I probably say this each and every time, but I really do love anthologies! Where else can you get a load of different authors in one place for one great price, you know? In The Book Of Magic, you get everything you expect and more! Assembling 17 great authors in one place is a difficult job but this book, with a lot of help from editor Gardner Dozois, does just that.
This marvelous collection of short stories is the creation of two different halves of the same mind. Both pseudonyms, Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm weave fantastic tales in their distinct individual voices that enrapture the reader with relatable main characters whose transformations are sometimes subtle yet significant and others drastic but necessary for the protagonist’s survival.
The stories of Megan Lindholm are set mostly in the present day, in places we can picture without stretching our imaginations too far with characters who only at first appear to be living ordinary lives. They are all somehow touched by magic, as in “Silver Lady” and the “Fortyish Man,” or by alien beings, as in “Touch of Lavender.” Her crisp, clear style cuts through a lot of b.s. to hit us right where we live. She is a master of full description with few words. Thus, her stories seem to fly by. We are fully immersed in her worlds and emotionally invested in her characters, but ever so briefly.