Review/Breakdown: Legends I edited by Robert Silveryberg

Monday, January 6, 2014
Title: Legends
Authors: Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tad Williams, George R. R. Martin
Series: Legends anthology #1
Pages: 720
Published: August 1998
Source: gifted by my lovely coblogger
Rating: 3/5 overall, but individual stories differ

Acclaimed writer and editor Robert Silverberg gathered eleven of the finest writers in Fantasy to contribute to this collection of short novels. Each of the writers was asked to write a new story based on one of his or her most famous series: from Stephen King's opening piece set in his popular Gunslinger universe to Robert Jordan's early look at his famed Wheel of Time saga, these stories are exceptionally well written and universally well told. The authors include King, Jordan, and Silverberg himself, as well as Terry and Lyn Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tad Williams, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, and Raymond E. Feist.

The Dark Tower: The Little Sisters of Eluria by Stephen King - 3/5

Decent, but I gave up on this series after the fourth book. So no real connection or investment in the short story for the series. I can see that fans who stuck with will enjoy it, though. And no one can deny that Stephen King has a fertile imagination.

Discworld: The Sea and Little Fishes by Terry Pratchett - 4/5

I always enjoy a visit to Pratchett's Discworld and Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are big favorites when he writes witch stories. This particular story felt a tad long for the plot and all that went on, but it was nonetheless entertaining.

The Sword of Truth: Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind - 1/5

A short story from a series I really do not like. I can't stand the way Goodkind writes women (or antagonists, or protagonists, or humans) and I dislike the world he created. This short story didn't go so far to offend me, but it did bore me, which his longer books were also guilty of doing.

Tales of Alvin Maker: Grinning Man - by Orson Scott Card 1/5

I am no fan of Card's, but I couldn't even make it through this short story... and it is one of the shortest additions to the anthology.

Majipoor: The Seventh Shrine - by Robert Silverberg -3/5

I can't say I really understood everything that went on here (as I have never read any his work), but the ideas were creative and strong. The introduction to the series was also one of the most interesting in the anthology and I think I will add some of this author to my TBR.

Earthsea: Dragonfly by Ursula K. Le Guin - 2/5

Confesson: I've never finished Le Guin's most popular series. I gave up early in book one, so this was not a story for me.

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: The Burning Man by Tad Williams - 3/5

Like most of Williams' work, this just leaves me cold. Ehhhh. I always like the ideas for Williams' stories, but the execution and the characters just never manage to click with me. I've read entire series (the Shadowmarch one) and I cared about it about as much as this short story.

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin - 4/5

The first Dunk and Egg story! I've been waiting for years to read these. They are the whole reason I wanted to read this and that Danielle was kind enough to send it to me. And I wasn't disappointed. So many infamous figures were shown - Aerion, Dunk, Egg, Baelor Breakspear, Maekar.... It was an entertaining read, with tourneys and cameos, hidden identities. Martin gets in his trademark death and gore, too.

Pern: Runner of Pern by Anne McCaffrey - 3/5

Confession: I've never read Pern either. I am not coming off too well as a fantasy fan, huh?

The Riftwar Saga: The Wood Boy by Raymond E. Feist- 3.5/5
I have a lot of fondness for the Riftwar books and this was a nice, short reminder of why Feist's books are so fun to read. His short stories might be weaker than his full-length efforts by a noticeable margin, but this was still an engaging jaunt.

The Wheel of Time: New Spring by Robert Jordan - 3.5/5

I'd read this before but it features one of my favorite characters (Lan) so it's always worth a reread. It's a bit long, but the story of Lan and Moiraine's meeting and friendship is a good one. It's more than enough to convince an old fan that a reread of the series is in order for 2014.

All in all, a very satisfying anthology and I look forward to reading Legends II

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