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Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy [Hardcover]

Robert Silverberg
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 2003
New limited edition collection, autographed by the authors!

Each limited edition book is:
Signed by all eleven authors
One of only 500 signed and hand-numbered copies
Cloth-bound with gold foil on cover and spine
Slipcased and shrinkwrapped

Fantasy fans, rejoice! Seven years after writer and editor Robert Silverberg made publishing history with Legends, his acclaimed anthology of original short novels by some of the greatest writers in fantasy fiction, the long-awaited second volume is here. Legends II picks up where its illustrious predecessor left off. All of the bestselling writers represented in Legends II return to the special universe of the imagination that its author has made famous throughout the world. Whether set before or after events already recounted elsewhere, whether featuring beloved characters or compelling new creations, these masterful short novels are both mesmerizing stand-alones—perfect introductions to the work of their authors—and indispensable additions to the epics on which they are based. Beyond any doubt, Legends II is the fantasy event of the season.

ROBIN HOBB returns to the Realm of the Elderlings with “Homecoming,” a powerful tale in which exiles sent to colonize the Cursed Shores find themselves sinking into an intoxicating but deadly dream . . . or is it a memory?
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN continues the adventures of Dunk, a young hedge knight, and his unusual squire, Egg, in “The Sworn Sword,” set a generation before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire.
ORSON SCOTT CARD tells a tale of Alvin Maker and the mighty Mississippi, featuring a couple of ne’er-do-wells named Jim Bowie and Abe Lincoln, in “The Yazoo Queen.”
DIANE GABALDON turns to an important character from her Outlander saga—Lord John Grey—in “Lord John and the Succubus,” a supernatural thriller set in the early days of the Seven Years War.
ROBERT SILVERBERG spins an enthralling tale of Majipoor’s early history—and remote future—as seen through the eyes of a dilettantish poet who discovers an unexpected destiny in “The Book of Changes.”
TAD WILLIAMS explores the strange afterlife of Orlando Gardiner, from his Otherland saga, in “The Happiest Dead Boy in the World.”
ANNE McCAFFREY shines a light into the most mysterious and wondrous of all places on Pern in the heartwarming “Beyond Between.”
RAYMOND E. FEIST turns from the great battles of the Riftwar to the story of one soldier, a young man about to embark on the ride of his life, in “The Messenger.”
ELIZABETH HAYDON tells of the destruction of Serendair and the fate of its last defenders in “Threshold,” set at the end of the Third Age of her Symphony of Ages series.
NEIL GAIMAN gives us a glimpse into what befalls the man called Shadow after the events of his Hugo Award–winning novel American Gods in “The Monarch of the Glen.”
TERRY BROOKS adds an exciting epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara in “Indomitable,” the tale of Jair Ohmsford’s desperate quest to complete the destruction of the evil Ildatch . . . armed only with the magic of illusion.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 642 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Slp Signed edition (Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345470753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345470751
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wanted to clarify that the book does contain all 11 short stories contrary to the speculation that the book cover has only 6 Author names and should contain only 6 stories. The front cover has 5 Authors and the rear cover has 6 Authors and does contain all 11 titles.

The confusion is caused due to a reprinted where the book was split into two volumes under the titles of "Legends II: Shadow, Gods, and Demons" & "Legends II: Dragon, Sword, and King".

(PS: I bought the book and this is not speculative, also a review of the Quality of the Book to come soon)

Titles in this book:

Realm of the Elderlings;
Homecoming
by Robin hobb

A song of Ice and Fire;
The Sworn Sword
by George R.R. Martin

The Tales of Alvin maker;
The Yazoo Queen
by Orson Scott Card

Outlander;
Lord John and the Succubus
by Diana Gabaldon

Majipoor;
The Book of Changes
by Robert Silverberg

Otherland;
The Happiest Dead Boy in the World
by Tad Williams

Pern:
Beyond Between
by Anne McCaffrey

The Riftwar;
The Messanger
by Raymond E. Feist

The Symphony of Ages;
Threshold
by Elizebeth Haydon

American Gods;
The Monarch of the Glen
by Neil Gaiman

Shannara;
Indomitable
by Terry Brooks
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be aware 20 Jan 2009
By AnetteF
Format:Mass Market Paperback
R. Silverberg has published two Anthologies called Legends I&II each containing eleven short stories by different well known fantasy authors. The books have also been published with each volume devided into two.

I believe this may be one of the split volumes as it only has six of the authors on the cover. Also, there is another edition called 'Legends II: Shadows, Gods, and Demons' which looks like the other half and does have the other six authors on the cover.

