Sword and Sorceress V By Marion Zimmer Bradley

A strong collection of stories, I enjoyed all but one of them: Peet's Bride, whose prose I found too amateurish to finish reading. And I felt the very last story dwelled a bit too long on its punchline - I believe it'd have been stronger had the protagonist left her gloating to a much snappier final remark. Paperback This is the only Stephen King book that i have managed to finish. The others are just too weird for me. This is not weird at all. It is just about a good American crazy psycho who commits murder but his main goal is to kill as many folks in one place as he can and the fun is watching an ex cop and his rag tag associates chase after him. Paperback I believe that I read these stories a long time ago, but I honestly have no real recollection of any of them. So I guess the question is, did I read the book or was the stories just not worth remembering?

(Having read most of them again, I am sure that I just forced myself to forget that I ever read this book... good thing that I now have evidence that reminds me of reading the book. So far... just a few good stories, a couple of ok stories and a lot of stories that no sane human being should ever be forced to read!)

This is a review-in-progress, and I will review every story as I read them.

Sorcerer's Pet (by Margaret L. Carter) is a very short and ordinary story about Laenie and her brother, Bronn, who is trying to steal a familiar from a powerful sorcerer. Sounds dull? Well, there are no twists and turns to this one, and the author is way too descriptive. A poor way to start a collection of shortstories. (1 star)

Into the Green (by Charles de Lint) is the story of Angharad, a tinker, witch and... harper. It is a beautiful tale that reveals a lot about the setting, the Kingdoms of the Green Isle and the Green that lies beyond. This story is everything that the first tale was not. Definitely worth reading. (3 stars)

Eyes of the Laemi (by Janet Fox) is the story about Scorpia, a lone traveler. On her journey through the mountains, she comes to a small village where she hear about the laemi... I would call this sword and sorcery, but not the exciting kind. The heroine is far too passive for my liking and not all that interesting. (1.5 stars)

Jewels (by Linda Gordon) is the meeting between a bounty hunter called Blackwood and a mage named Zuriel. Zuriel wants a jewel that seems to protect him, while Blackwood wants her son. The mage has the son and, as it turns out, Blackwood has the jewel. There are may things in this story that doesn't gets explained. (1 star)

Dance of the Healer (by M. R. Hildebrand) is about Sherlin, a dancer and healer. Her apprentice, Cermis, is kidnapped and Sherlin must first heal herself before she can free Cermis from the clutches of a wizard who wants to live forever. The setting in this story is very... oriental, and not really my cup of tea. A strange and confusing story. (1 star)

One Night at the Inn (by Millea Kenin) is the simple story of how the Golden Cock inn came to be known as The Stoned Trolls instead. I liked the worldbuilding on the first page, but then the trolls were introduced and soon after, the story was... over. Fast and deeply unsatisfying. (1 star)

Keys (by Mercedes Lackey) is the story about Kethry and Tarma, two traveling (and fighting) wenches. Kethry apparently has a magical geas-sword called Need (so far, not a bad idea) that directs Kethry to protect women in need (bad idea!). How stupid is that. Why just women? Whats the story here? Well, not to worry, this is not the dumbest thing about this story... wait till you hear about the trial by combat deal. The editor and writer must have been really good friends for this to go through. (0 stars)

Drum Duel (by Gerald Perkins) is a story that truly failed to captivate me. I honestly couldn't tell you what it was about. Basically, it was just a bunch of names with no real purpose. It should have been left out of this anthology. However, this story does make some of the other stories look quite appealing. (0 stars)

The Eye of Toyur (by Diana L. Paxson) is a story about Shanna, witches and an archpriest. There are certainly good elements to this story, but it feels like you need to have read other stories about Shanna before you read this one. (2 stars)

Peet's Bride (by Dana Kramer-Rolls) is a comedy about a sorceress (I guess), a talking horse? and a male sacrificed virgin... to a girl dragon. Sounds stupid? Well, it really is, and it gets a lot worse before the story is over. (0 stars)

Warrior's Way (by A.D. Overstreet) is (finally) a classical sword & sorcery story about a female warrior named Kwannon! She is looking for the mythical Eye of Dhyana and will have to fight her way to it. She also picks up a young slave girl along the way, named Druce. I liked it, classical and then it gives itself time to tell its story. We are not talking beautiful language like Jack Vance or even Michael Moorcock, but the story is very accessible and easy to read. (3 stars)

