio (Thanks Luke Daniels) i Review will be posted at www.books-n-kisses.com . NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 3/4 I read this one for Kevin Hearn’s Goddess at the Crossroads As with all of Kevin’s IDC stories it is so much fun to watch and learn more about Atticus’ past. It was a lot of fun to listen to Atticus tells Granuaile and Oberon his adventure with Mr. William Shakespeare. And of course it is great to hear Oberon’s take of this harrowing tell. Silly dog. As one who has listened to all of the IDC via audio (Thanks Luke Daniels) it is sometimes hard to read these short stories because I miss Luke reading to me. Maybe Luke will get his hands on this story and read it to me (hint, hint Luke). I can’t wait for January 2016 for the next installment of the IDC series. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Subterranean Press in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Glennis

    This short story collection has three stories set in previously written worlds and one in a new setting. Kevin Hearne’s story is set in his Iron Druid series and has Atticus telling his apprentice the story of how he met Shakespeare. So this is a perfectly good sample for the series. I hadn’t read Laura Bickle before but after reading this story that is also set in a multi book series, it left me wanting to know more about the world and find out about the characters. The Aliette de Bodard story This short story collection has three stories set in previously written worlds and one in a new setting. Kevin Hearne’s story is set in his Iron Druid series and has Atticus telling his apprentice the story of how he met Shakespeare. So this is a perfectly good sample for the series. I hadn’t read Laura Bickle before but after reading this story that is also set in a multi book series, it left me wanting to know more about the world and find out about the characters. The Aliette de Bodard story is set as a prequel story that needs no info about the novel’s universe it is set in. The last story by Jacqueline Carey seems to be a standalone story and the world is fleshed out enough that I would like to see more in this setting to find out how the society came to be. All in all, a good collection of stories and well worth the time and money to track down and read. I already have my copy on order. Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley

  12. 5 out of 5

    gremlin

    I wanted to read the Iron Druid story, and that was decent. My favorite turned out to be "Ashes", in which Anya Kalinczyk has a significant change, which will hopefully leave her happy. That series was very dark and just sort of stopped after two books, so it was nice she got a wrap-up. The other two I didn't particularly care for.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    It was good, I hadn't read three of the authors, so it took a few pages to understand what was going on in their stories, but I enjoyed them. Nice little collection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eamonn Murphy

