Hardcover ↠ Unbound ePUB Þ

Hardcover ↠ Unbound ePUB Þ



10 thoughts on “Unbound

  1. Rizwan Rizwan says:

    “You know who I am You know what I can do Let her go”She rolled her eyes and spun a finger through fine straight black hair “Why should I?”“Because you know what happened the last time some vampires abducted a little girl and I decided to take her back”Her smile faltered slightly As it should have When bloodsucking Red Court vampires had taken my daughter I took her back—and murdered every single one of them in the process The entire speciesI’m not a halfway kind of personWow that forgotten hair raising thrills and excitements of reading The Dresden FilesA very short story just a little plot but still the one and only Harry Dresden stands tall here in all his badass wiseass actionpacked glory And even in such a little space Jim Butcher delivers like he always do with perfect execution You can't help but feel a contented sigh and have a stupid little smile on your face after you finish it After three looong years since the last released novel of the series Skin Game As there's yet no sign of even a release date for the next one Peace Talks in the horizon this will have to do for now9 out of 10 Banglaআহা ড্রেসডেন ফাইলস পড়ার সেই ভুলে যাওয়া রোমহর্ষক শিহরণ ও উত্তেজনাছো্ট্ট একটা গল্প অল্প একটু কাহিনি তার মাঝেও হ্যারি ড্রেসডেন তার দুর্ধর্ষ ব্যাডঅ্যাস অ্যাকশনপ্যাকড স্বমহিমায় উদ্ভাসিত। এইটুকু স্পেসেও জিম বুচারের নিখুঁত এক্সিকিউশন গল্প শেষে আপনা থেকেই বিশুদ্ধ তৃপ্তির একটা শ্বাস বেরিয়ে যায় মুখে হাসি লেগে থাকে অনেকক্ষণ। দীর্ঘ তিন বছর পর। পরবর্তি উপন্যাসের যখন খোঁজ নাই যা পাই তাই সই। ১০ এ ৯।


  2. Terence Terence says:

    Unbound is a collection of short stories from various authors in the fantasy genre Overall this is a good collection The only thing I would have liked to see is at minimum a paragraph talking about what world these stories appear in because it's not clear where a reader should go if he or she wanted to read about the characters and their worldI reviewed these stories not in the order they appear but in the order I chose to read them I didn't review all the short stories these are just some that stood out to me The Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellan Many years before Promise of Blood Tamas was a sergeant who desperately wanted a promotion Tamas had two things against him though he's a commoner and a powder mage Commoner's aren't to have ambition and powder mage's were marked for death in some countries just for being powder mages Being the man who takes the wall and breaks the siege of Tilpur was Tamas's best chance at a promotion When he finds out the Adran army is withdrawing from the siege Tamas takes desperate measures for his advancement and to save livesTamas is a very different man in The Siege of Tilpur than he is in the Powder Mage trilogy He's just as arrogant but subdued than he was in the novella Servant of the Crown when he shot the lower part of a nobles earlobe off in a duel Tamas knows what he's capable of and realizes he has a nearly impossible task in front of him in order to be promoted in the Adran armyI really enjoyed The Siege of Tilpur because first Brian McClellan is an awesome author and second Tamas is one intense devoted character He loves Adro even though those who rule it don't acknowledge him and some outright despise him It would have been far simpler for Tamas to join The Wings of Adom who seem concerned with merit in their ranks instead of noble blood Tamas took some crazy risks just for the hope that someone would overlook his common blood and promote himThe Siege of Tilpur is the reason I chose to read Unbound in the first place and I have to say I am not disappointed by that choice at all45 out of 5 stars Small Kindnesses by Joe Abercrombie Shev owns a dump of a husk house She's trying to do the right thing she even helped an unconscious mountain of a woman into her bed just that morning Unfortunately she has a past that won't leave her alone Shev is the best thief in Westport which means people come to her when they want things stolen She can often say no but when the son of a powerful man comes she has no choice but do as he saysSmall Kindnesses wasn't bad but an introduction to the short story would have been great I wasn't sure what world this story took place in which happens to be Abercrombie's First Law world I also couldn't tell when it was taking place the only identifier I noticed was a young Severard appears and he works for Shev So I imagine this is at least a decade prior to the events in The Blade ItselfLord Grimdark himself is back and Small Kindnesses is just a sample of his dark creativity I'll have to check out Abercrombie's website to figure out if this story ties into a new book It certainly seems like it does as this story reads like the first chapter or two of a longer book35 out of 5 stars The Ethical Heresy by Sam Sykes The story begins with some heretics against the Venarium being tortured witch burned on the stake style with magic thrown in there The story is told from the perspective of the apprentice Dreadaeleon Dread isn't the sharpest but he has some ability He and fellow apprentice Cesta are pressed into service while searching for the leader of the Heretics and things get crazy from thereThe Ethical Heresy was my first exposure to Sam Sykes and I have to say I liked it This story was a mash up of Wizards Jedi child snatchers desertion and conseuences It reads much better than that mini description but those were all familiar territories I noticed In the end I have to say I will be checking out of Sam Sykes books because of The Ethical Heresy4 out of 5 stars The Game by Michael J Sullivan The employees of DysanSoft are facing an impossible issue A character in their game Realms of Rah isn't following his programing Many games have glitches like characters walking through walls or falling into the sky but that's not what they're facing here It appears a giant dark green troll named Troth has gained sentience DysanSoft's president wants answers but the employees just don't have answersMichael J Sullivan takes on a highly philosophical idea in a familiar technological format in The Game Troth is eerily aware of the world he lives in and he's asking the big uestions of where did he come from what happens when he dies and why is the world like this Troth's creator Jeri Blainey recently asked the same uestions herself when her father died and wonders how could Troth be this wayI've seen many stories like The Game that attempts to answer the unknowable parts of life and I find them all interesting in their own way They are thought provoking but in the end they only leave me with uestions The Game was certainly an unexpected short story in the Unbound collection35 out of 5 stars A Good Name by Mark Lawrence Firestone is a young tribal man who just passed his manhood trial Unfortunately he has anger in him which he unleashes on a member of his tribe over something trivial and is sent to face the king Nothing from that point on goes as he once expectedA Good Name is likely a story I could appreciate if I got into the Broken Empire series I tried reading the first book before and wasn't a fan so perhaps it's time to give it another try The writing in the short story is solid yet unspectacular3 out of 5 stars The Farmboy Prince by Brian Staveley The Farmboy Prince is one of those short stories that's easy to appreciate without being familiar with the main story or world the story exists in Peasants are peasants and these peasants knew their place A bit vulgar but when the POV character is rough around the edges it only makes sense that his vocabulary matches35 out of 5 stars Madwalls by Rachel Caine I liked the writing style of Madwalls but the story made absolutely no sense to me3 out of 5 stars Jury Duty by Jim Butcher Jury Duty is a Harry Dresden Law and Order episode An ex con gone straight is being set up to go to jail because of supernatural interests and Dresden can't just let that happen This was a pretty good short story even with the fact that I've barely read any of the Dresden books Short stories like this one make me feel like I should give the main series another try35 out of 5 stars


  3. Gehayi Gehayi says:

    Almost everyone else seems to have adored this anthology So I'm afraid that I'm going to be in the minority here Only one story Jury Duty by Jim Butcher which involved preventing an innocent man from going to prison and saving a child's life really pleased me That story I would give 45 starsEverything else with the exception of one other story involved the heroes trying to accomplish something and failing losing or in some cases failing to gain power freedom sanity their world their lives andor hope in the process The one exception to this pattern was by the editor of the anthology and I wince to report that it featured a villain protagonist who corrupted people gave an abused child the means to commit suicide or murder tortured a priest and left him to bleed to death destroyed the soul of a churchwarden by forcing a damned spirit into the churchwarden's body and handed Excalibur over to the resulting revenant so that it could murder an innocent and then start destroying the world The villain protagonist was all too successful I kept reading in the hopes that someone would defeat him but no one did I have never read such an infuriatingly nihilistic collection I could not escape the feeling that the theme of the anthology was the futility of trying to accomplish anything good in this world with a side message of If you even try you're going to get screwed I have been battling depression lately and this did not make matters any better I am deeply deeply sorry that I read itIf I had known that that this anthology focused almost exclusively on the themes futility and failure I would have avoided it altogether This book obviously works for many people It did not work for me


