I know about half the authors of this anthology, so at first it seemed like a good bargain- WRONG: theses stories aren't botched, but neither are they extraordinary- I speak mainly for Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson and George RR Martin's stories. Martin's story was the worst- it's a dizzying mix of every element that ever dragged the ASOFAI novels down:the narrative is a historical account of a Dance with Dragons by a maester- and it's about as fresh and dry as a dessicated corpse. Places and names pile upn each other, characters get mentionned for 2-3 pages then die, it looks like what Martin was most interested in was the moving of the characters from one placeto another. GRRM does not get to showcase his formidable skills in characterization, because there are TOO MAny and they do not even elicit a meh. Oh look! it's a war! men die! women get raped! lots of description of rotting corpses! betrayal! armies! armies on the mowve! tepid dialogue! death-death-death! the end!
I have been enjoying short stories of late. Particularly love the insightful, crisp and humorous nature of some of these works of art. Many of the stories in "Dangerous Women" have elements of those. And so are the stories in "The Usurper and Other Stories" . They show narrative and dialogue at their best mixes. Good read.
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