    A Fantasy Medley 3 contains four short stories by various authors, three of them as a lead-in, preview or reader magnet into novel series featuring the same characters. Each can be read as stand-alone so unfamiliarity with the background is not an issue. First up is ‘Goddess at the Crossroads’ by Kevin Hearne which features Atticus O’Sullivan, the hero of The Iron Druid Chronicles. Over a campfire, Atticus tells his companions about the night he met Shakespeare and how the adventure inspired Sha A Fantasy Medley 3 contains four short stories by various authors, three of them as a lead-in, preview or reader magnet into novel series featuring the same characters. Each can be read as stand-alone so unfamiliarity with the background is not an issue. First up is ‘Goddess at the Crossroads’ by Kevin Hearne which features Atticus O’Sullivan, the hero of The Iron Druid Chronicles. Over a campfire, Atticus tells his companions about the night he met Shakespeare and how the adventure inspired Shakespeare’s witches in Macbeth. Posing as a French Count, Atticus sought out Shakespeare in London at a time when the bard was working on the Scottish play and wanted to see some real witches for research. He had heard of sorcerous goings on out at Finsbury Fields so Atticus took him thither to a crossroads where three witches were summoning the Goddess Hecate. Atticus is an engaging character. The amiable and slightly buffoonish Shakespeare reminded me of David Mitchell’s portrayal in the British TV series Upstart Crow, not the author’s intent or fault as that didn’t air until 2016, a year after this book. ‘Goddess at the Crossroads’ is a smooth, entertaining comedy/drama of which Shakespeare himself would be proud. The action switches to a modern-day setting for ‘Ashes’ by Laura Bickle. Arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalineczyk, aided by her salamander familiar Sparky and Charon, the Ferryman of Hades, hunt fire elemental Nain Rouge through Detroit during the festival in his honour. This mythological mish-mash features creatures from several creeds but holds together even so. A decent adventure yarn with the bonus that it spurs one to research the history of Detroit. I didn’t know, but do now, that Pontiac was a rebellious native American and Cadillac a French explorer. God bless Wikipedia! I thought ‘The Death of Aiguillon’ by Aliette de Bodard was set in a mediaeval Paris until a motor car turned up near the end. In a magical war that engulfs the city, the House of Aiguillon has fallen and Huyen the kitchen maid finds herself out on the street, homeless and hungry. While fleeing the House, dodging looters, she saved a weakened being called Mandias, one of the Fallen. Once clear, he left her to fend for herself but promised to return. She didn’t believe him. The struggles of the desperate in a magical war-torn city are much the same as those in a real war-torn city but aid comes from different quarters. While reading this I wasn’t sure if I liked it but the ending saved the day. Fourth and last but not least is ‘One Hundred Ablutions’ by Jacqueline Carey which doesn’t appear to be part of a series. Dala is a Keren and for three centuries her people have been slaves to the Shaladan, tall creatures who came out of the desert and conquered their valley. Certain Keren maidens are selected as handmaids of Shakrath, the god worshipped by the Shaladan. This involves going back and forth to the river to fetch water for the ablutions of the title. Handmaids of Shakrath are celibate servants of an alien god with lives of unremitting toil, not allowed any contact with their own people. First-person narration worked well here and it’s refreshing to have a young female character at least partly motivated by her sexual needs, generally regarded as a male fault. In many ways, this was my favourite in the book. A Fantasy Medley 3 comprises four short stories by various authors. Three of them are set in worlds that exist in other novels but these tales are stand-alone and can be read without reference to other books. The idea is to enthral and fascinate the reader so he will go forth and buy the series. For this plan to bear fruit, the stories have to be entertaining. Success! So, if you are fantasy series fan looking for a new one to pass the hours, this sampler is an excellent way to see what’s available. Even if, like me, you are a simple short story aficionado, the book is still worth reading. It's out of print now but secondhand versions are available and the price for them indicates its popularity.