  4. Ron Ron says:

    “The world conspires to take everything from us in the end” Like most anthologies the junk outweighs the jewels but in this case the good stories are very good worth the price of the whole collection I’ll ignore the garbage and review the gems If there’s a theme to this collection other than raising money for authors with medical bills is that these are stories about story“To cling to common wisdom no matter the evidence right in front of one’s nose was an affliction as old as love”By far the best story in the set is “The Game” by Michael J Sullivan If you read no other read this one It’s the best take on “Dial ‘F’ for Frankenstein” I’ve seen in decades“Ignore it the way all rational men ignore all irrational things” “Jury Duty” by Jim Butcher is great if you like Dresden Files which I do“No man’s an island Not even the ones that think they are Especially not them” “Uncharming” by Delilah S Dawson started so bad I almost uit But it got better much betterNice cover art “Stories brought relief comfort and hope”


  5. Evan Evan says:

    I struggle to see how a compendium can be given 5 stars as there is always going to be variability in uality of short stories I found this a long read because it is hard to motivate to finish the crappier stories and sometimes hard to motivate beginning a new story in case it isn't very good And then I'd find a good story and finish it in no time at allI'll review the 5 star stories; the whose authors I now want to readStories are Gods Peter Orullian 5 stars The main story focused on a debate between philosophers The world was really interesting with a mysterious magic affecting it Very easy short story to get into and a really interesting conceptRiver and Echo John Marco 5 stars A really sweet story about a child and his robot yet based in a seeminly medieval world who were sole survivors of a plague An unfortunate influx of Filipians Terry Brooks 5 stars Hilarious characters especially the gnomes and a cute story Reminded me a lot of PratchettUncharming Delilah S Dawson 5 stars A really interesting perspective from a dark rapist wizard Interesting world as wellFiber Sean McGuire 5 stars Really enjoyable zombie cheerleader story Like many of the stories I didn't like much of the story consisted of a very Buffy esue fight scene but there was a lot preamble and the fight wasn't overdrawn Very goodThe ethical heresy Sam Sykes 5 stars Finally a good story emerges from the wilderness the previous 4 5 stories were not good Followed a small uest rather than a fight scene Interesting world with politics that I want to delve further into Main character was funny in his ineptitude Enjoyed a lotSmall kindness Joe Abercrombie 5 stars A story of an ex thief who had to steal once again I enjoyed the characters as expected from Abercrombie The only story to have an LGBT character which I appreciatedThe siege of Tilpur Brian McClellan 5 stars Another battle scene though somewhat different The writing style was very easy though and the little I saw of the powder magic makes me want to read from this worldJury duty Jim Butcher 5 stars Whilst I'm not a fan of werewolfvampire stuff this kept my attention and the addition of wizards helped A presumably uite powerful wizard is on a mortal jury for a murder and he decides to investigate for himself Kept me interested from early on Less interesting storiesMadwalls Rachel Caine 3 stars A dichotomy of paradigms Mary Robinette Kowal 4 stars uirky sci fi space pirate painting and I liked it but too short for 5 stars Son of Crimea Jason m HOUGH 3 starsThe way into oblivion Harry Connolly 2 stars A good name Mark Lawrence 3 starsAll in a night's work David Anthony Durham 4 starsSeven times Tim Maruitz 2 starsThe hall of the diamond ueen Anthony Ryan 1 starThe farmboy Prince Brian Staveley 3 starsHeart's desire Kat Richardson 0 starsThe game Michael J Sullivan 1 starThe rat Mazarkis Williams 3 stars Mr Island Kristen Britain 4 stars The dead's revenant Shawn Speakman 3 stars


