Sword and Sorceress XX
by Marion Zimmer Bradley (editor)
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
320 pages; ISBN: 0756401429
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Unbelievable that this fantasy anthology has reached number twenty. Even more incredible is that the collection remains very fresh as the stars continue to be female practitioners of sword, spell, or both yet the underlying theme changes. This time the proposition is “finding yourself or your true path”.
Besides eighteen overall well done tales (with a few really great ones especially a mermaid – this reviewer admits Ariel and ilk always hooks me) starring female champions from all walks of life, some of the contributions dip into other genres like mystery and horror. The introduction also provides an interesting question in which several of the authors answering that when they were younger, they wanted to be (fill in the blank). Though mostly female authors, there are a few male writers, but readers will not be able to delineate gender without checking the name. Fantasy fans of heroines will appreciate this tale that will probably introduce the audience to future greats (no predictions forthcoming but watch out for the real McCoy) as previous collections have done. Finally besides the short stories, a nineteenth finale contribution “Homily” is the final entry in more ways than one as this is the calming words said at the funeral of the legendary Marion Zimmer Bradley who obviously is writing words of wisdom starring heavenly souls.
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