2 star rating
A Fantasy Medley 2
By Multiple Authors (see individual breakdowns below)
Edited by Yanni Kuznia
ISBN# 9781596065147

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

a-fantasy-medley-2“Subterranean staffer Kuzina keeps to the successful formula in her second four-story anthology: having successful authors write winning novellas that function equally as gateway introductions for new readers and exciting material for fans of their popular fantasy worlds … resulting in four excellent stand-alone stories.” – Publishers Weekly

This quote was printed on the back of this book.  I had picked up this book for the October Daye short story, and was debating on reading just that story or the entire book.  After reading that, I figured all the shorts could be read as stand-alones and that maybe, just maybe, I would fall in love with a new series or two!  But sadly that wasn’t the case with all the novellas Quartered was really confusing having not read the series.

1 Star rating2
Quarters, Book #4.5
By Tanya Huff
Author’s Website:  http://andpuff.livejournal.com/

Quartered takes us to Tanya Huff’s Quarters series.  The bard, Evicka, is going on a Walk and is assigned to check up on a former assassin and be the Bardic Captain’s eyes and ears to check up on his suspicions that Vireyda and Gyhard are up to something.

I had never heard of this series, let alone read any of the books.  I found myself completely confused reading this.  I didn’t understand what was going on especially with the bards and what the heck are the kighs?  It never really figured it out, but could only guess!  I’m not sure I would have liked this story even if I had understood everything, but I definitely needed more explanation to fully understand what was going on.

The ending left me wondering what the hell I just read.  It made absolutely no sense to me.  This is not a happy fun story, and I really didn’t like it at all …

3 Star rating

Bone Garden
The Necromancer’s Chronicles, Book #2.5
By Amanda Downum
Author’s Website:  http://www.amandadownum.com/

Gentian was out partying with Val after his theater performance, but when they come back home to the theater house they find a woman unconscious on the back doorstep.  It’s not a safe place for her so they bring her inside, only to discover that its Gentian’s cousin, Sonya. She has come for his help against spirits that has been feeding off of their people.  But to capture these spirits will cost them a sacrifice.

I thought this was a decent story and I never felt lost since the author revealed all the information that I needed for me to understand what was going on.  This tale can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I’m sure it adds a little more for those who have read the series.  It kept my interest and was easy to follow.  Although I don’t think there is anybody, male or female, relation or not that Gentian won’t kiss!

1 Star rating2
The Sergeant and the General
The Danilov Quintet
By Jasper Kent
Author’s Website:  http://www.jasperkent.com/TextPage.aspx?page=Home

This is a grisly story about a man and his horse and the decisions that man made that haunted him up until his death.

This story started out well enough as we are introduced to Sergeant Melle, but I quickly found myself pretty bored as the General started haunting Melle, the story got a bit repetitive, and then switched to Melle’s time in Russia.  And, I’m really not a military reader so this dipped into tedium for me.  But the story only got worse when he chose riches over his friend and horse that had kept him alive until this point.

There was nothing I liked about this story.  Obviously it wasn’t my kind of read, and I was disgusted by Melle’s actions by the end of it.  There were no redeeming qualities about it … at all.

3 Star rating
October Daye, Book #0.1
By Seanan McGuire
Author’s Website:  http://seananmcguire.com/index.php

The carefree Prince of Cats, Rand, witnesses a prophecy foretelling the burning of their lands that will kill them all.  His father will not listen to reason, forcing Rand to challenge him for the throne.

This story is the reason I read this anthology.  I have not read any of the October Daye books before, but once I understood that the characters were shape-shifting fae the story was easy to comprehend.  I liked Tybalt’s character and the story was sound.  This is a series I’d like to continue.

Overall Thoughts:

This anthology as a whole, did not impress me.  The dark tales within just were depressing more than anything with a woman getting her legs cut off and a horse being slaughtered for food, even though it’s owner wasn’t hungry.  Bone Garden was a decent read, and I did enjoy Rat-Catcher, the October Daye series is probably the only one I would consider continuing based on these stories.  If you are considering reading this book just for the added story to a series, I’d just read that story in question and skip the others, save yourself from wasting time on content that’s just not all that interesting.