Review: After the King

After the King edited by Martin H. Greenberg

greenbergaftertheking

No figure looms larger in fantasy than J. R. R. Tolkien. One hundred and twenty-one (or eleventy-eleven) years after his birth and fifty-nine years after the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings still functions as the baseline for the entire genre of high fantasy. (There’s a very valid argument to be made that we need to move forward from that baseline, but that’s another post for another time.) But a lot of Tolkien-inspired fantasy only mimics the most obvious trappings of the good Professor’s legendarium. That’s not necessarily a judgment on the quality of those works—Blizzard Entertainment used those trappings as a stepping stone to create their own interesting, engaging world for the Warcraft franchise, and Eragon… well, Eragon exists. It can go either way. Continue reading

Review: Firebirds Rising

Firebirds Rising edited by Sharyn November

My attraction to these Firebird anthologies is a little odd to me. I ultimately find them to be just okay, but I still want to read all of them. Is the beautiful cover art courtesy of Cliff Nielsen? Is it the fact that November is putting a lot of effort into making Firebird an imprint with personality, rather than just another speculative fiction or teen imprint? Is it the fact that I feel bad I don’t read more short story collections? We may never know, although I will say that the fact it was Halloween got me to pick this up at the time I did.

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