It's a measure of the success of the S&S franchise (celebrating its 10th year with this volume) that where most of the earlier volumes ran to less than 20 stories, this one has 29--of which 11 appealed personally to me, although, as I've said before, where anthologies are concerned each reader's favorites are likely to vary. Obviously both editor MZB and her concept had drawn enough attention to ensure that her ever-growing slush pile would attract ever more slush, which no doubt made the selection of suitable stories even harder than before. Authors both familiar and new march through these pages, presenting stories of fighting women, magic-using women, and an occasional goddess. Among my favorites: "Falcon's Shadow," by Diana L. Paxson (the conclusion of the long series of adventures of warrior-princess Shanna, who's been a fixture in every volume to date); "The Gift of Minerva," by Dorothy J. Heydt (another entry in the adventures of early-Roman-era sorceress Cynthia, in which she helps finger a shipboard murderer); "Friendly Fire" by Mercedes Lackey (a humorous adventure of her popular duo Tarma and Kethry); "Earth, Air, Fire, and Water," by Kirsten M. Corby (a queen fights a demoness to keep her lover); "Fealty," by Kati Dougherty (the friendship of a princess and a female swordsmith is threatened by the use of forbidden "bloodmagic"); "Robes," by Patricia Duffy Novak (two wizard-candidates, boy and girl, must pass their final test and learn what *kind* of wizards they will be); "Oaths," by Leslie Ann Miller (a warrior-princess, her freedom bought from a sorcerer at the cost of her beloved brother's, raises an army to save him); "Mage-Sight," by Lynne Alise Witten (a female magic-user duels the sorcerer who destroyed her group); "Ether and the Skeptic," by Katy Huth Jones (a peasant girl runs away from home in search of a better life and learns some things she never suspected); "Smile of the Goddess," by Lorina J. Stephens (a young conqueror-king seeks vengeance for a perceived slight and finds that it wasn't); and "Taking Shape," by Lisa Deason (a delightfully twisted tale of the alliance between a shapechanger and a warrior woman). Although, as has been true of most of these collections, some of the pieces aren't what I'd describe as sword and sorcery, they're all enjoyable, well-paced, and well-written, and the book itself is definitely worth a place on your shelf beside its predecessors.