Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress XXIV by Elisabeth Waters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A solid, entertaining collection of fantasy stories from a female perspective - slanted towards action, but not exclusively, with foot races and puzzles represented as well as sword and spell fights.
This book runs the gamut from princesses coming of age to professional spies to a contemporary private detective. While most of the stories occur in familiar fantasy territory, a few evoke more exotic and unusual settings. Particularly well done on that front are Owl Court (K.D. Wentworth) and Soul Walls (Julia H. West).
The stories vary in quality. None were bad, but a few read more like a detailed summary of an interesting story, a few were rushed or confusing in other ways, and one I simply found boring. The two stories mentioned above are highlights of the anthology, and many stories offer the welcome warmth of humor. If I have a complaint, it's that none really hit the "amazing" mark. The anthology closes with a short, sweet laugh.
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