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Mass Market Paperback Sword and Sorceress XVIII Book

ISBN: 0886779960

ISBN13: 9780886779962

Sword and Sorceress XVIII

(Book #18 in the Sword and Sorceress Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

Here are twenty all-new, all-original tales of strong, heroic women-female warriors and wizards brought vividly to life by acclaimed writers such as Diana L. Patson, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and many... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Passing on the torch

Published 20 months after the death of Marion Zimmer Bradley, this 18th volume in her famous and popular series of anthologies focusing on heroic fantasy with female protagonists is labeled "MZB Presents" and introduced by her longtime secretary, Elisabeth Waters, who tells us that she lived long enough to "read nearly all of the manuscripts submitted" for it. Its bulk is less than that of several of its recent predecessors, with only 20 stories, of which I found 12 enjoyable enough to mark for future reading. Diana L. Paxson checks in with "Passage of Power," another story in her Bera series, in which her young Irish/Scandinavian heroine (like Waters) finds the torch passing to her with the death of her mentor, the seer Groa. Dave Smeds, another returning contributor, gives us "The Land of Graves," in which a young female magic-user and archaeologist must battle not only a murderous ghost but her uncle's sexist chauvinism. Other returnees are Dorothy J. Heydt ("In the Sacred Places of the Earth," another tale of her early-Roman-era sorceress Cynthia), Rosemary Edghill ("Little Rogue Riding Hood," in which an actress portraying a Xena-type heroine finds herself transferred to a world where her supposed abilities are desperately needed), Waters herself ("Bed of Roses," in which a most intriguing order of early-Middle-Ages female fighters is posited, as one of them tries to rescue her younger brother from a sorcerer), Kati Dougherty-Carthum ("Lessons Learned," a sequel to her contribution to S & S X), and Denise Lopes-Heald ("The Needed Stone," in which a thief is persuaded to rescue a young woman before she can be "enthralled" by a sorceress). In Jan Combs's "Kendat's Ax," a juggler and a bard combine talents to defeat an ogre; Lawrence Watt-Evans offers "Arms and the Woman," in which a camp-follower discovers that all heroes need not be male; India Edghill's "Tiger's Eye" depicts a shapechanger's efforts to free herself from her brother's domination in India at the time of Alexander the Great's invasion; Pauline J. Alama's "Raven Wings on Snow" retells a fairy tale known to some of us as "The Twelve Swans"; and in Gerald Perkins's "The Queen in Yellow," a defeated mage-queen finds a way around her captor's precautions to emerge triumphant after all. It's clear that, even in her last illness, MZB remained a consummately professional editor and deeply interested in the anthologies that had brought her almost as much renown as her famous Darkover series. And it's equally clear that her editorship must have been a tough act to follow, even though there are three more S & S anthologies to come.

Good, but not the best of the series by a long shot.

The "Sword And Sorceress" series is a series of collections of short stories set in the "Sword and Sorcery" genre, except that in this series, all the protagonists are female. This is because, as Marion Zimmer Bradley has always explained in her introductions, historically in the "Sword and Sorcery" genre, the only female characters were "Bad conduct prizes" for the heros. This series as a whole is very good, although some volumes were stronger than others; I'm very fond of volumes 17, 16, and 15, as well as several of the earlier ones. This volume doesn't quite live up to the high standards of its three most recent predecessors, but it is probably as good as any volume in the series earlier than that.There are only two stories in this volume that are continuations of the adventures of characters met in previous anthologies: "A Passage Of Power", a story of Diana Paxson's Bera, the Norse wisewoman, and "In The Sacred Places Of The Earth", about Dorothy Heydt's Cynthia, the Witch Of Syracuse. I will say that there were fewer typos and general copyediting mistakes in this book than there have been in some of the earlier ones; whether this was due to Elisabeth Waters paying more attention to such minutinae than Ms. Bradley did or not I can only guess. (Note to Rosemary Edghill, author of "Little Rogue Riding Hood", however: the singular of "staves" is not "stave", it is "staff".) My primary complaint about this book is that it seems to be awefully heavy on the "Sorcery", and awefully light on the "Sword"; I think that the aforementioned "Little Rogue Riding Hood" is the only true "swordswoman" story, with perhaps "Arms and the Woman" coming close. Almost all the rest center around mages of one stripe or another.My second (minor) quibble is that "Raven Wings On The Snow", by Pauline Alama, while a well-written story, is really just a retelling of a fairy tale, something that Ms. Bradley had always maintained was not allowed, and while I know that she always said that any of her rules could be broken if the story was good enough, I didn't think that this one was; it was good, but not THAT exceptional.I am told, (by someone who should know, one of the authors) that there are plans for two more "Sword and Sorceress" collections. Hopefully, that information is correct; I'll be looking foreward to them.


Splendidly enchanting and thoroughly enjoyable, with a solid allstar line up of the best writers in the field of SF and Fantasy today. Outstanding stories by lisa Silverthorne, David Smeds, Mary Soon Lee, and Gerald Perkins... Gary S. Potter Author/Poet.

great anthology

This twenty-story anthology centers on "impossible tasks" and "invading armies" on an epic fantasy scale. However, the stories contain a bit of a twist as the plots star gender bender heroines not the usual heroes in a way that is like placing the women's NCAA tournament on center stage. Each story is well written and fans of fantasy will full relish the short story collection with some of the genre's better known authors contributing works.Just before final editing and publication, the legendary Marion Zimmer Bradley passsed away. This reviewer feels that Ms Bradley is smiling as she reads her copy of this collection because she has to know that not only is the book quite good, but a fitting tribute to her as well.Harriet Klausner
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