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Robert Silverberg (ed.), Legends, vol. 2 (Tor, 1998)
This is water in the desert for fans of fantasy series whose books have a tendency to have a long time between releases. Anne McCaffrey (Pern), George R. R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), and Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth) all contribute short novels to this volume in the Legends series, and all are well worth your time.
Goodkind's story, "Debt of Bones," leads off the trilogy, and deals with a time when Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander was much younger than he is in the Sword of Truth novels. Here, he's pitted against Panis Rahl, and must decide whether to put himself, and the fate of the Midlands, in danger in order to fulfill a debt of bones to the daughter of a deceased sorceress. One has come to expect strong storytelling and easy turning of pages from Goodkind, and he does not disappoint here. Martin's story, "The Hedge Knight," follows. Again taking place some time before the events in the Song of Ice and Fire books, "he Hedge Knight" follows the squire of a newly deceased mercenary, who has a desire to make his name in a tournament against some of the biggest names in the business (including a number of Targaryens, who at the time of this story have not yet been banished; in fact, they play a major part in the story, which should be a pleasant surprise to many Ice and Fire fans). Martin's work on this series is always a pleasure, and once again, the is no disappointment to be found here, though one wonders about the loose end to be found.
The biggest surprise of the bunch, to me, was McCaffrey's "Runner of Pern." I've always shied away from the Pern books, for no real reason. This story is a welcome change of pace from the two that precede it; rather than battles, jousting, and the rest, this is a quiet romantic coming-of-age tale that hits just the right spot, like a lemon ice after a boeuf bourguignon. It's convinced me to go back and try the Pern novels, as McCaffrey's style is simple and engaging. Like the others, she keeps the pages turning.
Definitely a worthwhile piece of work. I shouldn't have to sell those who are already enmeshed in the various series covered here, but others will find it a perfect sampling to see if the three titans covered here are to their tastes. I can almost guarantee they will be. ****
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on April 4, 2003
This version of legends is divided into three parts, if you search for Robert Silverberg you can find it in one volume for about the same price, so that you get all three parts together for about a third of the price
As to the book,I can only review the second part (I made the mistake of ordering legends 2 thinking that it was all 11 stories, but it was really just three.) The three stories that were in it were:Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind
The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin
and Runner of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey
Of the three I read, The Hedge Knight was definitely the best, it has alot of action and the grimly real, but exciting story that only Martin can provide. It is set in the Seven Kingdoms of Martin's excellent series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Debt of Bones was good, and it showed me what type of a writer Goodkind is,(I haven't read anything by him but that, but it got me interested and I bought the first book in his series, The Sword Of Truth.
Runner of Pern was probably the one I least liked, I knew nothing about Anne McCaffrey, and it was okay, but not nearly as good as The Hedge Knight.
Be sure to buy the edition with all 11 stories, I have just ordered the full edition, Most all of the writers in the 11 stories, I have read before and it is interesting to have a short work to read by them, about a different part of their world. This will also help you get aquainted with writers you havn't read before, see their writing style, and decide if you want to read more of them.
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on December 13, 2001
I haven't actually read this book, so I guess that my four star rating is slightly presumptious, to say the least. However, I am *extremely* familiar with all of Terry Goodkind's work, and I was shocked to hear such damning reports from everyone. What's all this about "The Hedge Knight"? I can't say I know - I haven't read it. However, if its true; if this extract *is* better than Terry Goodkind's, then I for one give it my wholehearted endorsement, and i would recommend that everyone at least try it. And I have to read his other works. I was interested to read some people claiming the that novels of Pern are better than Goodkind. That, in my humble opinion, is codswallop. Although I haven't read "The Hedge Knight", I have read a lot of Anne McCafrey's stuff, and I can't say I liked it all that much. Regardless, I *would* like to recommend this compilation of stories, at least for Goodkind, and - I guess - the other bloke.
Despite not having read the book, I felt that the reports I have read have all been informative. I have been persuaded to read this other bloke's work, and I have realised that I need to do something to further the cause of Goodkind: he cannot be allowed to fall under the shadow of another fantasy author!
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on June 10, 2000
I will admit my erronious ways. As a science fiction reader I have always avoided books with dragons or dragonriders on the cover. Any volume with a knight on the front was a historical novel to be avoided. Shame on me. The real hoot about this thing is that I didn't mean to order this book! Several years ago I had an audio tape of one of the PERN books by Anne McCaffrey, and attempted to listen to it on a long car-trip. Unfortunatly, A three year old with numerous complaints kept me from hearing every other word. Scratch one. Now I have had a great experience reading Terry Goodkind's DEBT OF BONES, George R.R. Martin's Wonderful THE HEDGE KNIGHT, and the sadly overdue ( for me ) RUNNER OF PERN, by Anne McCaffrey. Thank you to the editors for including a complete list of related works . I spent a hot South Alabama day under my porch umbrella with this book and my ever present cold beer loving every minute of it.
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on December 22, 2001
All in all, a nice little collection that adds to some of modern fantasty's more popular worlds. Any fan of the individual authors will surely enjoy this, especially as they wait for new books in the respective authors' series.
For those not already immersed in one or more of the series represented here, this tome is worth the price of purchase for Martin's tale alone.
(Donald McCabe doesn't read the books he reviews. Easier to just recommend a book because Terry Goodkind's name is attached to it. That's too bad. You should actually *read* things before telling others to do so)
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I wasn't a fan of fantasy. Then, my cousin sent me this book and said: "Read 'The Hedge Knight'". Well now I'm hooked on George R.R. Martin. This story grabs and never lets go. All the characters pull you in to their little personal plights. I even found myself feeling sorry for the ones I hated. After you read "The Hedge Knight", run out and get the "Song of Ice and Fire" series ... CAPTIVATING.
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