Three stars only because of the lack of content information not to reflect the five star stories the book contains.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legends is one of the best fantasy collections 30 Jan 2004
By Joe Sherry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In 1998 Robert Silverberg edited a collection of fantasy stories titled "Legends". That collection included stories by some of the best and most popular fantasy authors of the time (Robert Jordan, Raymond Feist, Stephen King, George Martin, etc). It was one of the best collections I had read, and allowed me to revisit some familiar worlds and discover some brand new ones. Legends II is the second collection by Robert Silverberg and it is just as good as the first collection. There are some authors that did not return for this collection (Robert Jordan, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett), some that returned (Raymond Feist, George Martin, Robert Silverberg, Anne McCaffrey), and some that are making their first appearance in Legends (Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Haydon). These stories are all mostly of high quality, and if you are looking for an excellent sampling of talented and popular fantasy authors, this is the volume for you.
What I like best about the Legends collections is that they give me the chance to revisit some of my favorite authors and see their worlds from a different perspective than that which is presented in their novels. Raymond Feist returns to Midkemia with a story set during the Riftwar. "The Messenger" is a story of the messengers who bring the military orders from one commander to another, risking their lives in the process. Some minor characters from the novels make an appearance, and some major ones are mentioned, and though this has a simple storyline, this is a well told story. George Martin continues the story of Dunk and Egg that he began in the first Legends. "The Sworn Sword" is one of my favorite stories in the collection and it is set approximately a hundred years before "A Game of Thrones". I haven't read one of Orson Scott Card's "Alvin Maker" novels in years, but I have thoroughly enjoyed both of the Alvin Maker stories that have been in the Legends collections. "The Yazoo Queen" continues the story of Alvin, and this time mixes in characters like Abraham Lincoln and Jim Bowie (yes, it is appropriate to the story, and yes, it does work). Reading "The Yazoo Queen" makes me want to go back and start reading the series anew.
I was surprised by the appearance of Neil Gaiman in this collection, but I can't say that I am disappointed. He takes the character of Shadow, from "American Gods" and tells a story that occurs two years after that novel. "The Monarch of the Glen" is set in Scotland, and while this isn't my favorite of the collection, it was a nice interlude until we get the sequel to "American Gods." Robin Hobb's story is set in the world of the Liveship Traders (more so than the regions of the Farseer). As I have not read the Liveship trilogy, I don't really know how that story connects to the main series, but Hobb's talent is undeniable. "Homecoming" is written as if it was the travel journal of a passenger on a boat who initially thinks that they are on a ship to help set up a colony of the Cursed Shores, but as the story continues, she discovers more about why she is there and then what this new land is like. The story that I was most looking forward to in this collection was "Indomitable", by Terry Brooks. Set two years after "The Wishsong of Shannara", this story follows Jair Ohmsford after he is visited by Kimber Boh telling him that Cogline believes that Brin somehow missed a page when she destroyed the Ildatch. While it was very nice to return to these characters, this story ended up being a little bit of a let down and anti-climactic (despite the action packed ending). I've always been a big fan of Shannara, but somehow this story felt rushed.
There are also several authors whom I had heard of, but had not yet read any of their work. I'll start with the editor of this collection, Robert Silverberg. He returns to the world of Majipoor with "The Book of Changes". This story is set in the early history of the gigantic world of Majipoor. I don't know how this relates to the series as a whole, and while it did not make me want to rush out and start reading the Majipoor novels, if I ever start to run low on new fantasy novels to read, I may give Majipoor a chance. This is also the first time I have read anything by Elizabeth Haydon and her "Symphony of Ages" series. This story is one of the best of the collection and focuses on the destruction of Serendair and the men who were the last defenders of the city. I'm sure this ties in somehow into the larger series, and this story is good enough that "Rhapsody" will be placed on my future reading list. Tad Williams also makes an appearance in this collection, telling a story of "Otherland". "The Happiest Dead Boy in the World" is a story of Orlando Gardiner who had died of a debilitating illness but is able to live on in the Otherland computer simulated worlds. Since I have not read the Otherland novels, I don't know if knowing that Orlando died spoils anything or not. I thought the ideas presented in this story were fascinating, and I am definitely going to read "Otherland" now.
This leaves me with two stories left unmentioned. I saved them for last simply because I thought they were rather bad, though for different reasons. The first is by Diana Gabaldon. Her story of "Lord John and the Succubus" did absolutely nothing for me, except bore me. I was not able to get interested in any of the characters of this story, nor did I care what happened. I've not read any of Gabaldon's novels, but then I have not read Tad Williams or Elizabeth Haydon before, either. This story just did not work for me. The last story to mention is by Anne McCaffrey and is set on the world of Pern. The Pern novels have long been some of my favorites, which is why I hate to say that this wasn't a good story. "Beyond Between" tells of what happens when a dragon (and rider) go Between, but never return. "Between" is that place where the dragon goes while it is teleporting from location to location. It is icy cold, and it is death when the dragon fails to return. While, I suppose I have always been interested in what happens Between, I've never wanted a story about it. I'm not even sure the story should have been told as some things are best left to the reader's imagination. The other problem with this story is who it is about: Moreta. Readers of the Pern series will know that Moreta was a legendary Queen Rider who died when she exhausted herself and the dragon so much trying to deliver medicine to halt a plague that she failed to return from Between. Her death was a huge sacrifice and a powerful moment in that novel (as well as Pern's history, as a song was made of it). This story nullifies that power and that sacrifice and removes the importance of the event because it changes how we view what happened. As she is already dead, a story of Moreta's further adventures was simply disappointing both as a Pern story, as well as just being a story that was not terribly interesting despite my love of Pern.
With the exceptions of the two stories which I did not like, this was a fantastic collection and if anyone is looking for a new fantasy author to read and doesn't want to experiment with an entire novel, this collection is the place to look. I can only hope that Robert Silverberg will edit another Legends collection.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Pleasing 24 Feb 2005
By Jennifer Bullard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I must admit that I was completely drawn in to The Sworn Sword, the first story by George R. R. Martin. I could not seem to put the book down, I was mesmerized. As I continued to read on and focus on the next few stories, I found myself missing the first, but, that was soon to fade away upon reading Threshold by Elizabeth Haydon. That work was also beautiful and seemingly flawless. This book in general, every story, runs your mind around these authors vivid imaginations and turn your world upside down for the moment! Great read, highly recommended!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spotty "Legends" 1 Sep 2004
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Robert Silverberg delighted fantasy fans with the "Legends" anthology, containing solid novellas by everyone from Stephen King to Ursula Le Guin. But there are only so many good fantasy series out there, and the sequel anthology "Legends II" has a deadweight of tepid stories.