  6. T.O. Munro T.O. Munro says:

    An assemblage of short stories liberated from the imaginations of great story tellersPerhaps it s a product of the busy age we live in that short story anthologies have become appealing to my taste than before Bite sized fiction for a world driven by sound bites and there are plenty of bites of different kinds in this riveting collection which Shawn Speakman has editedSome of the authors I already knew and had read others are names glimpsed on social media Some of the stories have roots in the authors' main works though still read well as stand alone stories others are tales told in isolation their backstory fashioned at the convergence of each reader's and author's maginations The anthology is inevitably an eclectic mix but still entertaining in its own right and a powerful taster of different authors' styles and approachesIn some ways it is like those trios of deserts offered in the best restaurants these days a mix of different but complementary taste sensations that leave you hugering for Just as a festive season taster can lead to bigger things and a damaging expansion in the waisline so too this anthology might cause an explosion in my already daunting TBR pileBut to the stories themselves and a story by story seuence of mini reviewsMadwalls by Rachel Caine Beautifully written the transition from the normal world of a teenager into some dark secret an accident of birth landing her in the midst of an ancient covenant handed down from generation to generation on which the fate of the world rests the world and one captive Surreal hypnotic like its central theme the reader like the protagonist is drawn into a world that lingers in the mind or is it the mind that lingers in the world?Stories are Gods by Peter Orullian A story that believes in the power of argument or perhaps an argument that believes in the power of stories A hero who is physically weak but mentally strong fuelled by a powerful love and a tragic schism to take to a debating floor in a world where academic philosopy has suddenly become dangerous Themes from a wider well built world The Vault of Heaven I infer bleed into this story though like its protagonist the story stands well enough on its own two feetRiver and Echo by John Marco If you have seen Will Smith's I am Legend or the film Silent Running you may see the same similes that I did A lone survivor and his unusual companion living ghosts in the detritus of a plague ridden city There is a traditional fantasy feel to it rather than sci fi a city with walls lit and heated by fires defended with arrows Though with a slight steampunk feel The story is sustained by the wonderfully well drawn poignant relationship between River and EchoA dichotomy of Paradigms by Mary Robinette Kowal With this story the anthology lurches into a far future of interstellar piracy and technological innovation that enables artists to pursue their craft with the same vibrant immediacy of a war photographer Patrick the brush wielding protagonist reminded me of a pen scribbling character WWBeauchamp in the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven the journalist hack turned biographer chasing after a gunslinger to document his life Only Patrick finds that painting the pirate ueen poses of a challenge to his conscience and his craft than he expected Son of Crimea by Jason M HoughJohn Crimson is a policeman perched on the cusp of the age of science and reason a time when method replaced madness when passionate crime would yield to patient investigative techniue And into his world steps the disturbing Malena Penar intoxicating and bewitching In a journey that spans half the world she challenges his faith in the rational his dismissal of superstition but in the end I found it hard to tell who wonAn Unfortunate Influx of Filipians by Terry Brooks The story is a bridge into the magical world of Landover where lawyer turned King Ben Holiday finds himself presiding like a cross between Judge Judy and Solomon over a gnomish dispute Problems beget problems in a progeny of biblical proportions and in the end it is management rather than leadership which must resolve the crises that competing incompetencies have createdThe Way into Oblivion by Harry Connolly When the centre of an empire has suddenly fallen to an unknown power that is not so much an opportunity as a threat to those previously subjugated peoples who might be tempted to flex the muscles of their newfound independence Song sister to the leader of the Holvos people finds dangers lurk beside a crocodile infested river than within it When all choices are difficult and all options are unpalatable she must decide what motherhood means to her Uncharming by Delilah S Dawson The writing is delicious a tasty heady morsel as the daimon Monsieur Charmant freuents the darkest corners of an alternate Paris and London in an obsession to utterly possess a poor desparate soul who had already sold him the best part of herself The story draws on a well built world of Dawson's other works but gives what I assume to be a smalller character his moment to preen his awful nature in technicolour limelight I liked this line especially Money had been important to him once Now it was power and possession the tang of owing that hit the air everytime a client gave than they really hadA Good Name by Mark Lawrence This is another work where a supporting player from Prince of Thorns and the short story Select Mode has an opportunity to be fleshed out in detail Jorg had his band of brothers and the Nuban never given an identifier beyond that was one of my favourites In this short story we find what brought him from the village of his birth to a place at Jorg's side in Ancrath It begins with pride the pride in a name won through hardship a name that should not bow when it was not merited But sometimes it is not enough to be right and the conseuences of pride cast long shadowsAll in a Night's Work by David Anthony In an action packed adventure Ash a prince's faithful bodyguard finds a night off is anything but uiet Deadly demons stalk the palace of an alternative Egypt and our young hero sets off in a pursuit of the assassin as single minded as it is foolish The only assistance to be had comes from a beetle with a broken antenna and as Ash realises partway through the chase you can't think of everything when you're dangling a hundred feet in the air holding on to the scrawny legs of a faulty beetle The action is as relentless as the opening seuence of a James Bond movie and the hero scarcely less resourceful than 007 himself Seven Tongues by Tim Maruitz A grim tale with a grim hero illuminated by some startling pose from the very first line onwards The clouds gnawed at the moon devouring it in slow steady bites Gryl is an unusual killer a Prodigy who escaped enslavement and sells his formidable powers though still constrained by some sense of a just cause of a distinction between the guilty and the innocent When such a man goes in pursuit of a slaver who has been trading in and abusing children the outcome is unlikely to be pretty However it is the jobs that seem easiest at first that are likely to end most messily and by the end of this gripping piece Gryl has certainly painted the desert red Fiber by Seanan McGuire This was outrageously entertaining My eldest daughter has resolutely resisted the lure of the fantasy genre but also enjoys cheerleading as a base with the Cambridge Cougars so a story that throws a carload of suabbling cheerleaders into a dark fantasyhorrow blend should be the kind that would fire her interest It's a bit like the way Dawn of the Dead combined zombie apocalypse with fantasy shopping to become one of my wife's favourite films Speaking of which this riveting short story also features a reformed zombie amongst its kick ass kick head kick everything leading females thus proving the old adage that you should never forget to wear a cup to a cheerleader fight No matter what kind of junk you're packing in your pants a good boot to the groin is going to put you down if you don't have protection The Diamond ueen by Anthony RyanThis is story that reaches skywards with its epic scope The opening battle of tens of thousands is a bloody victory won that would make Nirnaeth Arnoediad look like a minor skirmish allow me a little hyperbole here The warrior general Sharrow met flies into combat astride her blackwing like a Nazgul Lord and none dare come between her and her prey But the spoils of victory prove elusive and Sharrow met's past stubbornly intrudes on the present The Voice that is is her master commands controls and rewards but Sharrow met finds mysteries it cannot answer as she strives to complete her subjugation of the last city on the continentAnd when the dust has settled and silence has fallen I am left feeling I have finished a novel rather than a short storyThe Farmboy Prince by Brian StaveleyThere is a distinctive voice in this first person point of view tale the unnamed narrrator coarsely dismissive of both noble and ignoble visitors to his home town which aspires at its best to be a shit hole The noble are reviled as they sit holding one of Nick's filthy tankards as though he'd filled it up with some pox victim's phlegm instead of ale which considering Nick's ale was about right while the ignoble are warned if you go for your sword in Two Streams you'd better be ready to drop some motherfuckersIn short in this short story the lives of the people in Two Streams like the people themselves are short and ugly Throw into the mix a traditional tale of hidden parentage dodgy fake names and a looming national crisis and it becomes clear that something needs to be done What is less clear is exactly what that something is and who's going to do it but Staveley manages to raise a smile and surprise in the processHeart's Desire by Kat RichardsonThe style is hauntingly strange like a letter to an absent lover The narrator sits entwined in the twisted ghosts of fairy stories of old atop a tower tall enough to have held Rapunzel There is a wall of thorns such as entombed sleeping beauty There are helpful talking animals though their purpose and manner is a long way from the timely home helps that assisted Snow WhiteSomething is awry in this fairy tale world a story too full of desparation and shadow to lift the reader's sense of forebdoing but the twist when it comes still cuts to the heart The Game by Michael J SullivanThose of us brought up on the SIMS and World of Warcraft will love the inventiveness of this tale My second daughter not the most skilled SIIMS player used to get genuinely upset when by some accident in playing the first versiion of SIMS she managed to set her SIMS on fire and watched them reduced to a pile of ash and then an urn My eldest slightly clinically observant used to experiment with different ways of killing them off for example putting them in a pool and then removing the ladder so they could not get out and would eventuallly die of exhaustionIn the Game Sullivan plays with the idea of games and the characters that populate them as well as the poeple that play them It is cleverly done so I cannot in all spoiler free safety say much than that Jeri Blainey Project Lead for the Realms of Rah MMPORG is about to have a very bad dayThe Ethical Heresy by Sam SykesDreadaeleon is an apprentice wizard with to worry about than his mouthful of a name Even as they hunt down heretic mages wielding ice fire and lightning Dreadaeleon in the grip of adolescence is obssessed with his cooler taller gifted fellow apprentice Cresta In the midst of death and destruction and the disdain of their grim tutor Vemire Dread vainly tries to draw some approval from his crush The prose captures his failures well as Dread tells himself Well done old man She dressed you down like a six copper prostitute and you simply stood there and took it But even apprentices can find danger in this well crafted piece the backstory of politics and magic system injected seamlessly into the writing like the fine marbelling of fat within the lean of a high uality steak that gives the whole its flavour Humour and pathos mix perfectly as Dread finds himself thinkingAt that moment what he was going to do seemed to fall along the lines of die horribly possibly while cryingSmall Kindnesses by Joe AbercromieThe story spins around three women and the men who underestimate them There is Shev the young but retired thief turned smoke house hostess Carcolf the alluring blond siren from Shev's past still flinging temptation in her way and there is the unconscious redhead Though as facebook told me only this morning It takes a special kind of stupid to piss of a redhead and expect calmShev is the central sympathetic character given to small kindnesses to protecting others from their own foolishness from striving to escape the trap of being the best thief in Westport Maybe there was some stubborn stone in her like the stone in a date that refused to let all the shit that had been done to her make her into shitShev has her share of earthy passions but tries not to let these cloud her thinking too much She tore her eyes away as her mind came knocking like an unwelcome visitor When you live in life's gutter a cerain caution has to be your watchwordBut in a grippingly related day that grows increasingly turbulent our charming but diminutive heroine discovers that fate neither forgets nor forgives a small kindness The Rat by Mazarkis WilliamsA boy Emil awaits his great grandpa coming to stay hoping for an insight into the past In this well written tale a backstory of epic grandeur is distilled down to a child's eye view of a simple hut and four people sharing an evening warmed inflamed even by fires of history The title at first seems misleading the eponymous rodent and its feline huntress little than shadows on the fringes of the lyrical prose But by the end the story had put me in mind of the sad fate of the crew of USS Indianapolis torpedoed in 1945 and left for days floating in shark infested waters their numbers steadily and inevitably diminished until they were spotted and rescued by chance A horror like that would etch deep into an old man's memory and so it is with great grandpa curmudgeonly and distrustful when awake restless and fearful asleepAnd for Emil the excitement of the new not just great grandpa but his road companion the musician young enough to hold his shoulders straight but he carried snow in his hair uickly gives way to uestions he dare not ask answers he does not wantThe Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellanI had heard of the powdermage series but this was my first excursion into the world of magic and musketry that McClellan has created It is a tale of warfare of a desert seige of prejdice class and incompetence Sergeant Tamas and his suad serving the artistocratic General Seske are in the classic mold of the infantry lions led by officer donkeys as they bid to take the fortress that has never fallen It also has shades of the Sharpe novels of Bernard Cornwell the period feel if not the generalship suited to the Napoleonic era than the first world warIt is visceral action but with very human heroes For a moment I saw a hint of Blackadder goes Forth as Tamas explains his cunning plan to a disbelieving general clad in a silk dressing gown perhaps one of General Melchett's cast offs? As with most cunning plans things do not run exactly smoothly but then that is what makes the story so entertainingMr Island by Kristen BritainA charmingly atmospheric tale of what happens when a strange traveller is welcomed to a small east coast community all told with a true 19th century period feel by a narrator known only as Mrs Grindle If Jane Austen and Jules Verne had been inspired by the story of Grace Darling to collaborate this might be the tale they came up with Of propriety and love science and shipwreck mystery and lossAs the layers of the story are peeled back and truths are raised in some cases from the sea bed several themes enjoy a brief flash of illumination as though from the sweep of a lighthouse beam Women's emancipation commercial advantage luddite impulses all flare in this skilful depiction of small town life exposed to new influences But Mr Island and the woman whose kindness captures his heart form the spine to the story and prove that no matter how small the space in which you stand there is no limit to the direction in which you can look Jury Duty by Jim ButcherThere have been many great courtroom dramas since Henry Fonda first swung a jury in Twelve Angry Men but when Harrry Dresden Chicago's wizardly private investigator gets involved in an open and shut case the debate will be won with spells and claws than words and points of law This fresh fast paced story was my first introduction to Harry Dresden and the cynical wit that permeates the writing as Harry first uestions What does justice have to do with the legal system? and then observes of the judge This was a woman who had seen a great deal had been amused by very little of it and who would not easily be made a foolStrings pulled beyond the courtroom threaten to make a mockery of justice but for a hardboiled kind of guy Harry has an unusually soft centre; when the lives or happiness of children are at stake well let's just say you wouldn't want to be at the sharp end of any stake Dresden might be holding The Dead's Revenant by Shawn SpeakmanA bit like Delilah Dawson's tale of Monsieur Charmant Shawn Speakman gives us the point of view of a main story antagonist For 9000 words we walk with Tathal Ennis as he prepares to bring death and disaster to a sleepy English village He has a certain amoral charm an indifference to right or wrong as he draws people in with the spell of his words or the words of his spellThere is young Tim Becket tossing in his sleep his nightmares darker than the purpling new bruises that mingled with old yellow and green all delivered by a grandfather who abhorred weakness Tathal offers him an escape of sorts not caring whether he takes it or not There are old sisters and a not so young barmaid who all must yield and give Tathal what he wants lest he takes it anywayBut Tathal does not dispense death and cruelty for its own sake There is a darker purpose a deeper uest that he pursues a destiny sown on a bloody battlefield of long ago The names Camlann and Myrddin Emrys evoke links to a legend to the legend of dark age Britain


