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on May 23, 2001
I have read works by Williams, King, Martin, and Goodkind, but I didn't bother to read any of their short works. Robert Jordan starts off the book with his prequel, NEW SPRING, based on his Wheel of Time series. I've heard that Robert Jordan isn't much of a short story writer, which makes sense, because you never hear about his short stories. So don't expect too much out of this novella. It is far from excellent, but I'll disagree with anyone who says that it's pointless. In New Spring, RJ describes to us--in greater detail than in the Great Hunt--how Moiraine and Lan met. Ever the consistent writer, RJ makes a point of remembering to include the part where Lan tosses Moiraine into the lake--one of my favorite parts in the series. After they finally team up, they start searching the Borderlands for the Dragon Reborn--a bit of history that the other WoT books NEVER mention, at least not in any great detail. While reading the second half, I couldn't help but notice how RJ had managed to weave some symbolism through his work. Think along the lines of Moses. For those of you who don't think there's symbolism in the WoT series, e-mail me and I'll enlighten you. But as big a WoT fan that I am, I sincerely wish that RJ would have passed up on the offer of being included in this anthology. The time he used writing this novella could have been used for making his current project--either book 8 or 9--into a MUCH better book. Books 8 and 9 weren't all that good, but 10 looks promising. The prequel could have waited until AFTER the series was finished. To sum things up, this is a good RJ novella-effort. BUT IF YOU'VE NEVER READ ROBERT JORDAN, DON'T JUDGE HIM--OR ANY OTHER AUTHOR IN THIS ANTHOLOGY--BY THE NOVELLA. Read EYE OF THE WORLD or the first book in that author's series.
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on August 19, 2002
Yes I know it's probably outrageous to the other authors of this book (but I don't care); I bought it for the Terry Pratchett short novel. The Terry Pratchett short novel "All the little fishes" (in case your wondering) takes place on discworld, revolving around Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg and the witch trials. These are the trials they have at the Ramtops every year where each witch proves her worth and shows off her magic ability. If you have the Nanny Ogg cookbook or want to learn more about the witch trials there are references to it in there. It is an excellent short story around 80 pages. However what makes it worth reading is that it really has the No-nonsense gritty fun of Granny Weatherwax proving she is the best of all the witches! Nothing like a contest of wills to bring out the wickedness. If you like Granny weatherwax or are at least smart enough to be afraid of her this story is for you! The other authors are worth a glance too, after all they got famous for some reason or other. I do have to admit Anne McAffery also tempted me to get the book as there is a pern dragon saga story as well, and her stuff is also a good read for sci-fi fans.
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on March 26, 2001
I'm a huge fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea, and had not read anything by Tad Williams and Terry Pratchett before.
NEW SPRING by Jordan didn't add anything to the Wheel of Time series, and wouldn't have made me want to become a Jordan fan if I wasn't already.
DRAGONFLY by Le Guin was better, but not anywhere near as good as the Earthsea novels, whose world it uses.
THE BURNING MAN by Williams annoyed me by jumping about in sequence in events all over the place in short bursts of "minichapters". And the story itself wasn't appealing.
Terry Pratchett's THE SEA AND THE LITTLE FISHES, telling a short tale of the witch Granny Weatherwax was the true gem of this collection. It was funny and satirical, and I will be looking into the rest of Pratchett's books about Granny.
I don't think that Pratchett's gem can make up for the failings of the others, but if you're a huge fan of any of these authors it might still be worth the read.
Hope this was useful.
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on September 11, 2001
I read Legends in one piece, so please bear with me reviewing here. Legends (and Far Horizons) as well, were a brilliant move. Short stories about the worlds you know and love, in one book with yet unexplored worlds... it's awesome, both from the fan's and the publisher's point of view.
The quality of the stories was high. King's story was beautiful and enchanting, I am not a great fan of Pratchett, though, Feist and Goodkind's stories were entertaining enough, if not a little predictable.
I felt myself also highly attracted to Williams' story for some reason. And I havent even read the series. Still gotta find the first book somewhere. :)
Jordan's story, as a WOT fan, was nice enough. It was nice to be back in the WOT world again (this was during the wait for book 9). For me, it grabbed hold and didnt let go. Although I agree that it might be a little vague and incomprehensible for the people who are not familiar with the Wheel of Time.
The big thing about Legends though, has got to be the Hedge Knight. It got me to reading Martin's work, and it had got me to favoring Martin above Jordan as soon as I was done with the series.
Legends did what it was made for - introduce fans into worlds they havent explored yet, and show them a little bit more of the worlds they know and love. So yes, Legends was brilliant.
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on February 22, 2000
...That's because it's confusing. The *hardcover* edition contains the writings of eleven well-known fantasy authors. Each author tells a short story. There are *three paperback editions*, each containing just a few of the stories. The reviews on this page are a mixture of reviews for the eleven-story volume (the hardcover), and the five-story volume (the third paperback). THIS review covers only the five-story paperback edition.
