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Legends: Stories By The Masters of Modern Fantasy [Hardcover]

Stephen King , Robert Jordan , Terry Goodkind , Orson Scott Card , Anne McCaffrey , Raymond Feist , Robert Silverberg
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 15 1998
Here they are, the writers and the worlds that have satisfied millions of readers. Each has returned to their compelling special places to tell a new tale that enriches and illuminates their most famous creations, in a big, lavish volume enhanced with color and illustrative materials. Many of the short novels take place at an earlier moment in the history of their worlds, and cast new light on the famous epics. Others fit into the already established patterns of their worlds, but happen offstage from the main action. All are essential reading to the millions of fans of these writers and worlds.Stephen King tells a tale of Roland, the Gunslinger, in The Little Sisters of Eluria Terry Pratchett relates an amusing incident in Discworld, in The Sea and Little Fishes Terry Goodkind tells of the origin of the Border between realms in the world of The Sword of Truth in Debt of Bones Orson Scott Card spins a yarn of Alvin and his apprentice in Grinning Man Robert Silverberg returns to Majipoor and to Lord Valentine's astonishing life in The Seventh Shrine Ursula K. Le Guin, in a sequel to her famous books of Earthsea, portrays a woman who wants to learn magic in Dragonfly Tad Williams tells an enthralling story of a great and haunted castle in an age before Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn in The Burning Man George R.R. Martin sets his adventure of The Hedge Knight a generation before his epic A Song of Ice and Fire Anne McCaffrey returns once again to her world of romance and adventure to tell of a Runner of Pern Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga is the setting of the revenge of The Wood Boy Robert Jordan, in the final section in the book, New Spring, tells of the meeting of Lan and Moiraine and of the beginning of their search for a baby just born who must lead in the final battle

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Acclaimed writer and editor Robert Silverberg gathered 11 of the finest writers in fantasy to contribute to this collection of short novels. Each of the writers was asked to write a new story based on one of his or her most famous series, and the results are wonderful. From Stephen King's opening piece set in his popular Gunslinger universe to Robert Jordan's early look at his famed Wheel of Time saga, each of these stories is exceptionally well written and universally well told. The authors here include King, Jordan, and Silverberg himself, as well as Terry and Lyn Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tad Williams, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, and Raymond E. Feist. This is not only a great book in and of itself, but it's also a perfect way for fantasy fans to find new novels and authors to add to their "to read" lists. --Craig E. Engler