Silverberg himself contributes a story in his classic Mahjipoor series, an eerie tale of Mahjipoor's early history; George Martin provides a solid prequel for his dark epic Song of Fire and Ice series, while Tad Williams gives an insight into the post-death activities of a supporting character from the Otherland series, complete with a funny Tolkien homage ("Fare thee well also, Tharagorn, Cuddler of Elves"), and Terry Brooks gives an enticing if rushed epilogue to "Wishsong of Shannara." And Neil Gaiman provides a short-ish sequel featuring the hero of his "American Gods" book, an eerie dark gem.

Unfortunately, there are some very sketchy choices to round off the volume. Elizabeth Haydon's cataclysmic novella is bogged down by her overdramatic writing and overemotional characters. Anne McCaffrey's story is weirdly anticlimactic, as if she changed her mind what she wanted to happen in the "Moreta" book. And what is Diana Gabaldon's bizarre "Lord John and the Succubus" doing in this? It's more historical romance than fantasy.

The problem with "Legends II" is that it feels cobbled together, as if Silverberg chose whichever bestselling fantasies he could find (short of the "Harry Potter" series), and ignored the quality. At least it includes a wide range of fantasy. There's historical fantasy (Orson Scott Card's alternate US), sci-fantasy (Tad Williams), and dark fantasy that verges on horror (Neil Gaiman).

Perhaps a few of these stories were last-minute additions, since apparently a couple of authors pulled out. As it is, it feels rushed -- there's little of the gut-wrenching horror of King's novella, or the minimalist splendor of Le Guin's story. The overall collection feels, in a word, bland, despite some fairly good offerings.

"Legends II" fails to live up to the promise of its predessor, but it would have been a solid anthology if a few of the novellas were trimmed away. But parts of it are still deserving of a second or even third look.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of short novels. 8 Mar 2007
By D. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I got this collection of stories just for George R. R. Martin's 'The Sworn Sword,' but after reading all of the stories I am now interested in a few new authors. This is a solid collection and I recommend it to any fans of the fantasy genre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going back for more 27 Aug 2006
By SciFi Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Both Legends I and II are must haves for any SF/Fantasy fan. I orginally purchased Legends I for Robert Jordan's and Tad William's short stories. I then promptly put it up on my shelf for a few years. I picked up Legends II for the Robin Hobb short. I then also filed it on my shelf. Somehow I have made it through tons of fantasy while dodging some of the most "advertised" names. I recently ran out of books to read. In my search for new authors, I scowered the net, and asked several friends for recommendations. One of my friends suggested I pick up Terry Pratchett, my net search said try George R.R. Martin... I had a fleeting thought that "hey they are popular, wonder if they are in Legends". Sure enough they are and then some. I pulled both Legends I and II off of my shelf and devoured several of the stories that I had previously ignored. It made a perfect way of deciding which authors I would like to read more of and which ones I could probably pass on. Both Legends I and II are treasures which should not be overlooked. I sincerly hope there is a Legends III.
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