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    A Fantasy Medley 3 compiles four new stories from four known fantasy writers that are set in universes and with characters that are explored in other stories, but unfortunately they some of them lack the ability to create empathy or any sense of credibility. That was my impression of the first story, Goddess at the crossroads, an adventure with too many contrived points. In the other hand, Ashes from Laura Bickel is a tiresome adventure with few interesting points but with too many overturns. Fo A Fantasy Medley 3 compiles four new stories from four known fantasy writers that are set in universes and with characters that are explored in other stories, but unfortunately they some of them lack the ability to create empathy or any sense of credibility. That was my impression of the first story, Goddess at the crossroads, an adventure with too many contrived points. In the other hand, Ashes from Laura Bickel is a tiresome adventure with few interesting points but with too many overturns. Fortunately, there are two more stories, two enjoyable stories. The Death of Alguillon presents rivalry between powerful Houses by the eyes of the week. Strong in creating empathy it’s a closed story were the events almost escape the will of the main character. Well written and giving just enough details of the reality, The Death of Alguillon is the best story from this book. One Hundred Ablutions is also a good story. The opening lines are common. I can easily recall a handful of stories with a similar beginning – a chosen girl picked for some glorious but unwanted destiny. This time the destiny of several girls is the seed for rebellion and we see them grow, slowly. At the edge of becoming a fantasy love story, the tale draws back and finishes wisely. Em português no blogue Rascunhos https://acrisalves.wordpress.com/2015... Um dos problemas de se apresentarem episódios de universos mais vastos é poderem deixar o sentimento de histórias incompletas, ou às quais falta o total enquadramento ou conclusão. Esta compilação apresenta apenas quatro histórias longas, histórias de universos que parecem não ser novos- talvez por isso, nem todos se aguentam como histórias isoladas. Goddess at the crossroads de Kevin Hearne abre o conjunto apresentando um druida com vários séculos de idade que, ouvindo parte da conhecida canção das três bruxas (Fire burn and cauldron bubble…), recorda um episódio que o arrepia. Questionado pelos amigos conta a pequena aventura onde conheceu Shakespeare e que originou a cantiga. Esta necessidade de pegar em personagens muito conhecidas e de tentar criar episódios para justificar as suas criações ou acontecimentos nem sempre funciona bem. Neste caso houve alguns factos que me pareceram forçados e demasiado coincidentes. Há muitas décadas o druida, interessado em Shakespeare, mascara-se de nobre e conhece-o numa taberna. Claro que, precisamente naquela noite, o escritor irá procurar o local onde terão sido avistadas bruxas, para dar maior vivacidade à cena de uma peça. O druida resolve acompanhá-lo. Depois de enfrentarem um pequeno grupo de bandidos encontram três poderosas bruxas que estarão, naquela noite, a conjurar um feitiço para chamar uma antiga e maléfica deusa grega. Na altura chave do feitiço os bandidos que tinham derrotado irrompem pela clareira – mesmo a tempo do sacrifício. E na medida exacta em que são necessários – 3. Existem várias histórias que aproveitam personagens ou momentos importante para os seus episódios. Muitas com sucesso. Neste caso, mesmo sendo uma aventura movimentada, apresenta os factos de forma forçada, com coincidências pouco agradáveis. Detalhes que poderiam passar despercebidos se ocorressem apenas uma vez. Ashes de Laura Bickel também nos apresenta uma personagem que, se percebe pelas falas das personagens, terá sido usada em outras aventuras. Anya será uma investigadora capaz de engolir fantasmas, e trazer, desta forma, alguma paz aos locais onde se encontram. Mas desta vez não é um fantasma que procura, antes uma criatura