  7. Adam Fisher Adam Fisher says:

    NOTE Only read Jury Duty by Jim ButcherAnother short story in the Dresden Files This one shows that magic is so much a part of everyday life for Harry that it even plays a role when summoned for Jury Duty The story is simple Harry gets called to serve the trial has some inconsistency he decides to investigate finds that supernatural elements are involved this case White Court and the case gets dismissed Simple and straightforward Very good read nonethelessRecommend


  8. Matt Braymiller Matt Braymiller says:

    When I reviewed Unfettered which is the first volume of this series of short stories I think I mentioned that I came across this book from an entry in the blogs of David Anthony Durham and Jason Hough Both are authors whose novels I have enjoyed a great deal and both have a story in this particular volumeOne of the problems with anthologies like Rogues or Crucified Dreams is that the stories are all of the same bent After a while they tend to blur together and I can't remember what distinguishes one story from the next The two collections edited by Shawn Speakman are not like that because no two stories are going to be alikeI found this collection to be head and shoulders above the previousMadwalls by Rachel Caine – I am not familiar with this author This story was a very strange It was an interesting take on plugging the hole in the dike with one's fingerStories are Gods by Peter Orullian – This story started with a scene that strained my suspension of belief beyond what it could bear so that soured the rest of it for meRiver and Echo by John Marco – A poignant tale I was left wanting to know what happened nextA Dichotomy of Paradigms by Mark Robinette Kowal – Very outside her usual norm this story was an interesting look at vanitySon of Crimea by Jason Hough – I do not want to spoil this one for you This story is a prelude to the events of his new novel Zero World though a prelude by 250 ish years Excellent storyAn Unfortunate Influx of Filipians by Terry Brooks – Set in the world of Landover this was an amusing tale I doubt the lesson was learned but cannot criticize the participants being so slow of learning from my own mistakesThe Way Into Oblivion by Harry Connolly – This has the look and feel of a zombie werewolf vampire story but it isn't The author's novel The Way Into Chaos has been sitting on my kindle for a while I think it is time I read itUncharming by Delilah S Dawson – A cautionary tale with a delightfully brutal resolution Be careful what you wish forA Good Name by Mark Lawrence – I've enjoyed the Broken Empire stories but this one tops the list of those I've read by farAll in a Night's Work by David Anthony Durham – I liked this story It is not set in the world of Acacia but is set in an alternate version of Egypt I found it to be a hilarious rollicking adventure I'd like another story about Babbel pleaseSeven Tongues by Tim Maruitz – This is the second story story I've read by this author featuring Gryl a character from an upcoming novel I've really enjoyed both of the stories and am looking forward to reading the novel The story has a Guardians of the Flame feel to it but is meatyFiber by Seanan McGuire – A super human cheerleader suad has a real life horror movie adventure Yeah just let that sink in for a minuteThe Hall of the Diamond ueen by Anthony Ryan – I thought this story was a bit heavy handed and over played the plot However I really liked it Anthony Ryan knows how to spin a tale and the ending of the story was perfectThe Farmboy Prince by Brian Staveley – This story did not go at all as I expected I thought it was going to be a poke at a familiar fantasy trope and it started out that way It did not end that way at allHeart's Desire by Kat Richardson – I’m not entirely sure what I just read A bit too esoteric for me I think All I can say is be careful what you wish forThe Game by Michael J Sullivan – This is a very interesting story What would happen if an NPC in a MMORPG became self aware?The Ethical Heresy by Sam Sykes – An interesting look at the search for knowledge and the price for acuiring itSmall Kindnesses by Joe Abercrombie – Everything I've read by this author has been enjoyable This story has a fantasy western feel and is well executedThe Rat by Mazarkis Williams – I think this is my first exposure to this writer I liked the story it had a dark ominous feelThe Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellan – This is a story of heroic fantasy set in McClellan's powder mage world A fun readMr Island by Kristen Britain – This was a very interesting story It is set in 1870 and has an alien a shipping master and a love story all wrapped up in one individual's efforts to return homeJury Duty by Jim Butcher – Harry Dresden gets chosen for jury duty in an open and shut case Or is it?The Dead's Revenant by Shawn Speakman – A complex tale of revenge


  9. Marc Taylor Marc Taylor says:

    This was an amazing collection of short stories each of them kept me engaged and entertained Listening to this as an audiobook I didn't get the opportunity to just bounce from story to story and am I glad of that I was forced to listen to stories I might have otherwise just skippedI won't take the time to review each story that has been done many times already but I will say that I LOVED the following The Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellan I've been very hesitant to jump into the Powder Mage world but I think based on this story I'll be reading it shortly Jury Duty by Jim Butcher It's Harry Dresden really that should be enough of a reason but just in case Mr Butcher's storytelling is fantastic as always and I loved the introduction to why Harry is real in the books River and Echo by John MarcoTake the time and read everything in this book it will open your options to new authors I know it did for me


  10. Tom Tom says:

    Much like Blackguards this anthology hit the right note for me with a wide variety of stories by a huge amount of very talented authors There wasn't a story I didn't like amongst the lot really the one thing I love about anthologies is finding a new author or authors on the basis of reading small amounts of work by them Also when my minds is distracted or wondering only having to think from one story to the next as opposed to a whole plotline is excellent In short I highly recommend this anthology you're a big fan of fantasy writing? Then get yourself a copy I guarantee you'll like at least 60% of the stories within if not


