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Epic: Legends of Fantasy

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From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelling at its best. With rich and vibrant world building, readers are transported to antiquated realms to witness noble sacrifices and astonishing wonders. Gathering a comprehensive survey of beloved stories From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelling at its best. With rich and vibrant world building, readers are transported to antiquated realms to witness noble sacrifices and astonishing wonders. Gathering a comprehensive survey of beloved stories from the genre, this compilation includes stories by such luminaries as George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robin Hobb, and Tad Williams. Inspiring and larger-than-life, these tales offer timeless values of courage and friendship in the face of ultimate evil and express mankind's greatest hopes and fears. Contents Foreword by Brent Weeks "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb "The Word of Unbinding" by Ursula K. Le Guin "The Burning Man" by Tad Williams "As the Wheel Turns" by Aliette de Bodard "The Alchemist" by Paolo Bacigalupi "Sandmagic" by Orson Scott Card "The Road to Levinshir" by Patrick Rothfuss "Rysn" by Brandon Sanderson "While the Gods Laugh" by Michael Moorcock "Mother of All Russiya" by Melanie Rawn "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" by Kate Elliott "The Bound Man" by Mary Robinette Kowal "The Narcomancer" by N. K. Jemisin "Strife Lingers in Memory" by Carrie Vaughn "The Mad Apprentice" by Trudi Canavan "Otherling" by Juliet Marillier "The Mystery Knight" by George R. R. Martin


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From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelling at its best. With rich and vibrant world building, readers are transported to antiquated realms to witness noble sacrifices and astonishing wonders. Gathering a comprehensive survey of beloved stories From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelling at its best. With rich and vibrant world building, readers are transported to antiquated realms to witness noble sacrifices and astonishing wonders. Gathering a comprehensive survey of beloved stories from the genre, this compilation includes stories by such luminaries as George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robin Hobb, and Tad Williams. Inspiring and larger-than-life, these tales offer timeless values of courage and friendship in the face of ultimate evil and express mankind's greatest hopes and fears. Contents Foreword by Brent Weeks "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb "The Word of Unbinding" by Ursula K. Le Guin "The Burning Man" by Tad Williams "As the Wheel Turns" by Aliette de Bodard "The Alchemist" by Paolo Bacigalupi "Sandmagic" by Orson Scott Card "The Road to Levinshir" by Patrick Rothfuss "Rysn" by Brandon Sanderson "While the Gods Laugh" by Michael Moorcock "Mother of All Russiya" by Melanie Rawn "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" by Kate Elliott "The Bound Man" by Mary Robinette Kowal "The Narcomancer" by N. K. Jemisin "Strife Lingers in Memory" by Carrie Vaughn "The Mad Apprentice" by Trudi Canavan "Otherling" by Juliet Marillier "The Mystery Knight" by George R. R. Martin

