Friday, June 26, 2009


Rating : 3.5/5
Number of Pages : 352
Format : Fantasy Anthology
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

An anthology of fantasy stories by Garth Nix, most well known for his Abhorsen Trilogy. There is quite a mixture of different stories included in the collection which includes a story set around the Abhorsen stories. Instead of reviewing all the stories I will just mention some of the ones that really stood out.

Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case
A tale of Nicholas from the Abhorsen series who lives in Ancelstierre. His ambition is to return to the Old Kingdom and see Lirael. His uncle will help him if he answers some questions for the mysterious Department Thirteen. Dorrance runs the Department and is an eccentric who owns a strange free magic creature in a case form the Old Kingdom and Nicholas is convinced it is still alive.

Lightening Bringer
This was my favourite in the collection. It mixed controlling minds, seeing auras, lightening, sex and love. It reminded me of The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman which is another story I love.

Down to Scum Quarter
A fun "choose your own adventure" story that plays with Zoro and the Three Muskateers. Very silly but a lot of fun.

Hearts Desire
A re-telling of the Merlin/Nimue myth from Arthurian legends. To gain power one must catch a star and give up their heart's desire. Merlin caught his star years ago and knows his future and now it is the turn of Nimue.

Hope Chest
A fantasy Western tale about a baby girl who is found on a train with a note saying her name is Alice May Susan and she will bring good luck. She is adopted along with a mysterious trunk which none can open until she turns 16. What she finds inside helps her go after a dangerous cult leader called The Master.

Three Roses
A sad and poignant tale about a man who growa beautiful roses for the love of his dead wife.

One thing I really enjoyed about this collection was the introduction to each story by Nix. They give you an idea of what the story is about and why he wrote it and what it was written for. I really look forward to reading more of his writing.

5 comments:

Nicola said...

Hope Chest and Three Roses were a couple of my favourites. The CYOA one didn't do much for me though and the extra Abhorsen story was fabulous! I also really enjoyed the Hansel & Gretel tale (forget the title).

Kailana said...

I should really finish this series. I am still back on Sabriel. I own book two, though, so there is not a lot of reason why I haven't read it.

Kim L said...

I really enjoyed the return to some of the characters from the Abhorsen series, but man, could they just. get. to. the. old. kingdom. already? I don't remember the other stories in this book too much, except for the Arthurian one. That was such a sad, but beautiful story.

Darla D said...

This has been on my list for ages - in fact, I think you were the one who told me about it in the first place! I must get to it soon.

Nymeth said...

I hadn't thought of the parallels between The Ice Queen and Lightening Bringer, but good point!