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Unbound ❰Reading❯ ➺ Unbound Author Shawn Speakman – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Not bound as a book Free Like Unfettered before it the contributing writers of Unbound were allowed to submit the tales they wished fans of genre to read—without the constraints of a shackling theme Not bound as a book Free Like Unfettered before it the contributing writers of Unbound were allowed to submit the tales they wished fans of genre to read—without the constraints of a shackling theme The result is magical Twenty three all original stories are sure to captivate you—some will move you to tears while others will keep you turning the pages long into the night The power of Unbound lies in its variety of tales and the voices behind them If you are a fan of discovering new writers or reading the works of beloved authors Unbound is for you Return to Landover with Terry Brooks Go to trial with Harry Dresden and Jim Butcher Enter the Citadel and become remade with Rachel Caine Survive a plague with John Marco and his robot companion Echo Be painted among the stars by Mary Robinette Kowal These tales and the others that comprise the anthology are only bound by how enchanting and enthralling they are Unbound is filled with spectacularly wonderful stories each one as diverse as its creator You will be changed upon finishing it And that is the point Like Unfettered before it the contributing writers of Unbound were allowed to submit the tales they wished fans of genre to read—without the constraints of a theme It is an anthology filled some spectacularly wonderful stories each one as diverse as its creatorHere is the Unbound line up Terry Brooks intro | Kristen Britain | Jim Butcher | Rachel Caine | Harry Connolly | Delilah S Dawson | David Anthony Durham | Jason M Hough | Mary Robinette Kowal | Mark Lawrence | John Marco | Tim Maruitz | Seanan McGuire | Peter Orullian | Kat Richardson | Anthony Ryan | Shawn Speakman | Brian Staveley | Michael J Sullivan | Sam Sykes | Mazarkis Williams“Madwalls” by Rachel Caine“Stories Are Gods” by Peter Orullian“River and Echo” by John Marco“A Dichotomy of Paradigms” by Mary Robinette Kowal“Son of Crimea” by Jason M Hough“An Unfortunate Influx of Filipians” by Terry Brooks“The Way into Oblivion” by Harry Connolly“Uncharming” by Delilah S Dawson“A Good Name” by Mark Lawrence“All in a Night’s Work” by David Anthony Durham“Seven Tongues” by Tim Maruitz“Fiber” by Seanan McGuire“The Hall of the Diamond ueen” by Anthony Ryan“The Farmboy Prince” by Brian Staveley“Heart’s Desire” by Kat Richardson“The Game” by Michael J Sullivan“The Ethical Heresy” by Sam Sykes“Small Kindnesses” by Joe Abercrombie“The Rat” by Mazarkis Williams“The Siege of Tilpur” by Brian McClellan“Mr Island” by Kristen Britain“Jury Duty” by Jim Butcher“The Dead’s Revenant” by Shawn Speakman.

10 thoughts on “Unbound

  1. Rizwan Rizwan says:

    “You know who I am You know what I can do Let her go”She rolled her eyes and spun a finger through fine straight black hair “Why should I?”“Because you know what happened the last time some vampires abducted a little girl and I decided to take her back”Her smile faltered slightly As it should have When bloodsucking Red Court vampires had taken my daughter I took her back—and murdered every single one of them in the process The entire speciesI’m not a halfway kind of personWow that forgotten hair raising thrills and excitements of reading The Dresden FilesA very short story just a little plot but still the one and only Harry Dresden stands tall here in all his badass wiseass actionpacked glory And even in such a little space Jim Butcher delivers like he always do with perfect execution You can't help but feel a contented sigh and have a stupid little smile on your face after you finish it After three looong years since the last released novel of the series Skin Game As there's yet no sign of even a release date for the next one Peace Talks in the horizon this will have to do for now9 out of 10 Banglaআহা ড্রেসডেন ফাইলস পড়ার সেই ভুলে যাওয়া রোমহর্ষক শিহরণ ও উত্তেজনাছো্ট্ট একটা গল্প অল্প একটু কাহিনি তার মাঝেও হ্যারি ড্রেসডেন তার দুর্ধর্ষ ব্যাডঅ্যাস অ্যাকশনপ্যাকড স্বমহিমায় উদ্ভাসিত। এইটুকু স্পেসেও জিম বুচারের নিখুঁত এক্সিকিউশন গল্প শেষে আপনা থেকেই বিশুদ্ধ তৃপ্তির একটা শ্বাস বেরিয়ে যায় মুখে হাসি লেগে থাকে অনেকক্ষণ। দীর্ঘ তিন বছর পর। পরবর্তি উপন্যাসের যখন খোঁজ নাই যা পাই তাই সই। ১০ এ ৯।

  2. Terence Terence says:

    Unbound is a collection of short stories from various authors in the fantasy genre Overall this is a good collection The only thing I would have liked to see is at minimum a paragraph talking about what world these stories appear in because it's not clear where a reader should go if he or she wanted to read about the characters and their worldI reviewed these stories not in the order they appear but in the order I chose to read them I didn't review all the short stories these are just some that stood out to me The Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellan Many years before Promise of Blood Tamas was a sergeant who desperately wanted a promotion Tamas had two things against him though he's a commoner and a powder mage Commoner's aren't to have ambition and powder mage's were marked for death in some countries just for being powder mages Being the man who takes the wall and breaks the siege of Tilpur was Tamas's best chance at a promotion When he finds out the Adran army is withdrawing from the siege Tamas takes desperate measures for his advancement and to save livesTamas is a very different man in The Siege of Tilpur than he is in the Powder Mage trilogy He's just as arrogant but subdued than he was in the novella Servant of the Crown when he shot the lower part of a nobles earlobe off in a duel Tamas knows what he's capable of and realizes he has a nearly impossible task in front of him in order to be promoted in the Adran armyI really enjoyed The Siege of Tilpur because first Brian McClellan is an awesome author and second Tamas is one intense devoted character He loves Adro even though those who rule it don't acknowledge him and some outright despise him It would have been far simpler for Tamas to join The Wings of Adom who seem concerned with merit in their ranks instead of noble blood Tamas took some crazy risks just for the hope that someone would overlook his common blood and promote himThe Siege of Tilpur is the reason I chose to read Unbound in the first place and I have to say I am not disappointed by that choice at all45 out of 5 stars Small Kindnesses by Joe Abercrombie Shev owns a dump of a husk house She's trying to do the right thing she even helped an unconscious mountain of a woman into her bed just that morning Unfortunately she has a past that won't leave her alone Shev is the best thief in Westport which means people come to her when they want things stolen She can often say no but when the son of a powerful man comes she has no choice but do as he saysSmall Kindnesses wasn't bad but an introduction to the short story would have been great I wasn't sure what world this story took place in which happens to be Abercrombie's First Law world I also couldn't tell when it was taking place the only identifier I noticed was a young Severard appears and he works for Shev So I imagine this is at least a decade prior to the events in The Blade ItselfLord Grimdark himself is back and Small Kindnesses is just a sample of his dark creativity I'll have to check out Abercrombie's website to figure out if this story ties into a new book It certainly seems like it does as this story reads like the first chapter or two of a longer book35 out of 5 stars The Ethical Heresy by Sam Sykes The story begins with some heretics against the Venarium being tortured witch burned on the stake style with magic thrown in there The story is told from the perspective of the apprentice Dreadaeleon Dread isn't the sharpest but he has some ability He and fellow apprentice Cesta are pressed into service while searching for the leader of the Heretics and things get crazy from thereThe Ethical Heresy was my first exposure to Sam Sykes and I have to say I liked it This story was a mash up of Wizards Jedi child snatchers desertion and conseuences It reads much better than that mini description but those were all familiar territories I noticed In the end I have to say I will be checking out of Sam Sykes books because of The Ethical Heresy4 out of 5 stars The Game by Michael J Sullivan The employees of DysanSoft are facing an impossible issue A character in their game Realms of Rah isn't following his programing Many games have glitches like characters walking through walls or falling into the sky but that's not what they're facing here It appears a giant dark green troll named Troth has gained sentience DysanSoft's president wants answers but the employees just don't have answersMichael J Sullivan takes on a highly philosophical idea in a familiar technological format in The Game Troth is eerily aware of the world he lives in and he's asking the big uestions of where did he come from what happens when he dies and why is the world like this Troth's creator Jeri Blainey recently asked the same uestions herself when her father died and wonders how could Troth be this wayI've seen many stories like The Game that attempts to answer the unknowable parts of life and I find them all interesting in their own way They are thought provoking but in the end they only leave me with uestions The Game was certainly an unexpected short story in the Unbound collection35 out of 5 stars A Good Name by Mark Lawrence Firestone is a young tribal man who just passed his manhood trial Unfortunately he has anger in him which he unleashes on a member of his tribe over something trivial and is sent to face the king Nothing from that point on goes as he once expectedA Good Name is likely a story I could appreciate if I got into the Broken Empire series I tried reading the first book before and wasn't a fan so perhaps it's time to give it another try The writing in the short story is solid yet unspectacular3 out of 5 stars The Farmboy Prince by Brian Staveley The Farmboy Prince is one of those short stories that's easy to appreciate without being familiar with the main story or world the story exists in Peasants are peasants and these peasants knew their place A bit vulgar but when the POV character is rough around the edges it only makes sense that his vocabulary matches35 out of 5 stars Madwalls by Rachel Caine I liked the writing style of Madwalls but the story made absolutely no sense to me3 out of 5 stars Jury Duty by Jim Butcher Jury Duty is a Harry Dresden Law and Order episode An ex con gone straight is being set up to go to jail because of supernatural interests and Dresden can't just let that happen This was a pretty good short story even with the fact that I've barely read any of the Dresden books Short stories like this one make me feel like I should give the main series another try35 out of 5 stars