30 review for Epic: Legends of Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This was a pretty great anthology. I was probably destined to like it because it's pretty hard for me to dislike most kinds of fantasy. This is also different than some anthologies because the editor didn't commission pieces for this book, but collected them from other already published sources. I sampled a lot of authors I've been meaning to try for some time, although I'm annoyed that some of the stories occur halfway through a series or something like that. If you like Epic fantasy and are cu This was a pretty great anthology. I was probably destined to like it because it's pretty hard for me to dislike most kinds of fantasy. This is also different than some anthologies because the editor didn't commission pieces for this book, but collected them from other already published sources. I sampled a lot of authors I've been meaning to try for some time, although I'm annoyed that some of the stories occur halfway through a series or something like that. If you like Epic fantasy and are curious to try out an anthology, this would be a good place to start. Below are reviews for each individual story, written as I read them. --- "Homecoming," Robin Hobb -- The first story (novella, really) is a prequel of sorts to Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds series. It can stand on its own, but if you're like me, after reading it, you're really just going to want to read the rest of that series (there are four books, most of which were published before she wrote this novella). The story chronicles the first colony of the Rain Wilds continent. The colony is made up of exiles, criminals, and hopeful businessmen. Only, the environment they find is one that quickly takes its toll. The river is corrosive, the land is almost all swamp. Clean water and plentiful sources of food are scarce. People start dropping like flies. And the three ships that brought them either leave or are destroyed by the river. The story is told through the journal of a noble woman forced into exile, an artist and writer, whose husband was part of a treasonous plot against their country's empire. She is a very unpleasant person at the beginning of the story. She's resentful, extremely snobbish, and feels too sorry for herself to do much of anything. This was already interesting to me as a fantasy version of the first colonies in the now-USA (including the infamous missing colony of Roanoke). But then when the main character starts to take charge of her life and help the colony survive, things get really interesting. Really, really enjoyed this one, and it's a good sign, I think, that the first story in this collection is so good. 5/5 stars "The Word of Unbinding," Ursula K. Le Guin -- I don't know about this one. I think Le Guin and I just aren't simpatico as writer and reader. All the stuff I've ever read from her feels so beautifully impersonal. I just don't get it. I think I only liked this one as much as I did because it was very short and I didn't have to read much of it. I liked the first half better than the second, which is when the wizard trapped in a well (by another wizard) keeps trying different ways of escaping. Then as all of her stuff does, it got all mystical and poetic and sort of lost me. I guess I can see why she's an important writer in the genre, but this story perfectly encapsulates why she isn't really my kind of writer. I like tangibility in the books I read. I'm going to give her one more shot, though, because I've only ever read her fantasy, not her sci-fi. I'll probably try either The Left Hand of Darkness or The Dispossessed. Any suggestions? 3/5 stars "The Burning Man," Tad Williams -- I expected a lot more from this story. I've been looking forward to reading The Dragonbone Chair for quite a while now. The mention of Angel Tower halfway through this tipped me off that this novella, like the Hobb one, is a prequel for his series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. It was okay. I liked the first half better than the second, when it became clear that the ending was going to be pretty anti-climactic. The story is narrated by Breda, now an old woman, recalling her youth spent with her stepfather, and the story surrounding the time she saw The Burning Man. I was unimpressed with Breda. Her narration was overdramatic. I also didn't believe the love story, which affected the way I experienced the ending. Her relationship with her stepfather would have been the way to make this story interesting, and as it is, that relationship is mostly a missed opportunity. I felt Breda was an uninteresting point of view into this story--she was much too passive, and Williams doesn't do a great job portraying the mind of a fifteen year old girl (or rather, an old woman remembering her time as a fifteen year old girl). All in all, just a resounding 'meh' to this one. 3/5 stars "As the Wheel Turns," Aliette de Bodard -- Oh, blech. Three in a row. This was a pretentious piece of mythological nonsense that spent way too much time trying to MEAN SOMETHING IMPORTANT instead of creating characters with interesting emotional arcs. I normally like stories featuring Asian-inspired mythology, but here it felt like de Bodard was using it to add to the IMPORTANTNESS instead of using it for other, more practical reasons. It did have some nice moments, although the dialogue was quite bad. The main character, who is continually being reincarnated for a mysterious purpose, shuffles through her lives too quickly for us to really care about them, but one of her husbands does something really sweet and they have a moment after death that I liked. This story might have been made to work if it was novel length instead of twenty pages. Squishing it all together just highlighted the problematic stuff. 2/5 stars "The Alchemist," Paolo Bacigalupi -- I feel bad that I've had The Windup Girl on my to-read list for so long, because this story was great. It takes place in a world where the price for magic is creeping, poisonous brambles which are very hard to destroy, because they put off seeds that scatter and take root even when burned. They have reached a point where there is almost nowhere free from them. It's a cool, sort of Sleeping Beauty-inspired world, where the poisonous brambles cause a sleep that becomes permanent as the victim's blood solidifies in their body. Except there are no princesses. The main character is the titular alchemist, who has ruined his own life and impoverished his family in pursuit of a way to kill off the brambles for good. It was really well-written, had interesting twists and turns, and the world of the story was extremely vivid. His characters also come to life very quickly. The fifty-page length seems like more from how much depth you get out of it. Really, really liked this one. 5/5 stars "Sandmagic," Orson Scott Card -- Hmm, I kind of liked this. And I feel bad about that. I actually haven't read anything by OSC since I found out what a crackpot he is politically. One of these days I will do a re-read of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead (two of my all-time favorite books) with his extreme views in mind, and then write all about how those books actually contradict those beliefs, and how silly that is. I am convinced it will be brilliant. But in the meantime, this was here and it was only twenty pages, and it's not like he's going to profit from my reading it. I didn't even buy the book--it's a library copy. This is a revenge story, a cautionary tale and a bit of a fable, about a boy whose parents are killed horribly in a war and his hatred festers into violence. It takes the opposite tack of a normal fantasy story, because the 'hero' ignores the wise mentor character and everything goes to shit. It wasn't structured very well, though, and the first couple of pages were completely unnecessary. 3/5 stars "The Road to Levinshir," Patrick Rothfuss -- This story was one of the reasons I picked up the collection, the other being the story by Brandon Sanderson. Joke's on me, though; I'd already read both of them previously when they were part of other books. This one is an excerpt from the middle of Wise Man's Fear, the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, which was published in 2011. Apparently another version of this story actually was published in Writers of the Future way back in 2001, before Rothfuss even published The Name of the Wind, but it's the updated version in this collection. Despite my annoyance at having already read it, the excerpt did work pretty well as a stand-alone story. There were a few instances where context was missing for people who weren't familiar with Kvothe's story, and references to events that are left unexplained, but the basic story works. There's even a bit of growth on Kvothe's part, although the larger context of it is missing here. 4/5 stars "Rysn," Brandon Sanderson -- Like the previous story, I already read this as part of a larger novel, in this case The Way of Kings, the first book in Sanderson's beyond epic Stormlight Archive series. Both of the books published in that series so far are a solid five stars and I can't recommend them highly enough. I don't think this story works on its own. Robbed of the larger context of the whole series, it seems small and unimportant, and the revelations you get from it when read as part of that larger work are the most interesting part about it. It's not actually a good story on its own. There were other little excerpts from both books that would have worked better than "Rysn," and Adams would have done better to choose one of them instead. The books are split into POV character parts, interpersed with 'interludes,' like the one included here, that lend depth to the world and bring in little clues about the larger context of the story. Unfortunately, robbed of that larger context, it's pretty much a dud, I think. 2/5 stars "While the Gods Laugh," Michael Moorcock -- This novella is the origin of Moorcock's Elric Saga. It was published ten years before Elric of Melnibone. I suppose it's unfair of me to think this story was stupid and pretentious and boring, but this story was stupid and pretentious and boring. I haven't read much fantasy from the 1960s, but if this is what it was like, yeesh. No thank you. Very pulpy. Very melodramatic. Shallow characterization. The 'hero' Elric of Melnibone, an albino with a magic sword, who was very famous for being one of the fantasy genre's first anti-heroes, was extremely disappointing. He's a cocky asshole who expresses his intelligence by moping around the world and brooding about how put-upon he is. Again, this is probably unfair becaus the story is over fifty years old, but time hasn't favored it. Moorcock is clearly very impressed with himself as a writer, but all of his "deep thoughts" are thoughts any fifteen year with an attitude, a cigarette, and a moleskine can have. Elric thinks he's the first man to ever emo and he's soooo special and alone, but any idiot can emo like Elric. Additionally, everything else about this story was shallow. The secondary characters (including a laughable sex-kitten sidekick). The quest. Elric's "emotions." Blech. And I had been looking forward to reading Elric of Melnibone. Maybe I still will. A long time from now. 2/5 stars "The Mother of All Russiya," Melanie Rawn -- I liked this one. It's a sort of pseudo-fantasy, alternate history involving Saint Olga, the founding of Kiev, and a eunuch magician. The magician part is what makes it fantasy and alternate history, of course, although Rawn claims the events detailed actually happened. She has only changed the how. I liked the overall story, but it illustrates my main problem with most short stories. Authors who are used to writing novels a lot of the time do not know how to write characters or stories that are as interesting as they would be in a longer work. I know what Olga does in this story, but I don't feel it. I will forget almost everything about this story in less than a week because there was nothing in it for me to connect to the characters emotionally. 3/5 stars "Riding the Shore of the River of Death," Kate Elliott -- I've never read anything by Kate Elliott before, but I liked this! Again, it would have been better served by being a full length novel. The tribal setting almost came across as stereotypical because so little space was spent developing it, but the interactions between the characters saved it. I just didn't have time with her style to actually care for the characters. But her world intrigued me, and she did some stuff with gender that I've never seen before. I'm a little confused on the setting of this novel, and I think it's part of a larger series of hers, but I'm unclear as to which and where in that series it takes place. I already had her on my to-read list, but this has made me more excited to get to her stuff eventually. 4/5 stars "The Bound Man," Mary Robinette Kowal -- I super liked this! It was sort of weird at first, but then it clicked and I whipped through it. It has a bunch of things I always like in stories--time travel, stories about mothers and daughters, mucking about with prophecies, racial stuff, gender stuff--and it was almost all treated in ways I haven't really seen before. It was nothing revolutionary, just all of it was really well done. Second novella I've read by MRK this year, and both have been great. I'm really excited to finally start her Glamourist Histories series. 5/5 stars "The Narcomancer," N.K. Jemisin -- Just a bunch of firsts up in here. I've had Jemisin's Inheritance series on my to-read list for years now, and I finally managed to track down a used copy of the second book a couple of months ago, but this story got to me first. It's a precursor to her Dreamblood series, the first novel of which, The Killing Moon, was was published in 2012. It's a world where dream magic exists, can kill, heal, etc. The main character is a priest named Cet who is tasked with bringing peace to a village plagued by a narcomancer, a magician with the power over sleep. I actually got a little teary-eyed at the end of this story, though it did get a bit weird there for a while, but I guess it was a good kind of weird. 4/5 stars "Strife Lingers in Memory," Carrie Vaughn -- This story was tedious. I get what she was going for. No one ever follows the hero home after his heroic deeds are over (well, no one except Tolkien, and even then, it was more of an afterthought to the story instead of the story itself). And the kind of shit fantasy heroes especially face (goblins, dragons, other scary monsters, etc.) would probably give you a hell of a case of PTSD. Unfortunately, it's just not well-written. The characters were cyphers, and the writing felt like it was trying too hard. Again, I think this is an author that does better with more space. She doesn't have the gift of characterization. I've enjoyed some of the other stories of hers I've read in anthologies, but they've all been more contemporary, where her voice as a writer sounds more natural. This was bleh. 2/5 stars "The Mad Apprentice," Trudi Canavan -- This was okay, but it was also sort of unpleasant. The main character is the sister of a psychopath, the titular mad apprentice. After he murders his master, he brings her along on his violent adventures, killing any magician he finds and taking their magic. Soon he is also killing civilians, whole villages. He is a horrible, horrible person, and she just sits there like a doormat and lets him do everything, either because she's scared of what he'll do to her or because she's in denial, or both. It's understandable, but I didn't like her at all. The style of the story was jarring as well, half told from her perspective and half told from another magician chronicling the events. It would have been better to stick to one perspective. Canavan's Black Magician series is still on my to-read list, and I hope it's better put together than this was. 3/5 stars "The Otherling," Juliet Marillier -- First time reading Juliet Marillier, and it was . . . interesting. The fantastic parts were original and interesting, but the entire premise of the story is just so morbid. I didn't like being made to feel like I should get positive resolution out of something that is so horrible. (SPOILERS: The main character is a Bard, a prophet who sings the future of her people and warns them of things that threaten their survival. There is always one Bard, and they are always a twin. Their twin is killed at birth so they can absorb their strength and use it to work the magic of being a Bard. This Bard disobeys and doesn't kill her apprentice's twin, and disaster almost follows. The story ends when she finally kills the twin and rah rah our people are saved. It wasn't celebratory, but it didn't make me feel super great, I can tell you that.) 3/5 stars "The Mystery Knight," George R.R. Martin -- Love this one. I read it last year after first reading its companion novellas, "The Hedge Knight" and "The Sworn Sword." I didn't re-read this time because this book is already four days overdue to the library, but my original review can be found here. 4.5/5 stars Averaged rating of all stories is 3.38, but I'm rounding up because the overall experience was very positive.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb 5 stars! That is a rich, vivid, intriguing 'beginning story' about the legends of the Rain Wilds River and its people. I love it! "The Word of Unbinding" by Ursula K. Le Guin 4.5 stars. A short story about a magician trapped in a cellar trying to fight off a mysterious powerful evil mage who no one has ever seen, who tries to steal his life and power. In the end the magician escapes only after(view spoiler)[ he gives up his life and chases the evil mage through the Lan "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb 5 stars! That is a rich, vivid, intriguing 'beginning story' about the legends of the Rain Wilds River and its people. I love it! "The Word of Unbinding" by Ursula K. Le Guin 4.5 stars. A short story about a magician trapped in a cellar trying to fight off a mysterious powerful evil mage who no one has ever seen, who tries to steal his life and power. In the end the magician escapes only after(view spoiler)[ he gives up his life and chases the evil mage through the Land of Death (hide spoiler)] , it truly is another imgainive, intriguing tale from Ms. Le Guin. "The Burning Man" by Tad Williams 3.5 stars. The story is good but after a few days I almost forget everything within this short story. "As the Wheel Turns" by Aliette de Bodard 2 stars. Okay....reincarnation and Asian style fantasy is great.......but who on Earth would name her heroine Lam Daiyu, after the very heroine of the famed Dreams in the Red Chamber? That's so ridiculous. "The Alchemist" by Paolo Bacigalupi 4 stars. Now I know there is one more author I can rely on. "Sandmagic" by Orson Scott Card Skipped because I won't read anything by this man. "The Road to Levinshir" by Patrick Rothfuss Skipped because I didn't enjoy The Name of the Wind at all. "Rysn" by Brandon Sanderson A 'slice of life' kind of short story, 3.5 stars. "While the Gods Laugh" by Michael Moorcock Some kind of an origin story (?) of Elric of Melnibone, this story actually motivates me to want to read more into this series. 4 stars. "Mother of All Russiya" by Melanie Rawn It feels more like a historical story than a fantasy one, 3 stars. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" by Kate Elliott 3 stars. Gender role and tribe's rituals are introduced in this coming-of-age story, but those messages seem a bit forced. "The Bound Man" by Mary Robinette Kowal I don't remember much of this story, but it isn't bad. 3 stars. "The Narcomancer" by N. K. Jemisin 3.8 stars. The world building is interesting enough and LGTBQ being showed as a common way of life is always good. "Strife Lingers in Memory" by Carrie Vaughn "The Mad Apprentice" by Trudi Canavan 4.5 stars. It's a completed and nice story about a talented young man and his out of control ambition. "Otherling" by Juliet Marillier 4.2 stars. It's a fantasy short story based on Scotland and its traditions, the story is simple but it gives you a good understanding of Marillier's fantasy world. "The Mystery Knight" by George R. R. Martin I don't remember had I finished reading this one at all...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vderevlean

