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Legends, Volume 1 Perfect Paperback – Sep 1 1999

9 customer reviews

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Perfect Paperback, Sep 1 1999
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (Sept. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756900352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756900359
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Amazon

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, these stories are exceptionally well written and universally well told. The authors 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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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 Silverberg collects 11 previously unpublished short "novels" by genre celebrities, each a window on a sprawling saga that has shaped the way modern fantasy fiction is written and read.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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
These novels, using thematic elements from Robert Browning's poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," tell the saga of Roland, last of the gunslingers, who embarks on a quest to find the Dark Tower for reasons that the author has yet to reveal. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sandylulynn on Feb. 9 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are 2 versions of this book in paperback. One has 4 stories (which unfortunately I bought by mistake) and the other has all 11 stories. I did enjoy 3 out of the 4 stories in the version I bought especially Stephen Kings and Raymond Feist.
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By General Pete on Feb. 4 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good across the board serious start to short stories. These types of collections are good because they expose people to various authors that they would not have read normally. Thinking back on some of these stories still brings a smile to my face in some instances and a very loud goanb in some others,
The strongest short stories in this colllection are
"The Hedge Knight" by George RR Martian-Its a good story and its nice to read a story by this author where the point of view is not shifting every 5 secounds
"GRINNING MAN" by Orson Scot Card-I probably wouldn't think it was so great if I didn't like "The Tales of Alvin Maker" so much. This tale is also fun too because it centers on Alvin and the antics of one David Crocket King of the Wild Frontier.
These are the two front runers I'll give an honorable mention to the "Gunslinger" short story because it was a good in me keeping my sanity in the long years between "Wizard in Glass" and "Wolves of Challa"
Terry Goodkind's "Debt of Bones" does its job but remember that with all of Goodkind's works it is very discriptive. Just speaking for myselgf wheneever i read one of his works I want to cheer and vomit at the same time.
The only "bad" story in the bunch is Anne McCaffrey's "Runners of Pern" who can you have a Pern story and not even throw in a dragon to keep us interested Mrs. McCaffrey?
Overall-solid and well rounded don't expect the unexpexcted where these authors are concerned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An Anthology must do three things: have a clear focus; select the best representative authors in the genre and, most important of all, grip both veterans as well as newbies in the genre. Legends easily scores high on all three. The focus on fantasy and short novels is crisp. The choice of authors is inspired. Anne McCaffrey, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, Ursula LeGuin, George Martin and Silverberg himself are easily top draws in the fantasy business and the others are no slouches either. Silverberg has written short but invaluable background pieces that beautifully set the context of each individual story. So a new reader does not need to know the individual milieu of each story but can plunge in head-first. To Silverberg's and his authors' credit, many of the stories have been so set that they do not spoil the suspense or give away any secrets of the main books. Thus Jordan's story is set prior to The Eye of the World, Goodkind's prior to Wizard's First Rule and Martin's prior to Game of Thrones and they each set the stage for the respective series. No doubt, LeGuin's Earthsea story is in the middle, as are the King and Silverberg stories but they still do not reveal the twists to an unwary reader. I do not propose to review each individual story except to say that Martin, LeGuin, Silverberg and Goodkind are first class, Jordan and McCaffrey not far behind. The others, I am less happy with but that may be my bias. For any reader who loves fantasy, this is a "must-have" book. And for a reader wishing to learn what this "fantasy stuff" is all about, there can be no better starter volume. Highly recommended!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought "Legends : Short Novels by the Master of Modern Fantasy" only for the Stephen King "Dark Tower" short-story, "The Little Sisters of Eluria." I do not intend on reviewing the book as a whole, thus making this opinion biased toward King's entry only.
However, I feel that it is necessary for the customer who is only interested in this book because of King's story to know that this reviewer found the plot to be only somewhat interesting, and relevance to the "Dark Tower" volumes almost non-existent. Technically part of the the Gunslinger canon, one isn't going to miss out on crucial plot points if one does not read "Sisters."
Specifically, the two main problems that I had with King's entries are: (1.) "Sisters," as a story by-itself, is only a two-out-of-five-starred story -- and seems to go from beginning to middle to end like a video game; the plot feels programmed, and not exciting enough to make one wonder, What's going to happen next? (2.) There is nothing, as far as I understood, that ties in the "Dark Tower" series to "Sisters," beside the fact that Roland (the Gunslinger) is the protagonist, and that he, in a couple of scenes, recalls some of his old friends that readers are previously familiar with.
For those who crave more background information on the "Dark Tower" series, refer to other King books, such as "The Stand" and "Insomnia." If you must, pick "Legends" up at a library and read "Sisters" for free.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I didn't know about this book until I stumbled across the first paperback edition in a local bookstore and thought the concept sounded interesting. The installment I'm referring to has stories by King (Who CAN develop an emotionally deep, multi-dimensional character, despite what some self-righteous "literate minds" would have you believe), Silverberg, Card, and Feist.
The first story, "The Little Sisters of Eluria" by King, was, if not as fantastic in concept and scope as the full Tower novels, still a solid look into the pre-Eddie-Detta-Jake-Oy quest. The end showcased some of King's poignant, prose-heavy (by King terms at least) talents as a writer.
The story by Silverberg, "The Seventh Shrine" was my introduction to Silverberg and, I believe, quite an impressive yarn. His style of writing reminded me of Walter Miller somewhat and that, if nothing else, shines in his favor. The story reads very much like a detective story that lacks that enlightening "oomph" at the end where all is revealed. This really isn't a bad thing, though, and I am looking forward to reading more of Silverberg's work
Orson Scott Card's tale of Alvin Maker was entertaining, but I really found myself annoyed by the characters' southern dialect. By the end, however, I was charmed by the simple folklore-like quality of the story, although if you want to read Card at his best you read "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead".
Feist's story, "The Wood Boy" was good, if somewhat rushed. I've heard good things about the Riftwar Saga, and I think this story was strong enough to persuade me to check the books out.
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