  3. Gehayi Gehayi says:

    Almost everyone else seems to have adored this anthology So I'm afraid that I'm going to be in the minority here Only one story Jury Duty by Jim Butcher which involved preventing an innocent man from going to prison and saving a child's life really pleased me That story I would give 45 starsEverything else with the exception of one other story involved the heroes trying to accomplish something and failing losing or in some cases failing to gain power freedom sanity their world their lives andor hope in the process The one exception to this pattern was by the editor of the anthology and I wince to report that it featured a villain protagonist who corrupted people gave an abused child the means to commit suicide or murder tortured a priest and left him to bleed to death destroyed the soul of a churchwarden by forcing a damned spirit into the churchwarden's body and handed Excalibur over to the resulting revenant so that it could murder an innocent and then start destroying the world The villain protagonist was all too successful I kept reading in the hopes that someone would defeat him but no one did I have never read such an infuriatingly nihilistic collection I could not escape the feeling that the theme of the anthology was the futility of trying to accomplish anything good in this world with a side message of If you even try you're going to get screwed I have been battling depression lately and this did not make matters any better I am deeply deeply sorry that I read itIf I had known that that this anthology focused almost exclusively on the themes futility and failure I would have avoided it altogether This book obviously works for many people It did not work for me

  4. Ron Ron says:

    “The world conspires to take everything from us in the end” Like most anthologies the junk outweighs the jewels but in this case the good stories are very good worth the price of the whole collection I’ll ignore the garbage and review the gems If there’s a theme to this collection other than raising money for authors with medical bills is that these are stories about story“To cling to common wisdom no matter the evidence right in front of one’s nose was an affliction as old as love”By far the best story in the set is “The Game” by Michael J Sullivan If you read no other read this one It’s the best take on “Dial ‘F’ for Frankenstein” I’ve seen in decades“Ignore it the way all rational men ignore all irrational things” “Jury Duty” by Jim Butcher is great if you like Dresden Files which I do“No man’s an island Not even the ones that think they are Especially not them” “Uncharming” by Delilah S Dawson started so bad I almost uit But it got better much betterNice cover art “Stories brought relief comfort and hope”

  5. Evan Evan says:

    I struggle to see how a compendium can be given 5 stars as there is always going to be variability in uality of short stories I found this a long read because it is hard to motivate to finish the crappier stories and sometimes hard to motivate beginning a new story in case it isn't very good And then I'd find a good story and finish it in no time at allI'll review the 5 star stories; the whose authors I now want to readStories are Gods Peter Orullian 5 stars The main story focused on a debate between philosophers The world was really interesting with a mysterious magic affecting it Very easy short story to get into and a really interesting conceptRiver and Echo John Marco 5 stars A really sweet story about a child and his robot yet based in a seeminly medieval world who were sole survivors of a plague An unfortunate influx of Filipians Terry Brooks 5 stars Hilarious characters especially the gnomes and a cute story Reminded me a lot of PratchettUncharming Delilah S Dawson 5 stars A really interesting perspective from a dark rapist wizard Interesting world as wellFiber Sean McGuire 5 stars Really enjoyable zombie cheerleader story Like many of the stories I didn't like much of the story consisted of a very Buffy esue fight scene but there was a lot preamble and the fight wasn't overdrawn Very goodThe ethical heresy Sam Sykes 5 stars Finally a good story emerges from the wilderness the previous 4 5 stories were not good Followed a small uest rather than a fight scene Interesting world with politics that I want to delve further into Main character was funny in his ineptitude Enjoyed a lotSmall kindness Joe Abercrombie 5 stars A story of an ex thief who had to steal once again I enjoyed the characters as expected from Abercrombie The only story to have an LGBT character which I appreciatedThe siege of Tilpur Brian McClellan 5 stars Another battle scene though somewhat different The writing style was very easy though and the little I saw of the powder magic makes me want to read from this worldJury duty Jim Butcher 5 stars Whilst I'm not a fan of werewolfvampire stuff this kept my attention and the addition of wizards helped A presumably uite powerful wizard is on a mortal jury for a murder and he decides to investigate for himself Kept me interested from early on Less interesting storiesMadwalls Rachel Caine 3 stars A dichotomy of paradigms Mary Robinette Kowal 4 stars uirky sci fi space pirate painting and I liked it but too short for 5 stars Son of Crimea Jason m HOUGH 3 starsThe way into oblivion Harry Connolly 2 stars A good name Mark Lawrence 3 starsAll in a night's work David Anthony Durham 4 starsSeven times Tim Maruitz 2 starsThe hall of the diamond ueen Anthony Ryan 1 starThe farmboy Prince Brian Staveley 3 starsHeart's desire Kat Richardson 0 starsThe game Michael J Sullivan 1 starThe rat Mazarkis Williams 3 stars Mr Island Kristen Britain 4 stars The dead's revenant Shawn Speakman 3 stars