    Antologiile sunt făcute pentru a descoperi autori noi pe care să-i citeşti, altfel, mai tot timpul sunt inegale. Ca şi aceasta. Important e că am citit o nuvelă (fragment de roman?) foarte bună de Robin Hobb - ceea ce confirmă faptul că trebuie să continui cu noua trilogie de la Nemira, am descoperit o autoare pe care nu o citisem şi trebuie neapărat, aşa că am luat volumul de la Nemira - e vorba de N.K. Jemisin. Mi-a plăcut mult nuvela lui Martin, probabil voi lua la citit în sfârşit celebra se Antologiile sunt făcute pentru a descoperi autori noi pe care să-i citeşti, altfel, mai tot timpul sunt inegale. Ca şi aceasta. Important e că am citit o nuvelă (fragment de roman?) foarte bună de Robin Hobb - ceea ce confirmă faptul că trebuie să continui cu noua trilogie de la Nemira, am descoperit o autoare pe care nu o citisem şi trebuie neapărat, aşa că am luat volumul de la Nemira - e vorba de N.K. Jemisin. Mi-a plăcut mult nuvela lui Martin, probabil voi lua la citit în sfârşit celebra serie (am văzut doar serialul), foarte bun Rothfuss, însă nu ştiu dacă traducerea de la RAO merită sau mai bine citesc în original. Ah, şi de urmărit Trudi Canavan. Destul de interesant. Mai e şi Sanderson, cu un fragment nefericit ales, dar acolo nu aveam nevoie de confirmări. Bagicalupi confirmă faptul că scrie prozăscurtă foarte bine. În rest, proze slăbuţe spre de necitit. Dar contează cele bune. Aşa că o antologie de cumpărat şi citit pentru cei care vor să-şi facă liste ptr viitoare achiziţii.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    This anthology was a very nice surprise; although it contains a lot of well-known names, I have discovered new ones (for me) and was delighted by the stories. Some are fragments from novels and the others were already published before in other magazines or anthologies, but for me they were all a first reading. Here are my thoughts on them: > Homecoming by Robin Hobb - the diary of an exiled court lady, which take us in a journey to a mysterious land for a new beginning. The landscape reminded m This anthology was a very nice surprise; although it contains a lot of well-known names, I have discovered new ones (for me) and was delighted by the stories. Some are fragments from novels and the others were already published before in other magazines or anthologies, but for me they were all a first reading. Here are my thoughts on them: > Homecoming by Robin Hobb - the diary of an exiled court lady, which take us in a journey to a mysterious land for a new beginning. The landscape reminded me a lot of Hamilton's Lalonde. But Hobb's touch on characters is unmistakable (view spoiler)[(the more oppressed, the better :D) (hide spoiler)] and with some noir accents, the result is an astounding story. 5/5★ > The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K. Le Guin - a confrontation between two wizards. My 4th fantasy reading of Le Guin and I still think she should have stuck to sci-fi... meh. 2/5★ > The Burning Man by Tad Williams - a young step daughter has to choose between her step father and her lover; a nice story about the meaning of religion and the choices we make in life. 4/5★ > As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard - a story based on a Chinese legend. One is torn between duty and fear with no hope to find a solution. But help came when unexpected... 4/5★ > The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi - in a city almost suffocated by some bewitched thorn trees, a man discovered the a way to get rid of them. Too bad that he shares his discovery with the mayor and his acolyte... 4/5★ > Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card - a boy seeks revenge after his father got murdered and nothing can make his mind change. 4/5★ > The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss - a fragment form The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe's encounter with a bunch of bandits, who took two girls as slaves. 5/5★ > Rysn by Brandon Sanderson - again a fragment from a novel, here The Way of Kings, which soon will be on my currently-reading list. Firts encounter with Rysn immediatly brought to my eyes the image of Erith, the Ogier. Oh, how I liked WoT... 5/5★ > While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock - I understood there is entire series with this character, Elric de Melnibone. What I don't know if it's part of any of the novels or a stand alone one, but I will not look into it for sure. This story is about Elric being in search for Dead Gods’ Book. Nothing drwan me: not the characters nor the story, which lacks something, not sure what... Anyway, 2/5★ > Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn - new writer for me, but what a wonderful surprise: a story based on real facts from Russia's history with some Oriental and Scandinavian accents. Simply breathtaking. 5/5★ > Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott - a girl begins a journey together with his brother and a friend in order to prove her courage and to gain the freedom to live like a man instead of living the life of a married woman. But her brother is hurt and she gives up the competition in order to help him. However, something else happens on the way back... Really nice idea, but a not so nice development... 3/5★ > The Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal - a story about a goddess brought back from time through an invocation of a sword, to fight along humans. Nice approach of fate. 3/5★ > The Narcomancer by N. K. Jemisin - part of Dreamblood universe. Two dream magicians begin a journey to help a woman and her village against a band of bandits, against whom they were helpless. A story about love and selflessness. 5/5★ > Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn - a daughter of a wizard marries a prince and spends her whole life trying to comfort him from the bad nightmares which haunted him. Too cheesy for me. 2/5★ > The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan - the story of a medieval Rambo and his dummy sister, (view spoiler)[who "wakes up" when it's too late (hide spoiler)] ... 2/5★ > Otherling by Juliet Marillier - the story of a bard whose magic Songs lead the events in that village. A wrong decision brings with it the alteration of the Songs... 5/5★ > The Mystery Knight by George R.R. Martin - the adventures of a hedge knight, named Ser Duncan “Dunk” the Tall and his squire, Egg. A mini pre-GoT story. 4/5★ Overall, a great reading and a must for genre lovers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.A.