From Publishers Weekly

Microcosmic glimpses of broadly imagined worlds and their larger-than-life characters distinguish this hefty volume of heavyweight fantasy. Silverberg collects 11 previously unpublished short "novels" by genre celebrities, each a window on a sprawling saga that has shaped the way modern fantasy fiction is written and read. Stephen King weighs in with "The Little Sisters of Eluria," set early in the Dark Tower saga and deftly weaving threads of horror, quest fantasy and the western into a dangerous snare for his indefatigable gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Ursula K. Le Guin contributes "Dragonfly," a tale about a young woman who would be a wizard that offers a savvy dissection of the sexual politics that govern Le Guin's Earthsea empire. Neo-Arthurian fantasy gets its due in George R.R. Martin's "The Hedge Knight," a prequel to the Song of Ice and Fire series. Only a sliver of fantasy insinuates Silverberg's own "The Seventh Shrine," a Majipoor murder mystery that becomes a fascinating exploration of clashing cultures. Although most of the selections are sober sidebars to serious literary fantasy cycles, Terry Pratchett's "The Sea and Little Fishes" is a giddy Discworld romp that pits cantankerous witch Granny Weatherwax against her crone cronies, and Orson Scott Card's "Grinning Man" is corn-fed tall talk in which Alvin Maker outwits a crooked miller in the alternate America of Hatrick River. Some entries, among them Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar tale "The Wood Boy" and Anne McCaffrey's "Runner of Pern," shine only as light glosses on their authors' earlier achievements. Still, there's enough color, vitality and bravura displays of mythmaking in this rich sampler, which also includes tales by Terry Goodkind, Tad Williams and Robert Jordan, to sate faithful fans and nurture new readers on the stuff of legends still being created.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Two great stories July 2 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If it hadn't been for Stephen King's Little Sisters of Eleuria and George R.R. Martins The Hedge Knight, this compilation would have been a big disappointment. The rest of the stories were not anywhere near as good as these two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read July 29 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
When i bought this book i thought it would be teriffic. I was not disssopointed. Being fairly new to fantsy books this gave me many new seris to read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what you'd expect Feb. 16 2003
Format:Hardcover
What would you expect from 11 short stories from 11 of the best selling famous of modern fantasy writers? The stories are set in the same worlds of the original best selling works. The results are pretty much the same as the originals, in other words best selling quality short novels. If you liked the original you'll enjoy the short story. The stories all add something without being crucial. If you're a fan of any of the authors listed, or just wanted to read something by them then you should check out this book. I give it an A on the StuPage Book Reviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Legends are not born, they are written. Feb. 12 2003
Format:Hardcover
Robert Silverberg's idea to collect short stories and novellas from some of this era's most notable and talented Fantasy authors is pure cream-filled joy for fans of the Genre. Despite having read the pertinent series by Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, Terry Goodkind, and Orson Scott Card, this book opened up new worlds to explore and new chapters in some of my favorite series.
My favorites were the ones by King, Williams, Silverberg, Feist, and McCaffrey. I have lost all interest in Terry Goodkind mostly because I find his characters to be wooden and uninteresting, and this story was no more compelling than the last book of his that I read. Goodkind also has a penchant for the "gotcha" ending, something that is frustrating to any reader who struggles to find logical connections between events and character motivation.
The best of this book, however, is The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin. I had never heard of Martin when I picked up Legends, and the first thing I did after finishing The Hedge Knight was to go pick up his novel "A Game of Thrones." Thanks to this book, I am now a fan of what may be the best epic fantasy series ever written, and yes, that includes Tolkien, Goodkind, and Jordan. The Hedge Knight is a simple tale of a young man recently knighted trying to make a name for himself in a tournament. The plain and honest style of Martin's prose hooks you in, and suddenly you care very deeply about this hedge knight, Dunk, and what is to become of him as he runs afoul of a vain and dangerous prince. Set approximately 100 years prior to the events that begin in "A Game of Thrones," this tale is a wonderful introduction to Martin's Westeros and the rich mythology and history he has built into it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is what we've all been missing! Aug. 28 2002
Format:Hardcover
There are many of us who have never read Jordan's "Wheel of Time", who indeed are overawed by the vast mass of his epic work. Herein lies the answer: "New Spring", a single story that can serve as an introduction to the whole of Jordan's world. It is marvelously entertaining in its own right; as well, it contains glimpses of the past and future that no Jordan aficionado should miss.

Within this volume, one can find not one, but eleven novellas by the finest talespinners of our age. Each represents an essential element of one of the world's greatest fantasy series. Were Tolkein alive today, doubtless a tale of Middle-Earth would grace these pages... but surrounded by this awesome store of treasures, his absence can be but scarcely noted.

I have no doubt that this is the finest fantasy anthology yet seen by my generation. Neither the collector nor the serious reader should permit it to pass by.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing short story May 11 2002
Format:Hardcover
I would have to say Robert Jordan's submission to Legends is perhaps his best work. This was a short story, about 80 pages. It was almost a completely new writing style. Gone were his repetitive descriptions and explanations. For this story, Jordan assumes the Reader has read the series and creates a much more fast paced and interesting plot. It is also a change to able to finish one of his stories in one day. All of the information remains fresh, I never struggled to remember why something was happening. Additionally the plot was well constructed. Reading about Moraine and Lan while they were younger was quite interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Robert Jordan's writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jordan's story is worth it alone! Dec 23 2001
By Bryan
Format:Paperback
If you're at all a fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga (and how could you not be!) then this book is worth the buy for that story alone. It details how Lan and Moiraine first met...awesome. The story is incredibly detailed and the plot doesn't stop twisting until the final sentence is read. Jordan is truly a modern master.
I haven't even read any of the other stories yet but it's got Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey and Stephen King as well as about NINE others. After finishing the Robert Jordan story I immediately hoped on Amazon and bought the other two editions and can't wait to read those!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for Stephen King fans! Nov. 23 2001
Format:Hardcover
There are two stories contained within this book that I consider absolute must-reads, and worth the price of the book on their own.
The first is "The Little Sisters of Eluria", which is a Stephen King Dark Tower-based story. I've read the DT books three times each; they're easily my favorite King works, and like many fans, I'm going nuts waiting for the next book. This short story flew completely under my radar, until I accidentally happened across a reference to it on some random site. It's about Roland of Gilead, pre-The Gunslinger.
The second is "Dragonfly", and it is set as in the Earthsea trilogy, which I belive won the Nebula award. This story, and the original trilogy, along with the book IV "Tehanu" which came later, are similar to Harry Potter stories, i.e., about magic & easy reading, but they are much more dark and mature than the Potter books.
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