  6. T.O. Munro T.O. Munro says:

    An assemblage of short stories liberated from the imaginations of great story tellersPerhaps it s a product of the busy age we live in that short story anthologies have become appealing to my taste than before Bite sized fiction for a world driven by sound bites and there are plenty of bites of different kinds in this riveting collection which Shawn Speakman has editedSome of the authors I already knew and had read others are names glimpsed on social media Some of the stories have roots in the authors' main works though still read well as stand alone stories others are tales told in isolation their backstory fashioned at the convergence of each reader's and author's maginations The anthology is inevitably an eclectic mix but still entertaining in its own right and a powerful taster of different authors' styles and approachesIn some ways it is like those trios of deserts offered in the best restaurants these days a mix of different but complementary taste sensations that leave you hugering for Just as a festive season taster can lead to bigger things and a damaging expansion in the waisline so too this anthology might cause an explosion in my already daunting TBR pileBut to the stories themselves and a story by story seuence of mini reviewsMadwalls by Rachel Caine Beautifully written the transition from the normal world of a teenager into some dark secret an accident of birth landing her in the midst of an ancient covenant handed down from generation to generation on which the fate of the world rests the world and one captive Surreal hypnotic like its central theme the reader like the protagonist is drawn into a world that lingers in the mind or is it the mind that lingers in the world?Stories are Gods by Peter Orullian A story that believes in the power of argument or perhaps an argument that believes in the power of stories A hero who is physically weak but mentally strong fuelled by a powerful love and a tragic schism to take to a debating floor in a world where academic philosopy has suddenly become dangerous Themes from a wider well built world The Vault of Heaven I infer bleed into this story though like its protagonist the story stands well enough on its own two feetRiver and Echo by John Marco If you have seen Will Smith's I am Legend or the film Silent Running you may see the same similes that I did A lone survivor and his unusual companion living ghosts in the detritus of a plague ridden city There is a traditional fantasy feel to it rather than sci fi a city with walls lit and heated by fires defended with arrows Though with a slight steampunk feel The story is sustained by the wonderfully well drawn poignant relationship between River and EchoA dichotomy of Paradigms by Mary Robinette Kowal With this story the anthology lurches into a far future of interstellar piracy and technological innovation that enables artists to pursue their craft with the same vibrant immediacy of a war photographer Patrick the brush wielding protagonist reminded me of a pen scribbling character WWBeauchamp in the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven the journalist hack turned biographer chasing after a gunslinger to document his life Only Patrick finds that painting the pirate ueen poses of a challenge to his conscience and his craft than he expected Son of Crimea by Jason M HoughJohn Crimson is a policeman perched on the cusp of the age of science and reason a time when method replaced madness when passionate crime would yield to patient investigative techniue And into his world steps the disturbing Malena Penar intoxicating and bewitching In a journey that spans half the world she challenges his faith in the rational his dismissal of superstition but in the end I found it hard to tell who wonAn Unfortunate Influx of Filipians by Terry Brooks The story is a bridge into the magical world of Landover where lawyer turned King Ben Holiday finds himself presiding like a cross between Judge Judy and Solomon over a gnomish dispute Problems beget problems in a progeny of biblical proportions and in the end it is management rather than leadership which must resolve the crises that competing incompetencies have createdThe Way into Oblivion by Harry Connolly When the centre of an empire has suddenly fallen to an unknown power that is not so much an opportunity as a threat to those previously subjugated peoples who might be tempted to flex the muscles of their newfound independence Song sister to the leader of the Holvos people finds dangers lurk beside a crocodile infested river than within it When all choices are difficult and all options are unpalatable she must decide what motherhood means to her Uncharming by Delilah S Dawson The writing is delicious a tasty heady morsel as the daimon Monsieur Charmant freuents the darkest corners of an alternate Paris and London in an obsession to utterly possess a poor desparate soul who had already sold him the best part of herself The story draws on a well built world of Dawson's other works but gives what I assume to be a smalller character his moment to preen his awful nature in technicolour limelight I liked this line especially Money had been important to him once Now it was power and possession the tang of owing that hit the air everytime a client gave than they really hadA Good Name by Mark Lawrence This is another work where a supporting player from Prince of Thorns and the short story Select Mode has an opportunity to be fleshed out in detail Jorg had his band of brothers and the Nuban never given an identifier beyond that was one of my favourites In this short story we find what brought him from the village of his birth to a place at Jorg's side in Ancrath It begins with pride the pride in a name won through hardship a name that should not bow when it was not merited But sometimes it is not enough to be right and the conseuences of pride cast long shadowsAll in a Night's Work by David Anthony In an action packed adventure Ash a prince's faithful bodyguard finds a night off is anything but uiet Deadly demons stalk the palace of an alternative Egypt and our young hero sets off in a pursuit of the assassin as single minded as it is foolish The only assistance to be had comes from a beetle with a broken antenna and as Ash realises partway through the chase you can't think of everything when you're dangling a hundred feet in the air holding on to the scrawny legs of a faulty beetle The action is as relentless as the opening seuence of a James Bond movie and the hero scarcely less resourceful than 007 himself Seven Tongues by Tim Maruitz A grim tale with a grim hero illuminated by some startling pose from the very first line onwards The clouds gnawed at the moon devouring it in slow steady bites Gryl is an unusual killer a Prodigy who escaped enslavement and sells his formidable powers though still constrained by some sense of a just cause of a distinction between the guilty and the innocent When such a man goes in pursuit of a slaver who has been trading in and abusing children the outcome is unlikely to be pretty However it is the jobs that seem easiest at first that are likely to end most messily and by the end of this gripping piece Gryl has certainly painted the desert red Fiber by Seanan McGuire This was outrageously entertaining My eldest daughter has resolutely resisted the lure of the fantasy genre but also enjoys cheerleading as a base with the Cambridge Cougars so a story that throws a carload of suabbling cheerleaders into a dark fantasyhorrow blend should be the kind that would fire her interest It's a bit like the way Dawn of the Dead combined zombie apocalypse with fantasy shopping to become one of my wife's favourite films Speaking of which this riveting short story also features a reformed zombie amongst its kick ass kick head kick everything leading females thus proving the old adage that you should never forget to wear a cup to a cheerleader fight No matter what kind of junk you're packing in your pants a good boot to the groin is going to put you down if you don't have protection The Diamond ueen by Anthony RyanThis is story that reaches skywards with its epic scope The opening battle of tens of thousands is a bloody victory won that would make Nirnaeth Arnoediad look like a minor skirmish allow me a little hyperbole here The warrior general Sharrow met flies into combat astride her blackwing like a Nazgul Lord and none dare come between her and her prey But the spoils of victory prove elusive and Sharrow met's past stubbornly intrudes on the present The Voice that is is her master commands controls and rewards but Sharrow met finds mysteries it cannot answer as she strives to complete her subjugation of the last city on the continentAnd when the dust has settled and silence has fallen I am left feeling I have finished a novel rather than a short storyThe Farmboy Prince by Brian StaveleyThere is a distinctive voice in this first person point of view tale the unnamed narrrator coarsely dismissive of both noble and ignoble visitors to his home town which aspires at its best to be a shit hole The noble are reviled as they sit holding one of Nick's filthy tankards as though he'd filled it up with some pox victim's phlegm instead of ale which considering Nick's ale was about right while the ignoble are warned if you go for your sword in Two Streams you'd better be ready to drop some motherfuckersIn short in this short story the lives of the people in Two Streams like the people themselves are short and ugly Throw into the mix a traditional tale of hidden parentage dodgy fake names and a looming national crisis and it becomes clear that something needs to be done What is less clear is exactly what that something is and who's going to do it but Staveley manages to raise a smile and surprise in the processHeart's Desire by Kat RichardsonThe style is hauntingly strange like a letter to an absent lover The narrator sits entwined in the twisted ghosts of fairy stories of old atop a tower tall enough to have held Rapunzel There is a wall of thorns such as entombed sleeping beauty There are helpful talking animals though their purpose and manner is a long way from the timely home helps that assisted Snow WhiteSomething is awry in this fairy tale world a story too full of desparation and shadow to lift the reader's sense of forebdoing but the twist when it comes still cuts to the heart The Game by Michael J SullivanThose of us brought up on the SIMS and World of Warcraft will love the inventiveness of this tale My second daughter not the most skilled SIIMS player used to get genuinely upset when by some accident in playing the first versiion of SIMS she managed to set her SIMS on fire and watched them reduced to a pile of ash and then an urn My eldest slightly clinically observant used to experiment with different ways of killing them off for example putting them in a pool and then removing the ladder so they could not get out and would eventuallly die of exhaustionIn the Game Sullivan plays with the idea of games and the characters that populate them as well as the poeple that play them It is cleverly done so I cannot in all spoiler free safety say much than that Jeri Blainey Project Lead for the Realms of Rah MMPORG is about to have a very bad dayThe Ethical Heresy by Sam SykesDreadaeleon is an apprentice wizard with to worry about than his mouthful of a name Even as they hunt down heretic mages wielding ice fire and lightning Dreadaeleon in the grip of adolescence is obssessed with his cooler taller gifted fellow apprentice Cresta In the midst of death and destruction and the disdain of their grim tutor Vemire Dread vainly tries to draw some approval from his crush The prose captures his failures well as Dread tells himself Well done old man She dressed you down like a six copper prostitute and you simply stood there and took it But even apprentices can find danger in this well crafted piece the backstory of politics and magic system injected seamlessly into the writing like the fine marbelling of fat within the lean of a high uality steak that gives the whole its flavour Humour and pathos mix perfectly as Dread finds himself thinkingAt that moment what he was going to do seemed to fall along the lines of die horribly possibly while cryingSmall Kindnesses by Joe AbercromieThe story spins around three women and the men who underestimate them There is Shev the young but retired thief turned smoke house hostess Carcolf the alluring blond siren from Shev's past still flinging temptation in her way and there is the unconscious redhead Though as facebook told me only this morning It takes a special kind of stupid to piss of a redhead and expect calmShev is the central sympathetic character given to small kindnesses to protecting others from their own foolishness from striving to escape the trap of being the best thief in Westport Maybe there was some stubborn stone in her like the stone in a date that refused to let all the shit that had been done to her make her into shitShev has her share of earthy passions but tries not to let these cloud her thinking too much She tore her eyes away as her mind came knocking like an unwelcome visitor When you live in life's gutter a cerain caution has to be your watchwordBut in a grippingly related day that grows increasingly turbulent our charming but diminutive heroine discovers that fate neither forgets nor forgives a small kindness The Rat by Mazarkis WilliamsA boy Emil awaits his great grandpa coming to stay hoping for an insight into the past In this well written tale a backstory of epic grandeur is distilled down to a child's eye view of a simple hut and four people sharing an evening warmed inflamed even by fires of history The title at first seems misleading the eponymous rodent and its feline huntress little than shadows on the fringes of the lyrical prose But by the end the story had put me in mind of the sad fate of the crew of USS Indianapolis torpedoed in 1945 and left for days floating in shark infested waters their numbers steadily and inevitably diminished until they were spotted and rescued by chance A horror like that would etch deep into an old man's memory and so it is with great grandpa curmudgeonly and distrustful when awake restless and fearful asleepAnd for Emil the excitement of the new not just great grandpa but his road companion the musician young enough to hold his shoulders straight but he carried snow in his hair uickly gives way to uestions he dare not ask answers he does not wantThe Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellanI had heard of the powdermage series but this was my first excursion into the world of magic and musketry that McClellan has created It is a tale of warfare of a desert seige of prejdice class and incompetence Sergeant Tamas and his suad serving the artistocratic General Seske are in the classic mold of the infantry lions led by officer donkeys as they bid to take the fortress that has never fallen It also has shades of the Sharpe novels of Bernard Cornwell the period feel if not the generalship suited to the Napoleonic era than the first world warIt is visceral action but with very human heroes For a moment I saw a hint of Blackadder goes Forth as Tamas explains his cunning plan to a disbelieving general clad in a silk dressing gown perhaps one of General Melchett's cast offs? As with most cunning plans things do not run exactly smoothly but then that is what makes the story so entertainingMr Island by Kristen BritainA charmingly atmospheric tale of what happens when a strange traveller is welcomed to a small east coast community all told with a true 19th century period feel by a narrator known only as Mrs Grindle If Jane Austen and Jules Verne had been inspired by the story of Grace Darling to collaborate this might be the tale they came up with Of propriety and love science and shipwreck mystery and lossAs the layers of the story are peeled back and truths are raised in some cases from the sea bed several themes enjoy a brief flash of illumination as though from the sweep of a lighthouse beam Women's emancipation commercial advantage luddite impulses all flare in this skilful depiction of small town life exposed to new influences But Mr Island and the woman whose kindness captures his heart form the spine to the story and prove that no matter how small the space in which you stand there is no limit to the direction in which you can look Jury Duty by Jim ButcherThere have been many great courtroom dramas since Henry Fonda first swung a jury in Twelve Angry Men but when Harrry Dresden Chicago's wizardly private investigator gets involved in an open and shut case the debate will be won with spells and claws than words and points of law This fresh fast paced story was my first introduction to Harry Dresden and the cynical wit that permeates the writing as Harry first uestions What does justice have to do with the legal system? and then observes of the judge This was a woman who had seen a great deal had been amused by very little of it and who would not easily be made a foolStrings pulled beyond the courtroom threaten to make a mockery of justice but for a hardboiled kind of guy Harry has an unusually soft centre; when the lives or happiness of children are at stake well let's just say you wouldn't want to be at the sharp end of any stake Dresden might be holding The Dead's Revenant by Shawn SpeakmanA bit like Delilah Dawson's tale of Monsieur Charmant Shawn Speakman gives us the point of view of a main story antagonist For 9000 words we walk with Tathal Ennis as he prepares to bring death and disaster to a sleepy English village He has a certain amoral charm an indifference to right or wrong as he draws people in with the spell of his words or the words of his spellThere is young Tim Becket tossing in his sleep his nightmares darker than the purpling new bruises that mingled with old yellow and green all delivered by a grandfather who abhorred weakness Tathal offers him an escape of sorts not caring whether he takes it or not There are old sisters and a not so young barmaid who all must yield and give Tathal what he wants lest he takes it anywayBut Tathal does not dispense death and cruelty for its own sake There is a darker purpose a deeper uest that he pursues a destiny sown on a bloody battlefield of long ago The names Camlann and Myrddin Emrys evoke links to a legend to the legend of dark age Britain