    I was drawn to Epic: Legends of Fantasy by two names: Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss. I confess I was slightly disappointed to find that the selections from those two personal favorites were excerpts from novels I had already read, but their inclusion served its purpose well. I wasn’t familiar with the other works in the anthology, so this proved to be a great introduction. I wouldn’t have looked into Aliette de Bodard or Paolo Bacigalupi otherwise, and their stories stood out from this I was drawn to Epic: Legends of Fantasy by two names: Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss. I confess I was slightly disappointed to find that the selections from those two personal favorites were excerpts from novels I had already read, but their inclusion served its purpose well. I wasn’t familiar with the other works in the anthology, so this proved to be a great introduction. I wouldn’t have looked into Aliette de Bodard or Paolo Bacigalupi otherwise, and their stories stood out from this top notch collection. I really enjoyed the lead story by Robin Hobb, and it was good to read a story by Mary Robinette Kowal, one of the Writing Excuses podcasters. I also liked Melanie Rawn’s “Mother of All Russiya” and Kate Elliott’s “Riding the Shore of the River of Death.” I was drawn in by familiar authors, but what I’m taking away is that there plenty more fantasy writers, female fantasy writers in particular, with whom I ought to be more familiar. As the editor John Joseph Adams states in the preface, “Epic fantasy has become the literature of more.” After reading this anthology I have to agree!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    Epic was a perfect title choice because that is exactly what this anthology was! If you’ve never read an epic fantasy -these are some of the best fantasy authors in the business and one exquisite sampling indeed. Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5/5 This one was the whole package for me. It has self discovery, exile into the unknown, death, madness, a sunken city, a touch of magic, heaps of treasure and of course love. The character Carillion starts out with the kind of personally that I loathed but I went Epic was a perfect title choice because that is exactly what this anthology was! If you’ve never read an epic fantasy -these are some of the best fantasy authors in the business and one exquisite sampling indeed. Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5/5 This one was the whole package for me. It has self discovery, exile into the unknown, death, madness, a sunken city, a touch of magic, heaps of treasure and of course love. The character Carillion starts out with the kind of personally that I loathed but I went with her on a journey that completely changes almost everything about the person she once was. A most excellent start to this anthology. The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K. Le Guin 4/5 An extremely short read of barely 7 pages, yet it managed to keep my rapt attention from the first and tell a complete tale. This is a real wizard! The Burning Man by Tad Williams 3/5 Wonderfully descriptive, I did enjoy it though the story dragged at times and didn’t seem to capture my interest entirely. It took a long while to get to the point of the tale. As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard 5/5 Achingly sad and very effective at connecting the reader to the heroine. The atmosphere was so well done that I fled to a better lighted room to escape the darkness her tormentors made her feel. I can’t wait to read more by this author! The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi 5/5 A world I could fully imagine and immerse myself into. The Alchemist was so well thought out, I couldn’t even begin to guess what was going to happen. I will definitely be picking up one of his books! I love the relationship between the father and daughter! Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card 4/5 A fatalistic journey caused by the violence of men and ended by the vengeance of another. It was saddening yet still very entertaining. The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss 5/5 Hands down the best short story I’ve ever read. It felt so real it brought tears to my eyes. I totally fell for this hero! *swoon* One of the last scenes I believe could be interpreted to speak volumes about the death penalty. Rysn by Brandon Sanderson 3/5 At only 8 pages I felt this was more like a scene out of a short story, rather than a story itself. It definitely did hint at a world that I would love to visit again but I didn’t quite connect with the characters like I usually do with this author’s work. While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock 3/5 A quest filled with action, adventure monsters, a beautiful woman and a tormented anti-hero. One thing for sure something was always happening. I’m really curious now to read the series this comes from. Bring it on albino warrior! Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn 4/5 A very engaging story. I loved the extra bit at the end of the story telling the reader about the historical facts. Beware a mother’s wrath! Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott 5/5 A world worth visiting again, this ended in a way I completely didn’t expect! So well written you can’t help but sympathize. Just what lengths would you go to in order to escape a fate you don’t want? And would you sacrifice someone you love to achieve that? Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal 4/5 A warrior, a mother, torn out of her time and thrust into another. Thoroughly enjoyable but lacked some indefinable thing for me that would have made it great rather then good. The Narcomancer by N.K. Jemisin 5/5 One of my favorites in this anthology. Loved it, seriously, just read it OK?!! I ache for Cet and the internal struggle he goes through. It manages at the end to be both sad and uplifting. Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn 5/5 Is a hero turned King still great if he has weaknesses? If he is haunted by fear and phantoms of his own mind? Here we learn the price of victory and all the possible spoils that come with it. The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan 4/5 Why does the abused so often submit to the hand of their abuser? I was so torn between loving and hating this story. Mostly because I believe in the fight, and that all of us should have some fight in us. Maybe that’s just the soldier in me… Otherling by Juliet Marillier 5/5 Eerie, sad, lonely and so wrong in some ways but when all of these things came together they literally sang! But then it is about a Bard. The Mystery Knight by George R.R. Martin 3/5 I’m not heavily in the Martin camp. I enjoy Song of Ice and Fire as much as the next person but I would have enjoyed this more if it really were a short story unto itself.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cherie Waggie

    My first love in reading has been fantasy, and in writing, so for a change of pace from mysteries, I have begun to read more fantasy after so many years away. Anthologies are a great way to start getting back into stories one really loves, whether fantasy, mystery, supernatural, or any other type of book. Anthologies introduce the reader to the variety of writers of each genre, so that the reader can get the full feel of the genre.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This 'book' is actually a collection of short stories, all based on the relatively broad genre - Epic Fantasy. It includes works from many of the more famous fantasy authors (George R.R. Martin or Robin Hobb) and many stories written by people I had never known of. I had began this book because I was hungry for a new story from my favourite author - Patrick Rothfuss - who had contributed to the making of the book. My opinion was heightened by the fact that another wondrous fantasy writer, Brando This 'book' is actually a collection of short stories, all based on the relatively broad genre - Epic Fantasy. It includes works from many of the more famous fantasy authors (George R.R. Martin or Robin Hobb) and many stories written by people I had never known of. I had began this book because I was hungry for a new story from my favourite author - Patrick Rothfuss - who had contributed to the making of the book. My opinion was heightened by the fact that another wondrous fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson, also had a story filed within it. One thing I must say, though I enjoyed most of the stories thoroughly; I was extremely disappointed to find that neither of my favored authors had an original piece put in this book, but rather both had contributed extracts from their novels. I will quite certainly place this book under 'a book of short stories'. I had encouraged myself with the knowledge that I can always leave off reading any short story that I find badly written and move on, but there was no need. New or otherwise, the stories were very intriguing and I am sure I have discovered at least a few more authors whose novels I'd like to investigate. Picking three of these seventeen lovely tales was difficult. It is a strange experience for me, reading short stories - especially ones of epic fantasy. The name itself suggests a long, complicated novel. Epic fantasy short stories were very new to me. The plots were less sophisticated and on a smaller scale, although, as always there were exceptions. Many included a change in character, perception or a goal achieved that will lead to a larger part left unsaid in the story. I am impressed about the amount of substance that can be fitted into 10 or so pages worth of writing. I am glad to have read it; seeing stories side by side provide a contrast and complement, of sorts. I eventually tried to pick three stories that were rather different in theme and plot, and so the stories I will be discussing in this review are: 'The Alchemist', 'Riding the Shore of the River of Death' and 'Bound Man'. The quote that stayed in my mind from the first story is: When there is nothing to do but work, a great deal of work can be done. It has a hint of underlying determination to it that I like. The story 'Riding the Shore of the River of Death' contains a line - almost a warning... A woman could live her life tending the fire of such a man's life. It's heat was seductive, but in the end its glory belonged only to him. It is the female protagonist's thoughts on a man that her parents are marrying her to. In 'Bound Man' there is a small extract that I feel represents the characters' purposes, personalities and their relationships with one another really well. Halldór stared as her long hair began flirting with the wind. She smiled at the question in his eyes. "I have a prophecy to fulfill." It describes when the main character finally comes to terms with her fate. From these stories I learnt that there are many definitions to epic fantasy - but generally the stories center on a different world that is like, but unlike, Earth where something, usually a battle of some sort, is happening. The main characters are normally either extremely powerful or nearly helpless. The story is usually based around how they change and come onto themselves or their powers. Short stories though, are more like a window into a different world, when the reader discovers a small piece of a story that may be vital. From the stories themselves, though, I discovered a few perspectives about love. Love - not lust. Two of them include a parent that have been separated from their child or children. I would say that the tales were all quite genuine and original - heartwarming and somber in various degrees. The story of 'The Alchemist' I gravitated towards because of the new idea of magic in the world of the story, a world that is fighting its magic's deadly consequences. After a while, it is hard to find stories outside of the basic fantasy mould, so when one does read something new the story seems a very precious one indeed. 'Riding the Shore of the River of Death' has a tribal setting and the story has a kind of ruthless climate to it - the kind found at the beginnings of civilization. The characters are trying to prove themselves worthy in an adulthood ceremony of sorts. I found that I wanted to discover more about the culture of these almost barbaric people whose perspective the story was being told from. The last, 'Bound Man', I included here because I love an original time-travel story. I was facinated by how the world of the protaganist differed from the one she arrived into, how their perceptions of humanity are subtlety different (she had thought the people she met were another race entirely) and the suggested idea that knowledge is lost throughout the course of history, even while it is gained.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Loredana (Bookinista08)

