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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars

on 13 December 2010
I am not really a short story fan ordinarily, but these stories got me carried away & gave me an idea of the other writers style that I had not read before.
Here's a snap shot of each story to give you an idea of what to expect.

Ilona Andrews - A Questionable Client.
Kate works for the Mercenary Guild & when she's offered £3000 dollars for one nights work she knows it's going to be a nasty job, even if it is bodyguarding.
Superb characterisation, plot, magical creatures. Written with wry humour & intelligence.

Deirdre Knight - Unknighted.
Magical fantasy she has to complete the puzzle, but there is something missing, a benefactor suddenly gives what she needs, to release whats in the puzzle. Failure is not an option, slow build up to a life threatening ending.

Jim Butcher - Even Hand
Written from John Macone point of view, he who is cold hearted, mobster extrodinaire, has lines even he won't cross especially when it comes to drugs, prostitution involving kids. Which maybe is why he uncharacteristically agrees to give his protection to Justine & a child. Hardhitting, magical vilolence.

Sean Butcher - The Beacon.
Ryder is an assassin, he's sick to the teeth of his job, he has to kill the 'Beacon' - A human, he falters & has to stand & fight, a fight he has no chance in hell of winning. Dark & gritty - desperate measures take place for pure survival - superior descriptive writing.

- Even a Rabbit will Bite.
A slow burner this one, She's been a dragon slayer for over 700 years & has to train the new slayer who is going to take her place. A melancholy tale with a desperate twist. Dark undertones that make you think..

P.N Elrod - Dark Lady.
1930's noir type suspense thriller. Vampire Jack Fleming is a night club owner, with his own ghost resident Merna. A lady visits late at night asking for his help, naturally suspicious, there's unpleasant shannigans, mobsters, pugilism, elaborate set-ups & exploitation.....

Vikki Petterson - Shifting Star.
Schmar wants to stay under the radar, but Vaughn makes that difficult - she doesn't want to feel she just wants to make the Tulper pay - painfully. Super powers, vicious fights a short story from the Zodiac series, warring fractions of light & dark, fighting for Vegas's Soul.

Lilith Saintcrow - Rockwood & Mrs King.
Rockwoods a vampire, a very thirsty vampire & well he cannot but help appreciate the attributes of Mrs King, when she comes into his office & asks for him to kill her husband. It's a who using who scenario. Again noir type, gumshoe, hardboiled detective style. Keeps you guessing.

Carrie Vaughn - Gods Creature.
Cormack is a mercenary his services are expensive, but he gets the job done - tough, relentless, cynical & a hunter with many notches on his belt. When a local farmer purchases his services to kill a rogue werewolf, it's more complicated than it first appears...

I listened to these on audio, each is read by a different narrator, superbly produced. I gave it four stars as this was about average of the individual scores. Great Stuff,if you like it, dark, hardboiled & gritty - recommended...
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2011
The stories are well described by the first reviewer. I think I was misled by the synopsis and use of Knights in the title, into imagining I'd be reading paranormal/urban fantasy with romance thrown in. The writing in these was excellent, but romance there certainly wasn't! I found the book lacking because of that, but if you don't need any vestige of romance in your books in this genre, go for this as some of the stories are worth it, and give a different "take" on a few of the authors. However, overall I found the individual stories too much leaning to the dark to be satisfying.
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VINE VOICEon 25 May 2012
Collection of "urban fantasy" with creatures of legend in dark and gritty modern day settings, featuring the work of best selling authors such as Jim Butcher and Vicki Pettersson.

Short stories are probably the perfect vehicle for fantasy tales...the fantastic elements can be shown without bothering with long explanations and backstories. To pick just a few examples, Rob Chilson's "The Last of His Breed", L Sprague de Camp's "The Hardwood Pile", Jack Dann's "The Black Horn" and, one of my all time favourites, Gene Wolfe's "The Woman Who Loved the Centaur Pholus" are all short stories featuring legendary creatures (Winged Horses, Unicorns, Dryads, Centaurs) survivng in the modern world. All of these are memorable, punchy and evoke a genuine sense of wonder.

The stories in "Dark and Stormy Knights" suffer in comparison with these earlier works. Almost all show the mythic creatures as things to be shot at and blown up, there is little wonderment. Basically most have violent monsters: werewolves, demons, vampires, in physical conflict with heavily armed humans. As well as rather one dimensional, the stories do seem very samey.

The exception, "Even a Rabbit Will Bite" by Rachel Caine is an actual story with a proper start and ending and doesn't just describe a fight. It was, for me, by far the best of the nine stories here.

To be fair, all the short stories are well written and very readable, I doubt any will live as long in my memory as Wolfe's 9 or 10 page "..Centaur Pholus.."
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on 21 February 2011
I picked up this anthology primarily because I was interested in Jim Butcher's story from Johnny Marcone's point of view. As a bonus, I got to read a story by his wife, whose writing I hadn't read yet, as well as several other excellent authors.
Although the Rachel Caine story didn't bowl me over, I did enjoy it more than the one Weather Wardens book I tried and failed to get through.
The story that disappointed me the most was Deirdre Knight's. The world seemed quite interesting and the set-up full of potential. However, the story seemed to come down to the woman deciding which sexy male she was going to obey. I also did not care for the hint of Middle Eastern=evil in the story.
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on 19 July 2011
The first reviewer provides a useful summary - there are quite a few stories in here and some certainly better than others. I liked the Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, Carrie Vaughan and Vicki Peterson stories in particular and it was worth it for me for those. It encouraged me to explore Vicki's Zodiac series. I listened on audio which may have made the tales more senjoyable as they were read by different narrators and helped make a long car journey pass more quickly. It is a good introduction to different authors in this genre. Probably somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me but gone for 4 on the basis of the audio.
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on 2 March 2013
The Jim Butcher story is the gem. See Marcone deal with a plea for his protection, under the unseely accords. A story about buisness and civility.
There's also a Kate Daniels short and a nice Jack Fleming story. The rest nothing special.
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on 1 February 2014
this was a great collection of other worldly stories, with secrets and heartbreak around every corner, a great read, well worth it, I really enjoyed it, full of dark, knights, fighting for the ones they love.
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on 5 May 2016
really enjoyable entertaining book,
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