  7. Adam Fisher Adam Fisher says:

    NOTE Only read Jury Duty by Jim ButcherAnother short story in the Dresden Files This one shows that magic is so much a part of everyday life for Harry that it even plays a role when summoned for Jury Duty The story is simple Harry gets called to serve the trial has some inconsistency he decides to investigate finds that supernatural elements are involved this case White Court and the case gets dismissed Simple and straightforward Very good read nonethelessRecommend

  8. Matt Braymiller Matt Braymiller says:

    When I reviewed Unfettered which is the first volume of this series of short stories I think I mentioned that I came across this book from an entry in the blogs of David Anthony Durham and Jason Hough Both are authors whose novels I have enjoyed a great deal and both have a story in this particular volumeOne of the problems with anthologies like Rogues or Crucified Dreams is that the stories are all of the same bent After a while they tend to blur together and I can't remember what distinguishes one story from the next The two collections edited by Shawn Speakman are not like that because no two stories are going to be alikeI found this collection to be head and shoulders above the previousMadwalls by Rachel Caine – I am not familiar with this author This story was a very strange It was an interesting take on plugging the hole in the dike with one's fingerStories are Gods by Peter Orullian – This story started with a scene that strained my suspension of belief beyond what it could bear so that soured the rest of it for meRiver and Echo by John Marco – A poignant tale I was left wanting to know what happened nextA Dichotomy of Paradigms by Mark Robinette Kowal – Very outside her usual norm this story was an interesting look at vanitySon of Crimea by Jason Hough – I do not want to spoil this one for you This story is a prelude to the events of his new novel Zero World though a prelude by 250 ish years Excellent storyAn Unfortunate Influx of Filipians by Terry Brooks – Set in the world of Landover this was an amusing tale I doubt the lesson was learned but cannot criticize the participants being so slow of learning from my own mistakesThe Way Into Oblivion by Harry Connolly – This has the look and feel of a zombie werewolf vampire story but it isn't The author's novel The Way Into Chaos has been sitting on my kindle for a while I think it is time I read itUncharming by Delilah S Dawson – A cautionary tale with a delightfully brutal resolution Be careful what you wish forA Good Name by Mark Lawrence – I've enjoyed the Broken Empire stories but this one tops the list of those I've read by farAll in a Night's Work by David Anthony Durham – I liked this story It is not set in the world of Acacia but is set in an alternate version of Egypt I found it to be a hilarious rollicking adventure I'd like another story about Babbel pleaseSeven Tongues by Tim Maruitz – This is the second story story I've read by this author featuring Gryl a character from an upcoming novel I've really enjoyed both of the stories and am looking forward to reading the novel The story has a Guardians of the Flame feel to it but is meatyFiber by Seanan McGuire – A super human cheerleader suad has a real life horror movie adventure Yeah just let that sink in for a minuteThe Hall of the Diamond ueen by Anthony Ryan – I thought this story was a bit heavy handed and over played the plot However I really liked it Anthony Ryan knows how to spin a tale and the ending of the story was perfectThe Farmboy Prince by Brian Staveley – This story did not go at all as I expected I thought it was going to be a poke at a familiar fantasy trope and it started out that way It did not end that way at allHeart's Desire by Kat Richardson – I’m not entirely sure what I just read A bit too esoteric for me I think All I can say is be careful what you wish forThe Game by Michael J Sullivan – This is a very interesting story What would happen if an NPC in a MMORPG became self aware?The Ethical Heresy by Sam Sykes – An interesting look at the search for knowledge and the price for acuiring itSmall Kindnesses by Joe Abercrombie – Everything I've read by this author has been enjoyable This story has a fantasy western feel and is well executedThe Rat by Mazarkis Williams – I think this is my first exposure to this writer I liked the story it had a dark ominous feelThe Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellan – This is a story of heroic fantasy set in McClellan's powder mage world A fun readMr Island by Kristen Britain – This was a very interesting story It is set in 1870 and has an alien a shipping master and a love story all wrapped up in one individual's efforts to return homeJury Duty by Jim Butcher – Harry Dresden gets chosen for jury duty in an open and shut case Or is it?The Dead's Revenant by Shawn Speakman – A complex tale of revenge

  9. Marc Taylor Marc Taylor says:

    This was an amazing collection of short stories each of them kept me engaged and entertained Listening to this as an audiobook I didn't get the opportunity to just bounce from story to story and am I glad of that I was forced to listen to stories I might have otherwise just skippedI won't take the time to review each story that has been done many times already but I will say that I LOVED the following The Siege of Tilpur by Brian McClellan I've been very hesitant to jump into the Powder Mage world but I think based on this story I'll be reading it shortly Jury Duty by Jim Butcher It's Harry Dresden really that should be enough of a reason but just in case Mr Butcher's storytelling is fantastic as always and I loved the introduction to why Harry is real in the books River and Echo by John MarcoTake the time and read everything in this book it will open your options to new authors I know it did for me

  10. Tom Tom says:

    Much like Blackguards this anthology hit the right note for me with a wide variety of stories by a huge amount of very talented authors There wasn't a story I didn't like amongst the lot really the one thing I love about anthologies is finding a new author or authors on the basis of reading small amounts of work by them Also when my minds is distracted or wondering only having to think from one story to the next as opposed to a whole plotline is excellent In short I highly recommend this anthology you're a big fan of fantasy writing? Then get yourself a copy I guarantee you'll like at least 60% of the stories within if not

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