    Pe scurt, cel mai mult mi-au placut povestirile scrise de Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Patrick Rothfuss, Trudi Canavan si Juliet Marillier. Celelalte au fost destul de bune, dar nu atat de bune incat sa-mi lase o senzatie de "wow". Va urma si o recenzie detaliata in curand! P.S. Acum inteleg de ce romanele epic fantasy sau high fantasy sau whatever sunt atat de IMENSE! Te poti pierde ore in sir in lumile descrise intre paginile lor... :D Nici nu-mi dau seama cand au trecut 7 Pe scurt, cel mai mult mi-au placut povestirile scrise de Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Patrick Rothfuss, Trudi Canavan si Juliet Marillier. Celelalte au fost destul de bune, dar nu atat de bune incat sa-mi lase o senzatie de "wow". Va urma si o recenzie detaliata in curand! P.S. Acum inteleg de ce romanele epic fantasy sau high fantasy sau whatever sunt atat de IMENSE! Te poti pierde ore in sir in lumile descrise intre paginile lor... :D Nici nu-mi dau seama cand au trecut 760 de pagini...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    What I love about anthologies is the chance to sample authors I have never read before but heard about a lot. This one in particular made me want to read more from Tad Williams, Melanie Rawn, and Juliet Marilier. It also gives more positive light on authors whose works I did not enjoy previously such as Bacigalupi, or reconfirm my liking for familiar authors such as Jemisin. But then, I am also disappointed with some, such as Sanderson's piece which I think is one of the weakest. Moreover, my in What I love about anthologies is the chance to sample authors I have never read before but heard about a lot. This one in particular made me want to read more from Tad Williams, Melanie Rawn, and Juliet Marilier. It also gives more positive light on authors whose works I did not enjoy previously such as Bacigalupi, or reconfirm my liking for familiar authors such as Jemisin. But then, I am also disappointed with some, such as Sanderson's piece which I think is one of the weakest. Moreover, my interest to read some authors also died down e.g. Moorcock. For some other authors e.g Elliot I will reserve judgment first but their books won't be on the top of my TBR. Highlights (excluding The Mystery Knight and Homecoming which I read and loved before): "The Burning Man", "The Narcomancer", "Mother of All Russiya". Lowlights: "While the Gods Laugh", "Rysn", "Riding the Shore of the River of Death". Individual reviews: "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb I think it is one of the best in the book. Another example of how Hobb can write a story with a good character development from a vain and easy-to-hate character to someone you want to root for. Aside from that, the world building of the Rainwilds is amazing. Magical rainforest that is both dangerous and beautiful and literally changed people! The story is also available in her story collection: The Inheritance - a must read for Hobb fans. "The Word of Unbinding" by Ursula K. Le Guin I found the story really dull and could not remember anything except that two wizards were fighting. Note to self: Strike two for Le Guin. "The Burning Man" by Tad Williams Another favorite. It is very immersive. I found myself drawn to the castle and the sad eerieness of the people. I think I will try reading The Dragonbone Chair. "As the Wheel Turns" by Aliette de Bodard A Taoist reincarnation story, which was pretty interesting. Yet, the ending was predictable. I might try her the Xuya stories. "The Alchemist" by Paolo Bacigalupi I liked this a lot, loved the main character, worldbuilding, the magic and the ending. I might actually try to read more of his stuff later, after being so disappointed with The Windup Girl before. "Sandmagic" by Orson Scott Card The story started really slow for me but I loved the climax and the ending. Been a long time since my last and only Card novel (Ender's Game) so I forgot the style and could not compare the two. "The Road to Levinshir" by Patrick Rothfuss Nothing special in my reread (since this is basically taken from Wise Man's Fear) but I remember that I liked this part of the story, especially Kvothe's thoughts on Edema Ruh, his strong identity and society's stigma. And the story is pretty dark (ooh I loved it when my protagonist gone cold blood), although there is one laughable, so-not-Rothfuss sentence "no all men are like that". "Rysn" by Brandon Sanderson Wow, very stingy of Sanderson for this super short story which led to nowhere he might as well not giving any to the collection. Lucky (for me?) this is not my first Sanderson. "While the Gods Laugh" by Michael Moorcock The most annoying story of the book. Pretty sure I read an Elric story before (it was not memorable), but man this one made me think that he was such a pervy jerk, the main and only female character here was so weak (but obviously hot enough to bang, ugh) and the quest thing was boring as hell. Even the fight scene with the so called awesome blade of his (Stormbringer?) was just meh. I won't be reading anything from Moorcock soon. "Mother of All Russiya" by Melanie Rawn A great adaptation of a great historical person. And despite the length and the limited setting of events I think the author managed to put a great sense of epicness. "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" by Kate Elliott I don't remember anything except there was a girl who did not want to marry. Boring. But I heard she wrote an icepunk story about shark and lawyer dinosaurs. So I might check that one out. "The Bound Man" by Mary Robinette Kowal The armor was cool. The story started out strong but when it comes to portal fantasy and time travel it was just okay. Oh and the ending felt a bit abrupt. "The Narcomancer" by N. K. Jemisin I LOVE YOU NK JEMISIN. I adore her Hugo-winning Broken Earth trilogy and I will definitely read her Dreamblood duology, which this story is based on. The magic is sooo interesting! And it is hard nowadays to find a main character who is likable, kind and also very capable so this is kind of refreshing. "Strife Lingers in Memory" by Carrie Vaughn I expected more from this story and it ended really abruptly. Some interesting parts would be when the queen thought about war and its aftermath and what's more important/significant/longlasting. It kept me thinking about PTSD since this tells you"what happened next off screen after your hero won". Often, it is not happy ever after, not entirely. This is her third story I read, one of them I really loved: "Raisa Stepanova" from Dangerous Women "The Mad Apprentice" by Trudi Canavan I have mixed feeling on this. At one side I appreciate reading the POV of someone who was unlucky enough to be related with an abusive person, but the act of mad destruction was repeated way too many times it lost its meaning. "Otherling" by Juliet Marillier Loved it. It felt like a fairy tale albeit a sad one. it was really immersive, full with longing and inner conflict, and I enjoyed every sentence. "The Mystery Knight" by George R. R. Martin I am a Martin fangirl so I hugely immensely wholeheartedly loved this one and thus my review is biased. A fourth reread. This is the third book from the Dunk and Egg stories and it is mostly focused on the Blackfyre Rebellion (specifically, the Second Blackfyre Rebellion). And we actually met one of the most mysterious and influential characters from ASOIAF (as well as one of the most hated characters). Dunk and Egg's exchanges are so funny sometimes - and I just love the fact that we could see someone who'd become so important in the future spent his childhood travelling across the realm and interacted with so many colorful characters.However, to get to full context I think one needs to read ASOIAF first and then the first two D&E novels.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    В уводът на книгата, написан специално от Брент Уийкс пише: "Всяка художествена проза е лъжа, разликата е само в размаха и дързостта. Епическото фентъзи е лъжа, засилена до краен предел." И е така. Докато четях „Епично“ се чувствах като на скоростно влакче – адреналин без почивка, точно като в един дълъг епос, съчетаващ най-доброто от най-добрите. Всичките писатели в сборника са „епосчии“ – хора, които обичат да създават невероятни нови светове и да ги заселват с още по-причудливи раси и най-важн В уводът на книгата, написан специално от Брент Уийкс пише: "Всяка художествена проза е лъжа, разликата е само в размаха и дързостта. Епическото фентъзи е лъжа, засилена до краен предел." И е така. Докато четях „Епично“ се чувствах като на скоростно влакче – адреналин без почивка, точно като в един дълъг епос, съчетаващ най-доброто от най-добрите. Всичките писатели в сборника са „епосчии“ – хора, които обичат да създават невероятни нови светове и да ги заселват с още по-причудливи раси и най-важното - това са хора способни да ни убедят, че лъжата е абсолютно реална и истинска и че драконите съществуват. Колкото и да се опитвах да чета „на час по лъжичка“ любопитството в мен надделяваше и започвах следващият разказ и следващата история. Всяка страница открива нови светове и вселени, които единствено изключително добри писатели могат да създадат. Чудех се кой от разказите най-много ми хареса, но установих, че няма как да избера. Макар да имаше някои разкази, които не бяха по мой вкус, то това по никакъв начин не развали душевното ми удоволствие да чета толкова много майстори на перото на куп. Може би е необходимо да се кажат 1-2 думи за разказите, за тези читатели, които се колебаят дали това е хапка за техните уста. Светът в „Завръщането“ на Робин Хоб е опасен и с нарушен магически баланс, главната героиня от аристократка-артистка се трансформира във водач на хората и единственият глас на разума в една подивяла от алчност колония. 111 страници чиста доза удоволствие. „Дума за освобождение“ на Урсула Ле Гуин е разказ за победата чрез смъртта и отстояването на това, в което вярваш. Много кратък разказ (седем страници и мисля, че е най-късият разказ в цялата книга), но само писател от ранга на Ле Гуин може да напише толкова много в толкова малко. „Горящият човек“ на Тад Уилямс преплита загубата на най-скъпото с лудостта и болката от правилното решение. Съмнения, шпионажи, предателства и всичко разкрито от един горящ човек, който показва отново правият път на грешника. „Докато колелото се върти“ на Алиет де Бодар е може би най-оригиналният разказ в книгата. Макар да е единственият разказ, в който няма магия, дракони, воини, магове, вещици и въобще характерния привкус на фентъзито, то мястото на този разказ е точно в тази книга. Борбата за надмощие между Тигър и Жерав, поставя Дай-Ю в един многовековен Ад. Разказът, в който доброто възтержествува въпреки всичко, е „Алхимикът“ на Паоло Бачигалупи и е толкова добре написан, че никога повече няма да погледна къпинаците по същия начин. „Пясъчната магия“ на Орсън Скот Кард показва задължителната гледна точка на „лошият“ герой и как решенията на човека го предопределят . Разказът на Патрик Ротфус реално представлява глава от втората му книга „Страхът на мъдреца“. Малко разочароващо, но пък човек придобива представа за стилът на писане на Ротфус. „Рисн“ на Брандън Сандерсън показва един странен свят със странни хора със странни възприятия и навици. Нищо странно всъщност – типичният стил на Сандерсън. „Докато боговете се смеят“ на Майкъл Муркок ми заприлича по стил на Роджър Зелазни – героят е анти-герой, нетипичен, отдал се на Хаоса и постоянно грешащ и търсещ отговори. Мелани Роун успява да вземе една историческа легенда за „Майката на цяла Русия“ и да те накара да провериш в интернет дали наистина така са положени основите на няколко от най-великите династии в Европа. „Пътуване по бреговете на Реката на смъртта“ от Кейт Елиът е малко прекалено феминистко в основата си, но пък беше интересно за четене, макар и краят да се знаеше още от началото. В „Слугата“ на Мари Робинет Ковал и „Наркомантът“ на Н.К. Джемисин стилът на писане е изключително приятен и лесен за четене, но те хваща като водовъртеж и чак не искаш да приключи разказа, искаш още. Кери Вон в „Борбата продължава в спомена“ беше най-отдалеченият от мен разказ и може би най-малко оцененият. Но пак изключително силен психологически момент и не всичко е така както го мислим. Труди Канаван и „Лудият чирак“ е разказ за обвързаността и желанието да бъдеш най-добрият. Много добре е представен тънката граница между сливането на добро и лошо в разказа. Последният разказ е „Другият“ на Джулиет Марилиер. Достоен завършек на книгата. Разказ за грешният избор, последствията и дългът. За мен книгата си заслужава и е точно толкова добра, колкото и очаквах. Горещо препоръчвам на феновете на фентъзи и на тези, които биха искали за малко да се потопят в множество различни светове, създадени от елита на фентъзито, от най-добрите. Една единствена забележка и то тя е към Артлайн – за качеството и цената на книгата е недопустимо да има правописни грешка, които дори не са стилистични (преводът е изключително добър! поздравления на преводача!), а чисто вследствие на печатането на компютър. Единствената ми забележка към иначе прекрасната като изпълнение, превод и визия книга.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Ewert