Having said that, I'll tell you this book is excellent. Robert Silverberg, Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, Ursula Le Guin, and Terry Pratchett are the authors in this volume.
Someone in another review on this page foolishly said that the writers were "selling out"; that they wrote these novellas only to make some money, and promote their older writings. How wrong! While it certainly couldn't hurt any of their careers to write these short stories, every true author has stories inside him that would not make a full-length novel. Does that mean that the stories should never be written? That the stories should never see the light of day because of some fool who can't see beyond the end of his nose, claiming "sell out!"? No, these stories were written because the authors felt the *need* to write them.
The stories are the perfect opportunity for these very famous authors to spin more tales; tales that otherwise would go unwritten and unpublished, were it not for the mythopoeic idea to collect the smaller stories of these folks into one (er... three...) volumes.
The standout novella in this collection is Tad Williams' "The Burning Man", the story of a young girl with a mad stepfather, living in a haunted castle... the SAME castle that young Seoman lives in, years later, in Williams' beloved "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" epic. This story is not to be missed! The soulful writing, punctuated by Williams' creative storytelling, make this story the very best in the collection, and well worth the read.
Robert Jordan's tale, "New Spring", is the story of Moiraine Sedai and Lan the Warder, years before Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series begins. While of interest only to those who have read Jordan's continuing series, the story is nonetheless well-written.
Robert Silverberg writes "The Seventh Shrine", a tale of Majipoor, as well as the introduction. Terry Pratchett writes a new "Discworld" novella, and Ursula Le Guin's tale, Dragonfly, is another story from her "Earthsea" series.
Altogether, this is a collection worth reading, and saving; let's hope the authors will consider compiling a new collection in the future, ignoring those who disparagingly call them 'sell-outs'...
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on September 21, 2002
I purchased this book looking for the stories by King and McCaffrey, only to find out that they are in a different volume. The reviews and book info are the same for all three volumes, so I suppose this review will also be listed on all three. Anyway, this is a review for LEGENDS 3!
There are four stories in Legends 3:
New Spring, by Robert Jordan, a Wheel of Time story.
Dragonfly, by Ursula K. Le Guin, an Earthsea story.
The Burning Man, by Tad Williams, a Memory, Sorrow and Thorn story.
The Sea and Little Fishes, by Terry Pratchett, a Discworld story.
This is a case where they saved the best for last :) Each story gets progressively better. I thought I would go ahead and read this book rather than return it since I am always on the lookout for new (to me) fantasy writers. After all the hype about Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, I must say I was sorely dissappointed. The story was fairly interesting, and maybe the books are better than this short story, but I can't say I'm in much of a hurry to buy them now. However, I think maybe my daughter might like the children's versions.
Dragonfly was better, and the ending was the best part of all. If this was the beginning of the series, I'd be much more likely to want to buy the books, but from what I can figure out, this happens at the end of the series. Will we ever find out what happens next? I kinda doubt it. There hasn't been a new book in this series for a long time. But, I might eventually check this series out.
The Burning Man was pretty cool. It seemed to kinda stand alone though. Can't really imagine what the series is like.
The Sea and Little Fishes was the coolest. The whole Discworld thing, the world being flat and flying thru space on the backs of four elephants riding on a giant turtle was a little weird, but that hardly had anything at all to do with the story. It was about witches, not so much about magic as how they interacted with one another and with the mortals all around them. I think I'd like to read more of these.
I hope you find this helpful and don't make the same mistake that I did, thinking all of these stories are in one book, because they are actually in three. If you did find it helpful, please vote that you did. Thanks!
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on October 3, 2001
If you are craving a new story in the Wheel of Time, try this one. It is a great look into the past of Moiraine and Lan. It is something that was hinted at in the main novels, but it certain expands on the readers knowledge of their relationship. Lan for much of the series is stone cold and he is hard to relate to, much like Rand 7-10. Lan is much like the boy Rand used to be, except a warrior.
It has to be read after 4 or 5, or it won't be as thoroughly enjoyed (thats for newbies). The great thing is Robert Jordan expressed an interest to do another such novella if the opportunity arose. Little stories can be found in "The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time" til the next book comes out.
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on November 23, 2000
This book was really well put together. My favorite of all the stories was Robert Jordan's New Spring. It might be hard for people to understand if they do not read the other Wheel of Time books because they are very detailed. IT may be a good place to start though because it takes place before the series begins. It is not as good as the other books but it is still entertaining.
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on September 11, 2000
I bought this book (#3 only) as a Terry Prachett Fan. I have since bought Tad Williams's Trilogy,and all of the Jordan books. I was impressed by all 4 writers and have broadened my horizons in some fantastic fantasy books. This book is a great intro to modern fantasy wrting, for those who love Tolkein and haven't read anything new (like I was before reading this).
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on April 20, 2001
I loved this book, glancing into more stories of some series' I have gobbled up. But I'm sorry, I find Le Guin's writing a bunch of drivel. The plot just seems to be floating around with no purpose, and I couldn't get involved with the bland characters at all. Worth a read, though.
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