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on May 10, 2004
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 November 23, 2002
My dad got me this as a gift a few years ago, and i have been consistently re-reading it since. All of the stories are masterpieces, even more so in that they are all less than a few hundred pages, yet still present a rich, textured world, unique to each story. This book has led me to 5 different series, 3of which i have completed again and again (I just can't seem to find the rest of the other 2). All of the stories are exquisite.
New Spring, by Robert Jordan, last story in the book, has affected me the most. It was one of the last stories I read, not just for being last, but I have read the 7000+ page series again and again in the last few years.
I have not read the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, but the story by Tad Williams is very complex; it took me a few readings to get the full plot. A great older read.
The Earthsea story isn't really connected to the other books, but they are good. And Ms. Le Guin has also written a few kids books.
The Hedge Knight, by George R.R. Martin, is most likely my favorite story. I haven't gotten around to reading the series yet, but it's on my list. Wonderful storytelling and action.
King, as always, is absolutely stunning. Leaving no violence or sex out, this serves as a wonderful intro or stand-alone. The Little Sisters of Eluria is a #1 first story choice.
The Feist story was a bit wierd, and kind of unfufilled. The Seventh Shrine was the last story I read. I think i was a bit put off by its length. It was worth the time, and i still have yet to pick up a book of the series.
And I won't settle for subliminal messages: BUY AND READ THE BOOK! NOW!!
Oops, I seem to have left out the Card story. It is funny, and linked to a wonderful series whose depth so far is rarely equaled in my reprtoire. The Ender series, also by the same author, is much more famous, and about par, on a totally different subject. a very funny yarn, when the rest of the series is slightly more somber.
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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 November 9, 1999
I saw this book in the grocery store and bought it for one reason: I'll read anything that takes place in Pern. McCaffrey's work was disappointing, though. A nice enough little character sketch and some gratuitous "familiar name" dropping, but predictable and short. Goodkind's work was interesting but far too fantastical for my taste, with a too-happy ending. George R.R. Martin, however, gives a great story with "The Hedge Knight." Nicely developed plot, well-delivered. My first exposure to Martin's work, but enough to convince me to buy "A Game of Thrones." Lots of confusing names and a somewhat unrealistic ending, but a great read nonetheless. Set in a pseudo-England, with characters you love or hate but always care about. Very little "fantasy," plenty of human drama. Bravo to Martin for putting some effort into his work. The price of the book was worth it just for this story.
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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 July 7, 2000
All told, an enjoyable read. Terry Goodkind's story lacked his usual depth of character, but that can be expected in a piece roughly one-sixth the length of a typical Goodkind book. Still, a very good story about one of fantasy's most lovable characters. George R.R. Martin hits a grand slam in his story of the Hedge Knight. Great characters, wonderful storyline, lots of action. That story alone has convinced me to read the rest of his work. However, Runner of Pern was an enormous disappoint to me. If you're looking for a Harlequin Romance type of poor-girl-gets-miffed-at-rich-boy-before-falling-for-him schtick, this one is for you. Otherwise, skip it and read more work by Goodkind and Martin.
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on March 3, 2000
I would reccomend this book for the sole purpose of reading Terry Goodkind. He is a great author who stands above all the others, with the possible exception of David Eddings. I think if you want to read a good book you should read this one, mainly because of Goodkinds work in writing the story of the origin of the boundary put up by the First Wizard Zeddicus Z'ul Zorander to protect the people of Westland and the Midlands from the threat of the D'Haran Empire, ruled by Darken Rahl the son of Panis Rahl an evil man who dabbles in dark secrets. Another book I would reccomend is any book written by Goodkind.
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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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on August 9, 2000
To those of you who have read the previously entered reviews of Legends 1,2, and3 and found them less than satisfactory. You must remember that the Legend series orriginally came out as a hardcover book comprising all three books. Do not judge 2 and 3 compared to 1. they are all the same book just in different parts so as to make it easier to publish in paperback form. All the stories in the Legends series are great back ground stories from our favorite series. Look for the Authors you read and enjoy the ones you haven't read. Who knows you might like their stories too.
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