    A wonderful selection of short epic fantasy. HOMECOMING, by Robin Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm), was the best of the lot in my opinion. An excellent look at a society and culture very different from the standard fare, a strong heroine, and a remarkably tense climax. RIDING THE SHORE OF THE RIVER OF DEATH by Kate Elliott was a close second! This had a great old-school feel blended with a truly satisfying series of culture/worldbuilding. Aliette de Bodard's AS THE WHEEL TURNS was wonderfully done, with A wonderful selection of short epic fantasy. HOMECOMING, by Robin Hobb (aka Megan Lindholm), was the best of the lot in my opinion. An excellent look at a society and culture very different from the standard fare, a strong heroine, and a remarkably tense climax. RIDING THE SHORE OF THE RIVER OF DEATH by Kate Elliott was a close second! This had a great old-school feel blended with a truly satisfying series of culture/worldbuilding. Aliette de Bodard's AS THE WHEEL TURNS was wonderfully done, with an exotic locale, a bold storyline, and a remarkable cast of gods. I thoroughly enjoyed THE NARCOMANCER, by NK Jemisin, in which we learn the ultimate fate of Cet - hero of her book, THE KILLING MOON. A very sensual and dreamlike read. And Juliet Mariller's OTHERLING showed a great deal of heart. Fans of Game of Thrones will enjoy George RR Martin's THE MYSTERY KNIGHT, and of course it's always good to revisit Ursula K LeGuin and Michael Moorcock for me. The one story that didn't work for me was RYSN, by Brandon Sanderson. It felt a bit more tell than show, with little conflict or change in the major characters. Overall I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sweeping epic fantasy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Христо Блажев

    С меч и магия: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/e... Всяка художествена проза е лъжа, разликата е само в размаха и дързостта. Епическото фентъзи е лъжа, засилена до краен предел. Из предговора на Брент Уикс Имам проблем с епическото фентъзи. Затова и се опитвам да го реша, взимайки умерени дози от него регулярно, барем претръпна и някоя по-голяма доза (многотомие) да не ме убие. “Епично” изглежда внушително – над 600 страници в твърда корица, ред знакови имена на нея и очакване за нещо специално С меч и магия: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/e... Всяка художествена проза е лъжа, разликата е само в размаха и дързостта. Епическото фентъзи е лъжа, засилена до краен предел. Из предговора на Брент Уикс Имам проблем с епическото фентъзи. Затова и се опитвам да го реша, взимайки умерени дози от него регулярно, барем претръпна и някоя по-голяма доза (многотомие) да не ме убие. “Епично” изглежда внушително – над 600 страници в твърда корица, ред знакови имена на нея и очакване за нещо специално. Да, най-голямото име – Джордж Р. Р. Мартин - е отпаднало в българското издание заради авторските права, но пък имаме налице толкова други от най-популярните автори. Както често се случва в такъв тип издания, няколко ми харесаха, няколко не, други ме оставиха безразличен – без съмнение основното разочарование специално за мен дойде от Патрик Ротфус и Брандън Сандерсън, които не са представени със самостоятелни разкази, а с откъси от романи, които вече съм чел (съответно “Страхът на мъдреца” и “Пътят на кралете”), но те пък може да допаднат на други, нормално. Студио Арт Лайн http://knigolandia.info/book-review/e...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan, and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume. Epic: Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Robin... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kaora

    Some stories were better than others but overall a good book. My favorite by far would have to be Homecoming by Robin Hobb. The character started off as one I really disliked, but turned into a strong and capable heroine. I definitely found some authors I'd like to see more from!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Very interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Azbaqiyah

    Just reading The Mad Apprentice only but I still give this book a five ★ since I enjoying reading that novella.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ricki

    I think I'll have to take notes as I go in anthologies, or I won't remember. My recommendations are in bold. Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5/5 This might be half-a-star generous, but man, this story was compelling and engrossing. I loved how it was written as journal entries from the POV of a rich lady and artist who was forced to become a pioneer; reminds me of Roughing it in the Bush by Canadian pioneer Susanna Moodie. The fantasy elements are handled very well. The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K. Le G I think I'll have to take notes as I go in anthologies, or I won't remember. My recommendations are in bold. Homecoming by Robin Hobb 5/5 This might be half-a-star generous, but man, this story was compelling and engrossing. I loved how it was written as journal entries from the POV of a rich lady and artist who was forced to become a pioneer; reminds me of Roughing it in the Bush by Canadian pioneer Susanna Moodie. The fantasy elements are handled very well. The Word of Unbinding by Ursula K. Le Guin 2/5 Meh. The Burning Man by Tad Williams 3/5 Good description, nice sense of foreboding. As the Wheel Turns by Aliette de Bodard 2/5 This didn't feel like an "epic" story at all. I thought they were defining epic as being part of a larger world--i.e. lots of world-building and description built in? This story was only sketched out, and even the immediate settings are barely described. The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi 4/5 I thought this one was really great! My favorite part was the way the magic system worked was SUCH a perfect metaphor for resources and bureaucracy in our own world. Sandmagic by Orson Scott Card 1/5 Skimmed. Unmemorable. The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss 3/5 Well done, for what it was: so obviously the fantasy of the "good guy hero." Saves the damsels in distress, kills the rapists, is hailed as amazing by all. Can't we get past this type of story? Still, this is probably one of the best versions of this story. Rysn by Brandon Sanderson 2/5 What is up with having eyebrows so long that you have to tuck them behind your ears? That's just weird. Also, stop it with the stoopid fantasy names. No one wants to read about anyone named "Vstim." While the Gods Laugh by Michael Moorcock 1/5 Sucky and anti-feminist. And even skimming was enough to see that the plot made no sense. Mother of All Russiya by Melanie Rawn 2/5 I thought this story would have been better without magic. Riding the Shore of the River of Death by Kate Elliott 1/5 The writing was so clunky I couldn't even read it :( Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal 3/5 Dealt with time travel and free will, which are relevant to my interests. The Narcomancer by N.K. Jemisin 3/5 Well-written and I respect it, not really my thing though. Strife Lingers in Memory by Carrie Vaughn 4/5 Reminiscent of The King of Attolia, so yay. I liked this one. The Mad Apprentice by Trudi Canavan 2/5 This story just didn't ring true... A young boy becomes a mass murderer and kills all the senior magicians... how, exactly? Why couldn't anyone stop him? Why did all the magicians seem so naive and were astonished that such a thing could happen, yet they kept referring to a magic war in recent history where the exact same thing happened? For all their books and supposed wisdom, they weren't very bright. Otherling by Juliet Marillier 4/5 Marillier is so good with words! Always a pleasure. The Mystery Knight by George R.R. Martin 3/5 I can see why Martin's so popular, and why my hubs read all his books. He's a talented man. He has good skill in world-building, plot construction, AND writing style--and honestly, I haven't read many authors who have all three. Still, what he writes isn't my taste.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nighteye