sobrenatural que estará relacionada com a mitologia daquela cidade, iniciando incêndios e provocando catástrofes. Depois de demasiadas reviravoltas acompanhada por um demónio, que se alongam por demasiadas páginas, encontra a criatura e descobre uma verdade sobre a sua própria natureza. A terceira história é The Death of AIguillon de Aliette de Bodard, uma história mais interessante do que as anteriores, que nos apresenta uma cidade devastada por uma guerra entre Casas. Esta rivalidade entre Casas, seja apenas política ou assemelhando-se a guerra de gangs, é um factor que está presente em quase todas as histórias de Bodard. As Casas representam famílias poderosas que protegem um conjunto de empregados da casa que, desta forma, estão socialmente acima dos comerciantes ou dos agricultores. Neste caso a história centra-se numa jovem, ajudante na cozinha, que conseguiu escapar à destruição da sua Casa. Quando retorna para recolher algo precioso, como outros tantos, percebe que um dos elementos poderosos da Casa se esconde através da magia, ferido e a precisar de ajuda. Criando empatia através de uma única personagem central, é uma história fechada, ainda que dê dicas de poderem existir outras no mesmo Universo. A magia tem um papel diferenciador na sociedade, distinguindo os nobres da casa da classe trabalhadora, mas tem um papel bastante reduzido nesta história. A última história é de Jacqueline Carey, One Hundred Ablutions, retratando um mundo com, pelo menos três, espécies humanóides. A personagem central, uma rapariga da espécie conquistada, é uma das sorteadas para seguir uma vida de quase reclusão, com a honra de servir uma família da espécie conquistadora. Com detalhes que recordam alguns relatos de escravatura, segue a semente de revolta que irá dar origem a uma reviravolta de poder. Empático e sem se perder em detalhes desnecessários, não tem um início muito original (rapidamente consigo lembrar-me de algumas histórias recentes com um começo semelhante) mas compensa em desenvolvimento. Os elementos que originam a reviravolta encontram-se ao longo da história, conseguindo ser credível sem grande previsibilidade. Existe algum romantismo, mas apenas no final da história, o que não a chega a tornar como fantasia romântica. Contendo quatro longas histórias de quatro autores diferentes. Os dois primeiros achei-os fracos. Ambas são episódios de uma série de aventuras de personagens usadas recorrentemente pelos autores. O primeiro força coincidências e factos, alienando o leitor. Já o segundo perde-se em reviravoltas inconsequentes. Talvez por se tratarem de episódios, não desenvolvem a personagem e não deixam um sentimento conclusivo. Felizmente, gostei mais das duas histórias seguintes. A terceira é uma historia empática de final pouco previsível que foge do engrandecimento fácil da personagem principal. A última história é a única que não contem referência a magia, envolvendo o leitor no conflito da personagem principal, sem demasiados detalhes ou grandes lamentos, mas levando a uma reviravolta interessante. (cópia fornecida pela editora Subterranean Press através de NetGalley).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Goddess at the Crossroads - 4 stars. Not as good as the Iron Druid novels, but still pretty good. Ashes - 3 stars. I wasn't a fan of the tone. I kept thinking it should have been told in first person POV because of the feel of the narrating. Other than that it was a pretty good story and I might try the series. The Death of Aiguillon - 2.5 stars. This story was kind of boring. I won't be looking for more by the writer. One Hundred Ablutions - 1.5 stars. This was really boring and lots of the detail Goddess at the Crossroads - 4 stars. Not as good as the Iron Druid novels, but still pretty good. Ashes - 3 stars. I wasn't a fan of the tone. I kept thinking it should have been told in first person POV because of the feel of the narrating. Other than that it was a pretty good story and I might try the series. The Death of Aiguillon - 2.5 stars. This story was kind of boring. I won't be looking for more by the writer. One Hundred Ablutions - 1.5 stars. This was really boring and lots of the details were kind of stupid. I struggled to finish the story even though it was only 30 pages.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wes

