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The Feathered Edge: Tales of Magic, Love, and Daring Paperback – 22 Feb 2012


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Feathered Edge-tales of courage, magic, myth, love and honor. 4 Feb. 2013
By Marie A. Parsons - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Feathered Edge is an apt title for this anthology. Within each story, from writers like Tanith Lee, Judith Tarr, Diana Paxson and other talents, the reader feels the delicate feathery touch of a kiss, and the sharp prickly edge the gives that delicacy its form and shape.

Each story is a wonderfully crafted journey taking the character (and reader) toward destiny. Some of the central characters prove to be unlikely heroes, or not really heroes at all. Some stories are romantic--two characters realize they may be destined to be together. But even that destiny may require some deeds, or oaths honored, or time spent elsewhere, before they can be together. Some stories are based in the myths of the Norsemen (as in "Fire and Ice and Burning Rose" by Rosemary Hawley Jarman.) Some stories involve the world of Faerie. All include magic of some form or other. More importantly, each story is deeply rooted in the spirit's search for a proper place in whatever world one finds oneself.

Some other stories in this anthology:

The young girl Amielle in "A Wreath of Luck" finds herself stuck on a pirate ship. The narrator of "Outlander" by Samantha Henderson seems to be a bit clueless to the true state of things around him.

"Embers", by Shannon Page and Jay Lake, is set in Renaissance Florence in the time of the strange monk Savaranola, and the reader is left to marvel at the possibility that sorcery played a part in those historical events.

In "The Garden of Swords," by K.D. Wentworth, the young scullery-maid Tana befriends the ghosts of dead warriors and learns how to follow her heart and destiny.

Judith Tarr writes of "The Woman Who Fell in Love with the Horned King," who first must act as his Champion, and thereafter must first fulfill her duty to family.

One hopes that perhaps this anthology can turn into a series.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A fine addition to fantasy of manners 26 Feb. 2013
By Catherine Lundoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
A thoroughly enjoyable collection of swashbuckling adventure tales with fantasy elements. Many of the stories fall squarely into the fantasy of manners subgenre that I greatly enjoy, in particular Sherwood Smith's theater-based "The Art of Masks," Tanith Lee's "Question a Stone" and Judith Tarr's "The Woman Who Fell in Love with the Horned King." Certainly, these were amongst my favorites, but I would also include K.D. Wentworth's "The Garden of Swords," with its heroic kitchen-maid coached into fighting prowess by trapped ghosts, Samantha Henderson's "Outlander" and Diana Paxson's "Blue Velvet," which I would love to read more of, on that list as well. Many of the stories feature strong and interesting female leads, which I appreciate as well.

Even the stories that didn't work for me were interesting reads, and your mileage may vary. For me, Shannon Page and Jay Lake's "Embers" didn't feel like it stood alone from a larger work, Rosemary H. Jarman's Norse-mythos flavored "Fire and Ice and Burning Rose" seemed an odd fit with the other choices, and Sean McMullen's "Culverelle" felt rushed toward the end. The cover, on the other hand, is truly unfortunate for such a good book and I fear that it will drive off some of the readership that a fine anthology with an all-star cast like this one would otherwise attract. But my advice is to ignore it, buy the book and enjoy some excellent storytelling. Highly recommended!
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