    A great anthology, I feel that it would not be that unlikely that I start to read more from any of those authors! Almost all have spellbinded me with their stories and I will look after their books in the shops in the future. John Josep Adams did a great work to find and collect all of those stories who shows the great diversity Fantasy have to offer! They are all very different with special storylines both with and without religions (some with rebirth and other believes). It was ranging from a t A great anthology, I feel that it would not be that unlikely that I start to read more from any of those authors! Almost all have spellbinded me with their stories and I will look after their books in the shops in the future. John Josep Adams did a great work to find and collect all of those stories who shows the great diversity Fantasy have to offer! They are all very different with special storylines both with and without religions (some with rebirth and other believes). It was ranging from a traveling people in waggons ot horseriding step peoples haunting heads, to cities with magicans and hut-delving peoples and small isolated communities to stories sett in medieval times and the Viking age. If you want to read a diffirent anthology I recommand this one! I've read three of the stories before; The Burning Man by Tad Williams(Legends by Silverberg), Homecomming by Robin hobb(Inheritance by Hobb and Lindholm) and The Words of Unbidning by Ursula LeGuin. Before starting I'd looked forward to read Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson and Melanie Rawn who I've heard a lot of but never read. I was not familiar with the most author-names except Trudi Canavan, Michael Moorcock, Kate Elliot, Orson Scott Card and George R R Martin and the ones I stated before. I only refeer to some of the novels that I found greater then the rest; Burning Man of Tad Williams, Orson Scott Card had a fantastic story in here like Carrie Caugen, Juliet Marillier and Paoblo Bacigalupi. Trudi Canavans story was great and its so good to at last have read about this event that are refeered to in all of her magicans books. It was for this I bough this collection! Brandon Sanderson's novel Rysn was really bad, I was not impressed by those 10 pages at all, and after that came the fantastic S&S story "While The gods Laugh" from Michael Moorcock who was one of my favorites! I really really love this short story of Melanie Rawn who's an alternative history sett in the Viking age. That as longships are named likewise Novgorod(an early outpost from the Swedish trading town Staraja Ladoga) and Kyiv/Kiev as all of them was founded by the Swedish Vikings. It showed that I expected right! I jumped in the beginning because of recognizing the name Olga(Russian version of swedish name Helga) and later that this story was based on the once real events described in the history books! Here rewritten by Melanie Rawn about the queen of the Varangians/swedes revenging her killed husband in the most terrible way. I had right about that when the story come to end(in authors note she stats the story too).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Radi Radev

    Всеки уважаващ себе си читател на фентъзи трябва да има в библиотеката си поне няколко антологии от любимия жанр. Бих отбелязал “30 години фентъзи DAW” и "Антология фентъзи (1980-1989) Най-добрите разкази на десетилетието". Сега обаче имам удоволствието да представя на читателите на моя блог „Епично: Легенди на фентъзито“ от Джон Джоузеф Адамс. Разказите в този сборник са ювелирни произведения на писателското изкуство. Представените автори са живи класици на преклонна възраст, присъстват и най-по Всеки уважаващ себе си читател на фентъзи трябва да има в библиотеката си поне няколко антологии от любимия жанр. Бих отбелязал “30 години фентъзи DAW” и "Антология фентъзи (1980-1989) Най-добрите разкази на десетилетието". Сега обаче имам удоволствието да представя на читателите на моя блог „Епично: Легенди на фентъзито“ от Джон Джоузеф Адамс. Разказите в този сборник са ювелирни произведения на писателското изкуство. Представените автори са живи класици на преклонна възраст, присъстват и най-популярните в момента имена на любимия жанр, но има и няколко творци, които са напълно непознати на българския читател. Въпреки това, тези "непознати" са лауреати не на кои да е премии, а на „Ауреалис“ - наградите за научна фантастика и фентъзи на Австралия. Доста силно ме впечатли предговора от Брент Уийкс - създателят на "Черната призма". Уийкс по много синтезиран начин обяснява големия диапазон на епическото фентъзи. Брент ни разкрива неговата гледна точка за произведенията на Омир, Виргилий, Данте, Толкин и Абъркромби. Уводът завършва безкрайно красиво с цитат от Гилбърт Кийт Честъртън. По-надолу ще ви представя няколко от разказите според моята лична класация. "Думата за освобождаване" от Урсула Ле Гуин. Вероятно тази история е била класика още преди да бъда роден. В нея се разказва за плененият маг Фестин. Той е заловен чрез измама, от засада. Добрият магьосник опитва различни начини да се освободи, но те са неуспешни. Накрая Фестин решава да се жертва за да спаси своя свят и прави една последна магия... Счита се, че Урсула Ле Гуин е измислила Землемория специално за този разказ. "Докато боговете се смеят" от Майкъл Муркок. Аз разбира се съм чел творби за Дориан Хоукмуун и Урлик Скарсол. Но тук за първи път се срещнах с Елрик от Мелнибоне. Муркок умее да разказва по един свеобразен за него поетичен начин. Елрик е герой. Той е победител и има магически меч наречен Стормбрингър. Интересното е и, че самия Елрик владее няколко унищожителни заклинания. Те ще му бъдат от полза ако се изправи срещу мъртъвци... Приятно хрумване на автора е, че в средата на разказа главният герой срещна дребничкия си спътник Муунглум, който е добър с меча, но умее също така и да се изразява по хумористичен начин. Аз лично си представих Муунглум като Суботай от Конан Варварина (филма). http://radiradev.blogspot.com/2014/12...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Krista D.

    Most of the stories I ended up not finishing because they didn't interest me. There were some surprising gems, however, and I really did enjoy them a lot. Robin Hobb - Homecoming I'm not sure I 100% understood the world this story was set in, but I still enjoyed it all the same. It was a series of diary entries, which I really enjoyed. Aliette de Bodard - As The Wheel Turns This story was stunningly beautiful. I absolutely loved it. Patrick Rothfuss - The Road to Levinshir The story was well-written, Most of the stories I ended up not finishing because they didn't interest me. There were some surprising gems, however, and I really did enjoy them a lot. Robin Hobb - Homecoming I'm not sure I 100% understood the world this story was set in, but I still enjoyed it all the same. It was a series of diary entries, which I really enjoyed. Aliette de Bodard - As The Wheel Turns This story was stunningly beautiful. I absolutely loved it. Patrick Rothfuss - The Road to Levinshir The story was well-written, though it was a strange topic I felt (the rescue and return of two sex slaves). I didn't really understand the family politics that caused him to kill those who captured the girls and to return them - since his actions were all about family reputation and nothing more. I did laugh out loud when the hero of the story said "not all men." I probably wasn't supposed to laugh, but I did. Melanie Rawn - Mother of All Russia Another story that I loved. It was very different from the others and I loved the historical fantasy setting in Russia. N. K. Jemisin - The Narcomancer Such a heartbreaking and beautiful story. Loved it. Carrie Vaughn - Strife Lingers in Memory This one ripped my heart out a bit. So few stories deal with the aftermath of war and the hero's actions. This story wasn't about magic and goblins. It was about PTSD. It was amazingly well written.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    I originally bought this book, thinking that I would get a brand new short story by Brandon Sanderson, one of my favorite authors. Instead, I find that I've read the story before, as part of The Way of Kings. Big disappointment there. But, the other stories did make my purchase well worth it. The ones I particularly enjoyed are as follows: Homecoming by Robin Hobb The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal The Narcomancer by N.K. Jemis I originally bought this book, thinking that I would get a brand new short story by Brandon Sanderson, one of my favorite authors. Instead, I find that I've read the story before, as part of The Way of Kings. Big disappointment there. But, the other stories did make my purchase well worth it. The ones I particularly enjoyed are as follows: Homecoming by Robin Hobb The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi The Road to Levinshir by Patrick Rothfuss Bound Man by Mary Robinette Kowal The Narcomancer by N.K. Jemisin Otherling by Juliet Marillier Only a few names in that list jump out to me as authors whom I have heard of before, but that is a good thing, as I have found some talents out there I wouldn't have otherwise. There were many more authors of note (to me at least) in the book, but the stories included from them were not stories I clicked with. This is my first anthology and it will probably be my last, as there is something wholly unsatisfying about reading a story from which there is no context unless you are already familiar with the series (usually) in which it is a part of. This applied particularly with George R.R. Martin's short, which is set in the now infamous A Song of Ice and Fire series. Nevertheless, I do plan on looking up those authors in the future and this was a great introduction into their work for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joe Kennedy