    Read as part of Beseiged. It is a decent story, a little derivative in the sense of the "oh, a long lived person has had many experiences with famous people" cliche. But that aspect notwithstanding, it is a good short story with some details on Atticus' approach to things and his role as a druid.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ben Lund

    All the stories were good, to varying degrees, they were also very short, took on and off reading of 2 days to get all the way through it. I have the authors on my radar so I am at least aware of their work, I just would have liked a bit more fleshed out stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    I just read "Goddess at the Crossroads" from this collection. It was fun!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I've never read these authors, I enjoyed all the stories.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth Doughty

    Of the three stories, I've only read the one written by Kevin Hearne so my review only reflects the one story contained in the "Medley"

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zee

    *Only read Kevin Hearne story* An interesting caper with Shakespeare. I should subtract one star for the awful narrator, but I won't do that to Hearne.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Two of the stories were excellent, one was poor due to it's lack of a strong narrative.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Last year, I splurged on a Subterranean Press mystery box, where I paid a flat price and received several books from their back catalog. It was a fun experiment, and I received a number of odd books, some from authors I knew and liked, others from authors I knew but hadn't read, and then others like A Fantasy Medley 3, where I only had a passing interest in them. I'm knocking out the novellas in my collection, though, and this one, at just 151 pages, qualified, so I spent much of a Sunday aftern Last year, I splurged on a Subterranean Press mystery box, where I paid a flat price and received several books from their back catalog. It was a fun experiment, and I received a number of odd books, some from authors I knew and liked, others from authors I knew but hadn't read, and then others like A Fantasy Medley 3, where I only had a passing interest in them. I'm knocking out the novellas in my collection, though, and this one, at just 151 pages, qualified, so I spent much of a Sunday afternoon reading it. And it was ... okay. The first story, "Goddess at the Crossroads", is a story set in the world of Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles, which means nothing to me. I know Hearne's name because he's written a book in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, but that's about it. The story is serviceable enough; it's engaging, and it's well told. It didn't wow me, and I felt a disconnect with the outside characters. It's a story told around a campfire, and the characters around said campfire are probably familiar to readers of the rest of Hearne's series, but for me, they're just a wrapping device. They seem lively enough, but they aren't particularly defined. Plus, the narrator seems to be long-lived, since the story he's telling is about how he saved Shakespeare from bandits and witches. There are more questions than answers at the end of this story, though I expect readers of the series would know the answers to those questions. Laura Bickle's "Ashes" follows, and it, too, is part of a larger series (Anya Kalinczyk), though it does a better job of showing the characters. You still get the feeling that Bickle is relying on her existing series to carry the bulk of the characterization and exposition, but the story feels more engaging because she still gives us the bare bones of her character and what she means to the world she's created. In the story, Anya is racing to catch the Red Dwarf, a fire elemental that's wreaking havoc in modern-day Detroit. She's joined by her familiar, a salamander named Sparky (oh, I forgot to mention there's a strong vein of irreverence running throughout the story), and Charon, from Hell. Again, it feels like this is a small part of a larger story that readers of the series would already know, and it feels most apparent in the ending. I feel like it should have been more emotional, and it likely is, for those who know the rest of the story. As it is, I feel like the ending is rushed and unemotional, and raises more questions that readers familiar with her other books already understand. The third story, "The Death of Aiguillon", by Aliette de Bodard, is yet another story that's part of a larger arc. In this case, the story is a prequel to The House of Shattered Wings. Again, this is a book (and author) with which I'm unfamiliar, so I'm going into an established story without any point of reference. Compared to the other two stories, this one feels the most self-contained. It's about a young woman who has survived a magical battle, and how she continues to survive in the battle-ravaged city of Paris. de Bodard spends more time on character and setting here, though she seems to sacrifice plot in their favor. The language is lyrical and provoking, but it doesn't feel as much like a story as the preceding two stories. Honestly, it feels like the prologue to a novel, which is exactly what it is. It's also intriguing enough to make me look into de Bodard's novel. "One Hundred Ablutions" is Jacqueline Carey's contribution to the collection, and is the one stand-alone story out of all four. I haven't read anything by Carey yet, but I do have Kushiel's Dart in my to-read stack, and this was the one story I was looking forward to reading. It's a short, fantasy version of The Handmaid's Tale, where lower-class citizens serve as religious handmaids for the higher-class families. It captures the helplessness and despair of Atwood's tale, but redefines the roles of the handmaids in the tale. It's a powerful, effective story, and touches on themes of independence, responsibility, and rebellion. It's the best story of the collection. As the title of the collection suggests, this is a medley of different kinds of fantasy, from urban fantasy to alternate worlds, and like most collections, it's uneven. The volume is a mixed bag, with the first two stories being the least interesting of them all, but the last two stand out, with Carey's story making it worthwhile. I won't be seeking out the previous volumes in this series, but I don't regret reading this one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    First off, I have to say that it's pretty neat to find a fantasy collection that, while not devoted to female authors, has 75% content from female authors. This makes me happy. Second, I ordered this copy from Subterranean Press about whom I've heard nothing but wonderful things, and all those wonderful things are true. These are publishers devoted to taking good stories and creating really beautiful books out of them. As a cheap person, I ordered the cloth-bound version of this collection, and i First off, I have to say that it's pretty neat to find a fantasy collection that, while not devoted to female authors, has 75% content from female authors. This makes me happy. Second, I ordered this copy from Subterranean Press about whom I've heard nothing but wonderful things, and all those wonderful things are true. These are publishers devoted to taking good stories and creating really beautiful books out of them. As a cheap person, I ordered the cloth-bound version of this collection, and it's a really lovely little thing. When Kevin Hearne's next novella comes out, I may spring for the leather. Now to the content. I bought this because Kevin Hearne said it was currently the only way to read "Goddess at the Crossroads" and I wasn't willing to wait for his next collection to read more Iron Druid. The story tells about how Atticus met and saved the life of Shakespeare, and for fans of the series, it's a fun little injection to fill the void until book 9 comes out. While it could use more Oberon (what couldn't?) it has been vetted by proper Shakespearean scholars and is a delightful aside. You don't need to have read the series to enjoy it, but chronologically it takes place after Tricked, so it's good to have read that far. The other three stories were authors I've never read before and a distinct mix of styles. I think I enjoyed "The Death of Aiguillon" the most as it combines Vietnamese fantasy with fallen angels on earth and just what is not to love about that? Jacqueline Carey (who I've always neglected reading as probably too racy for me) contributes a story that I attached to right away with its themes of a woman's rights to her own life, her own choices. I may have misjudged the author due to cheesy covers in the past. The fourth story "Ashes" was probably my least favorite. It has some cool elements in it, but they seem like elements that belong in a novel, not a short story. Also, that novel would be fairly formulaic. It has nods to both Buffy and Noir stories and a pet fire salamandar, but I think it just wasn't enough space to tell the story properly. This collection is a hundred percent worth it for Iron Druid fans, but I think, surprisingly, it's also a hundred percent worth it for fantasy fans looking for unconventional social fantasy. A quick but enjoyable read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenevieve

    Review first published on My Blog. Goddess at the Crossroads by Kevin Hearne - set in the Iron Druid series, Atticus recalls a night in the presence of Shakespeare when they came across a Hecate summoning which provided the Bard with the idea for the Witches in Macbeth. This is the second short story I've read in the universe and I've enjoyed them both. I have the books in my to-read stack so I really need to move them up the list and read them already. Ashes by Laura Bickle - Anya Kalinczyk is tr Review first published on My Blog. Goddess at the Crossroads by Kevin Hearne - set in the Iron Druid series, Atticus recalls a night in the presence of Shakespeare when they came across a Hecate summoning which provided the Bard with the idea for the Witches in Macbeth. This is the second short story I've read in the universe and I've enjoyed them both. I have the books in my to-read stack so I really need to move them up the list and read them already. Ashes by Laura Bickle - Anya Kalinczyk is trying to track down the powerful Nain Rouge in Detroit before it causes any more damage. She has her 5ft salamander familiar Sparky to aid her and then Hades' Charon turns up as well and what a team they make. I found the premise and characters interesting enough to consider finding more by this author. Death of Aiguillon by Aliette De Bodard - The house Huyen has been working for has now been taken down by others and she is now trying to survive houseless in the slums of Paris with other houseless servants just like her. She has however attracted the attention of some of the more powerful beings in the city and it may not be the hand up she was hoping for. This one just didn't grip me. It felt like there was too much backstory going on that was not given which made it difficult to understand the nuances of all the personal interactions. One Hundred Ablutions by Jacqueline Carey - Dala has been chosen by her people's overlords to serve as a handmaiden to their gods. However, there are other forces at work that want to see her people freed and they believe that she will be a major part of the revolution. An interesting tale in a world that I don't think I've read about before but I'd love to read more about.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Bellamy

    There are four stories in this small collection. The first is by Kevin Hearne and is totally forgettable. While those that have read other books or stories by Hearne may know these characters and have some interest, I'd suggest no other reason to bother with this story. That said, it isn't bad, just forgettable. The second story though.... is bad. Ashes, by Laura Bickle. It's juvenile, glib, poorly written, badly plotted, and reads like the worst of the 'take some mythologies and do whatever you There are four stories in this small collection. The first is by Kevin Hearne and is totally forgettable. While those that have read other books or stories by Hearne may know these characters and have some interest, I'd suggest no other reason to bother with this story. That said, it isn't bad, just forgettable. The second story though.... is bad. Ashes, by Laura Bickle. It's juvenile, glib, poorly written, badly plotted, and reads like the worst of the 'take some mythologies and do whatever you want with them' genre. This story also follows an existing character, but I hope to never run across her or this author again. The last two stories seek to and somewhat offer redemption to the collection. Aliette de Bodard and Jaqueline Carey offer up two impressively built worlds - especially in comparison to the first two - and both read as if written by actual professional writers. 'The Death of Aquillon' has an interesting premise but does fall short of great by offering only a glimpse into the world. The conflict provided is quickly sketched and simply overcome. I'd have preferred the first two stories cut and this one expanded out. Carey's 'One Hundred Ablutions' was easily my favorite. The world is built effortlessly and Dala, the lead character, wins the concern of the reader easily. I read Kushiel's Dart some time ago, and reading this story reminded me how solid a writer Carey is, if long-winded in those novels. This is my first, and sad to say, only foray into Yanni Kuznia's Editorial efforts, though I am glad to have read the last two tales. They'd have been better placed in any of the several excellent magazines available now, and would be found among much better company.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    originally posted: http://newborrowedused.blogspot.com/2... My Thoughts: Goddess at the Crossroads (Iron Druid Chronicles 0.3) I keep seeing this series around but this is the first I've read from it. I liked the story. Found the main character interesting and enjoyed the story of him and Shakespeare going up against a coven of witches and a few other troubles. Definitely going to take the time to read this series (at some point). Ashes (Anya Kalinczyk) This was my favorite of this book. I thought originally posted: http://newborrowedused.blogspot.com/2... My Thoughts: Goddess at the Crossroads (Iron Druid Chronicles 0.3) I keep seeing this series around but this is the first I've read from it. I liked the story. Found the main character interesting and enjoyed the story of him and Shakespeare going up against a coven of witches and a few other troubles. Definitely going to take the time to read this series (at some point). Ashes (Anya Kalinczyk) This was my favorite of this book. I thought I was at least aware of books in this genre that take place in MI but somehow missed this series. I liked Anya, Sparky and Charon. Their interactions, abilities, and the overall story (even a short one) definitely peaked my interest and added yet another series to my tbr. The Death of Aiguillon (Dominion of the Fallen) I tried to read The House of Shattered Wings but could not get into it at the time. the writing is good and the world the author created is interesting to me but it just wasn't working for me. This short worked better. The relationship between the Fallen and the people on the outside just trying to survive. Add in another creature of myth that resides in the river and the story works. I may try at a later date to read the full novel. One Hundred Ablutions. This had more of a sci-fi feel for me than straight fantasy. The races felt more alien in nature. That aside, I've liked everything else I read from this author and this was the same. For me it fell into the old adage of "Be careful what you wish for you just might get it".