Spoils of War (by Jennifer Roberson) is finally a short (very short!) story with a twist. A small twist, but a twist nonetheless. It is about claiming the... spoils of war. A cleverly told and beautiful little story. (3 stars)

Cholin of Carnel (by B.A. Rolls) is a story about revenge and demons. Cholin is avenging the destruction of his house and gains a demonic familiar to aid him. It sounds like I should like this story, but it is a mess, very confusing in its worldbuilding. The author throws names around without explaining most of them. (1 star)

Rite of Vengeance (by Deborah Wheeler) is the story of Tyr Swordsister, a woman looking for revenge over the Djenne and their warlord, Chandros. Another classic sword and sorcery tale, a little boring and ordinary though. Tyr is not a very interesting swordsister. (1 star)

Bloodstone (by Mary Frances Zambreno) is a vampire story about a thief who is hired to steal a... bloodstone. It was ok, but nothing special. (2 stars)

Sword Singer (by Laura J. Underwood) is the story about Marta, a sword singer. This short story is without a doubt the best of the anthology. It has heart, it has cleverness and it builds a solid and interesting setting. I love the idea of sword singers. (4 stars)

Stormbringer (by Steve Tymon) is the story og Winter, a warrior and sorceress who has come home to get her revenge. Unmistakeably sword and sorcery but not very interesting. (1.5 stars)

Sorceress of the Gulls (by Dave Smeds) is a beautiful story about love and magic. It follows Kari, a young girl, as she grows up and learn about her magic. It reminded me very much of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea. A great read. (4 stars)

Runaways (by Josepha Sherman) is a small story about a couple of kids in love, running away into the mountains. However, there is small twist here. Easy to read. (2 stars)

The Golden Egg (by Morning Glory Zell) is the story of how a dragon poacher was taught a very valuable lesson. A good story with an excellent lesson to be learned. (3 stars)

Revised Standard Virgin (by Rick Cook) is not your standard king kong story, but instead presents the reader with a professional virgin! Fun, but nothing more. (2 stars)

Dragon Lovers (by Cynthia Drolet) is the story about a dragon dragonslayer. The editor said that she had never met anyone who didn't laugh at this story... well, I didn't laugh. Short, boring and unfullfilling. (0 stars)

My conclusion must be this... read a couple of the stories, but not the entire anthology. It's a waste of time. Paperback MZB had a great eye for talented writers (many are now familiar names) and I always enjoy her anthologies. As usual, this collection ranged from good to excellent. Paperback Sorcerer's Pet • shortstory by Margaret L. Carter
♥Into the Green • [Angharad] • shortstory by Charles de Lint 12/7/2011 & 7/3/2015
Eyes of the Laemi • shortstory by Janet Fox
Jewels • shortstory by Linda Gordon
Dance of the Healer • shortstory by M. R. Hildebrand
One Night at the Inn • shortstory by Millea Kenin
♥Keys • [Vows and Honor] • novelette by Mercedes Lackey 10/20/1998
Drum Duel • shortstory by Gerald Perkins
The Eye of Toyur • [Shanna of Sharteyn] • shortstory by Diana L. Paxson
Peet's Bride • shortstory by Dana Kramer-Rolls
Warrior's Way • novelette by A. D. Overstreet
Spoils of War • shortstory by Jennifer Roberson
Cholin of Carnel • shortstory by B. A. Rolls
Rite of Vengeance • novelette by Deborah J. Ross [as by Deborah Wheeler ]
Bloodstone • shortstory by Mary Frances Zambreno
Sword Singer • shortstory by Laura J. Underwood
Stormbringer • shortstory by Steve Tymon
Sorceress of the Gulls • shortstory by Dave Smeds
Runaways • shortstory by Josepha Sherman
The Golden Egg • shortstory by Morning Glory Zell
Revised Standard Virgin • shortstory by Rick Cook
Dragon Lovers • shortstory by Cynthia Drolet Paperback


Join Bradley and a celebrated entourage of fantasy writers on this latest journey into the world of Sword and Sorceress, where women of courage and wizardry challenge the evils of ensorcelled worlds with all their prowess at magic and weaponry. Sword and Sorceress V

Another good one, the series improves with each new book, or else I, as a reader, am hitting my stride and becoming attuned to the rhythms of the stories. Paperback

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