Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 39 -- The Awakened

edited by Hal Greenberg and Neil Levin

Started: Sept. 5
Finished: Sept. 10

Notes: This is a shared-world epic fantasy anthology. Based in the world of Grimaton, these tales surround one of the quirks of this world, that a small percentage of the population upon turning 19 years of age suddenly gain magical powers. These powers manifest themselves differently in each individual, and at least in appearance have less to do with traditional wizards and spellcasting but are more akin to something out of a comic book. Sort of an X-men meets Thieves' World in scope. My short story "Assassins of Opportunity" appears here, and I am anxious to read this one because I have yet to peruse all the other tales.

Mini review: For those who love a good sword-swinging tale, there's plenty to be found here. There were so many good ones, it's a difficult matter to choose a favorite. One nice detail about this collection is that it's different from many fantasy worlds in that the magic isn't your traditional spellcasting wizards, so there are a multitude of effects and types of magic, not just your typical fireballs and lightning bolts, though there is a bit of that, too. If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that I felt too many of the tales focused upon one element of the world's dynamics, basically that of King Stewart's constant attempts to kidnap Awakened characters from their own lands, but this wasn't really a bother for me, just an observation, and it didn't hurt the storytelling itself. I can recommend this one for lover's of action-oriented fantasy, and within its pages you will find stories by:

Ed Greenwood
Colin McComb
Erik Scott de Bie
Rosemary Jones
Hal Greenberg
Rai Smith
Jaleigh Johnson
Richard Redman
Doug Herring
Kevin Kulp
Darrin Drader
Torah Cottrill
Steven Creech
Darren W. Pearce
Clinton Boomer
and myself (of course)

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