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carien

    Goddess at the Crossroads by Kevin Hearne This was a fun story featuring Shakespeare and witches. I haven't read the Iron Druid Chronicles (yet), but had no trouble understanding the story. I really liked the writing and the characters. I will have to dig up the first book in the series from my TBR pile and give it a try one of these days. Ashes by Laura Bickle If you know me, you know this story is why I wanted this anthology. And Laura Bickle doesn't disappoint. This is a really cool and touching Goddess at the Crossroads by Kevin Hearne This was a fun story featuring Shakespeare and witches. I haven't read the Iron Druid Chronicles (yet), but had no trouble understanding the story. I really liked the writing and the characters. I will have to dig up the first book in the series from my TBR pile and give it a try one of these days. Ashes by Laura Bickle If you know me, you know this story is why I wanted this anthology. And Laura Bickle doesn't disappoint. This is a really cool and touching story. Anya and Sparky team up with Charon to save the city from destruction. I will keep hoping for more books and stories in this series, but if this story is the last then I'm happy with how Bickle leaves things for Anya and Sparky. The Death of Aiguillon by Aliette de Bodard I will admit I couldn't get into this story and didn't finish it. One Hundred Ablutions by Jacqueline Carey This is a beautiful and sad story. I've only read one of Carey's Urban Fantasy books, but reading this story I'm tempted to pick up one of her Fantasy books as well. I loved the writing, the setting and the the mood that Carey sets here.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    A collection of short stories can be hard to rate since each tale needs to be judged by itself and in relation to the others in the collection. With A Fantasy Medley 3, Yanni Kuznia has brought together four disparate authors with tales from three series and one that feels like it may be in a series someday. I thoroughly enjoyed Atticus' tale of helping Shakespeare find inspiration. I also enjoyed Laura Bickle's arson investigator and will need to look up the novels in the series. Aliette De Bod A collection of short stories can be hard to rate since each tale needs to be judged by itself and in relation to the others in the collection. With A Fantasy Medley 3, Yanni Kuznia has brought together four disparate authors with tales from three series and one that feels like it may be in a series someday. I thoroughly enjoyed Atticus' tale of helping Shakespeare find inspiration. I also enjoyed Laura Bickle's arson investigator and will need to look up the novels in the series. Aliette De Bodard's fantasy about an alternate Paris was different and disturbing. Jacqueline Carey's tale which seemed to be set in a strange India filled with multiple alien races reminded me why I do not read her so much any more. Chances are that you will find at least one story here to enjoy if you like gook storytelling.

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