    This anthology was a mixed bag. There were some good stories in there, and for the occasional fantasy reader like myself it was a good introduction to a number of authors I'd heard of but had not read. The stories by the authors I had read, and liked, were very enjoyable: George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Ursula K Leguin (whose story was the reason I picked this anthology up - I heard it was the first step in the Earthsea Cycle). There was a long and very good story called Homecoming by Ro This anthology was a mixed bag. There were some good stories in there, and for the occasional fantasy reader like myself it was a good introduction to a number of authors I'd heard of but had not read. The stories by the authors I had read, and liked, were very enjoyable: George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Ursula K Leguin (whose story was the reason I picked this anthology up - I heard it was the first step in the Earthsea Cycle). There was a long and very good story called Homecoming by Robin Hobb which made me want to read more by her - strong characters, a vivid, exotic yet familiar world, and an enchanting magical element. However a number of the others were a little boring, predictable, heavy handed in their morality or philosophy (such as, not surprisingly, Orson Scott Card's Sandmagic), and I rushed to get through them. A couple were just badly written. I was a little surprised that the better authors had agreed to show in an anthology with this mix, but there was enough there to make it worth my while to read, to enjoy a few familiar authors, discover a few more (also worth mentioning Rysn by Brandon Sanderson and The Narcomancer by NK Jemisin), and to learn a handful of names to avoid.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    A great cross section of fantasy fiction with a brief introduction to each author, each distinguished in their own right. I'd suggest you check the contents page carefully as not all of these were comissioned specially for this anthology: for example the Patrick Rothfuss tale is an extract from The Name of The Wind (or the sequel) where the hero deals with a group of brigands. Personally I liked the range, though I didn't like all of the stories. Having said that, most were new to me - I hadn't A great cross section of fantasy fiction with a brief introduction to each author, each distinguished in their own right. I'd suggest you check the contents page carefully as not all of these were comissioned specially for this anthology: for example the Patrick Rothfuss tale is an extract from The Name of The Wind (or the sequel) where the hero deals with a group of brigands. Personally I liked the range, though I didn't like all of the stories. Having said that, most were new to me - I hadn't come across the GRR Martin (the third story in a group of novellas set in Westeros 100 years before A Game of Thrones). I also hadn't come across Juliet Marillier's piece. I started with a summary/star rating of each piece but the review became ridiculously long and similar to many already posted. I had a typical cross section of ratings ranging from 1* Michael Moorcock & Brandon Sanderson, to 5* J Marillier, P Bacigalupi, Orson Scott Card, GRR Martin (though I had to take time out and research all the characters in order to understand the plot in the latter). There was also a full range in between. At least one of my 5* tales scored 1* with another reviewer, so personal preference is all, but I certainly felt I got my money's worth.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    I was very excited to see the names like Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson and Michael Moorcock in the contribution list.. However was a bit disappointed because I've read the ones from Rothfuss and Moorcock already. But the other stories didn't dissapoint. :D These are the ones that I like: “As the Wheel Turns” by Aliette de Bodard “Sandmagic” by Orson Scott Card “The Road to Levinshir” by Patrick Rothfuss “While the Gods Laugh” by Michael Moorcock “The Narcomancer” by N. K. Jemisin “Strife Lingers i I was very excited to see the names like Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson and Michael Moorcock in the contribution list.. However was a bit disappointed because I've read the ones from Rothfuss and Moorcock already. But the other stories didn't dissapoint. :D These are the ones that I like: “As the Wheel Turns” by Aliette de Bodard “Sandmagic” by Orson Scott Card “The Road to Levinshir” by Patrick Rothfuss “While the Gods Laugh” by Michael Moorcock “The Narcomancer” by N. K. Jemisin “Strife Lingers in Memory” by Carrie Vaughn “The Mad Apprentice” by Trudi Canavan “Otherling” by Juliet Marillier But the ones that really stood out for me are: “Rysn” by Brandon Sanderson “The Bound Man” by Mary Robinette Kowal “The Mystery Knight” by George R. R. Martin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Semnebune

    În „Epic. Legende fantasy” am avut ocazia absolut neaşteptată să fac cunoştinţă cu genul epic fantasy, acel tip de fantasy în care world building-ul (sau crearea de lumi) atinge cote paralizant de înalte, în care personajele sunt atât de aproape şi totuşi atât de departe de vieţile noastre insignifiante de oameni, în care magia există şi poate este chiar filamentul acelei lumi, iar valorile şi principiile care guvernează însăşi existenţa nu trebuie neapărat să fie aceleaşi ca în realitate. Bineî În „Epic. Legende fantasy” am avut ocazia absolut neaşteptată să fac cunoştinţă cu genul epic fantasy, acel tip de fantasy în care world building-ul (sau crearea de lumi) atinge cote paralizant de înalte, în care personajele sunt atât de aproape şi totuşi atât de departe de vieţile noastre insignifiante de oameni, în care magia există şi poate este chiar filamentul acelei lumi, iar valorile şi principiile care guvernează însăşi existenţa nu trebuie neapărat să fie aceleaşi ca în realitate. Bineînţeles, de cele mai multe ori, nici nu sunt. de la sursă: Epic. Legende fantasy – John Joseph Adams (Editor) – SemneBune http://semnebune.ro/2015/epic-legende...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Veselin Nikolov

    5-6 прекрасни разказа, няколко не толкова прекрасни, и няколко отвратителни. Като цяло добър сборник. Бях разочарован, че някои от най-големите звезди бяха представени с фалшиви разкази - глави от книги, които бях чел. Стори ми се, че едната от главите е доработена и не съвпада особено с оригинала, но не ми се занимаваше да проверявам. Според мен най-хубавият разказ беше на Робин Хоб, харесаха ми още Мари Ковал, Н.К. Джемисин, Джулиет Марлиер. Зле бяха Патрик Ротфус, Майкъл Муркок, а на Кейт Елиът 5-6 прекрасни разказа, няколко не толкова прекрасни, и няколко отвратителни. Като цяло добър сборник. Бях разочарован, че някои от най-големите звезди бяха представени с фалшиви разкази - глави от книги, които бях чел. Стори ми се, че едната от главите е доработена и не съвпада особено с оригинала, но не ми се занимаваше да проверявам. Според мен най-хубавият разказ беше на Робин Хоб, харесаха ми още Мари Ковал, Н.К. Джемисин, Джулиет Марлиер. Зле бяха Патрик Ротфус, Майкъл Муркок, а на Кейт Елиът творението не можах да изтърпя. В сборниците с разкази винаги се промъкват неща, които не заслужават да са там.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Metodi Markov

    Никак не съм доволен от този сборник. Разказите на Ротфус и Сандерсън са части от издадени на български техни романи, Брент Уийкс е написал единствено увод... Все пак ми харесаха някои от разказите - "Другият" на Джулиет Марилиер и "Лудият чирак" на Труди Канаван. Бих прочел още от техните произведения. Останалите разкази не ме впечатлиха особенно. На Муркок разказа ми се видя много остарял - и като излагане на идеята, похвати и начин на изразяване - тотално не на място в този сборник.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Имаше интересни разкази. Най-впечатляващ беше този на Робин Хоб. Имаше и някои, които бяха написани толкова елементарно, че имах чувството че някой шестокласник го е писал. Отново имам забележки към Артлайн, защото за поредна книга се излагат с множество печатни грешки.

  30. 5 out of 5

    An Odd1

    Mostly tragic.

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