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A Fantasy Medley 2
edited by Yanni Kuznia
Subterranean Press, 160 pages

A Fantasy Medley 2
Yanni Kuznia
Yanni Kuznia also edited A Fantasy Medley. Her film credits include Laughcry (2008), Cadence (2008), Liquid Red (2012) and New Directions (2008).

Yanni Kuznia Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

In the original A Fantasy Medley, editor Yanni Kuznia brought together four of the most interesting authors to write four short stories. When the volume was released, it became a sell-out, and it wasn't long before another was envisioned and later written. Again, four eminent writers have joined to bring us four of the most unusual fantasy fiction since fantasy as a genre had started. Writers such as Tanya Huff, Amanda Downum, Jasper Kent and Seanan McGuire share their imagination with their readers. Each story is different and from a separate period in history, from the Elizabethan era, to Napoleonic France and the court of 17th Century England. These authors have done their best to involve the reader with their chosen fantasy settings.

"Quartered," by Tanya Huff

Evicka is a young bard who is sent out to spy on a certain assassin that could lead to several problems as well as theories. Kovar has good reason to mistrust Ghyard i Stevana, a former assassin he remembers, and sends Evicka to seek out and infiltrate him, but she has to be careful as it looks like Ghyard is onto her scheme. Psychic ability, tense moments and strange events make this the perfect fantasy mixed with a spy drama. Some of the sentences read like poetry, and as Evicka has gone into this without knowing what Ghyard is like, she is in for an interesting discovery.

"Bone Garden," by Amanda Downum

Evil spirits are terrorizing Erigun's citizens but is there anyone who can stop them? From the writer of the critically acclaimed novel The Bone Palace, part of the Necromancer Chronicles, when his cousin, Sonya is found outside his place of work, a theatre, Gentian doesn't even recognise her by her looks, it is only when she wakes that he does, and the fact is she seemed dead as she lay there, and that disturbs him a great deal. What is more unusual is when one of the actors murmurs to him that he has brought dangerous magic to the house, he dismisses it as actor's ramblings, but he should heed its warning. In this story you will find fear, loathing, pity and love rekindled, and Gentian chasing the only true love of his life until her death. It has a lot of feeling and depth in it, and sadness.

"The Sargeant and the General," by Jasper Kent

Napoleon's Russian campaign is the setting for Jasper Kent's new story, the alternative from his Danilov Quartet. One of Napoleon's men is distressed by his memories of what happened and more besides. Two men meeting in a tavern is usually the start of something big, and throughout the story it keeps getting bigger and bigger with a man left intrigued by a Sargeant Melle who came back from Napoleon's campaign in Russia rich with diamonds, enough to live a good life, and buy the inn the man is staying in. Melle is an unpredictable type, haunted yet rich beyond his dreams, and hiding a peculiar secret, one he lets his new friend into. The general in this story isn't what he seems; in fact it is one of the strangest stories in this anthology.

"Rat Catcher," by Seanan McGuire

Welcome to the world of the 17th Century of the London theatre with the added bonus of the Fairie Court of Cats. The story is based on Shakespeare's characters in Romeo and Juliet where a prophecy is made that London will burn and all will perish who remain there. If the cats are to survive then in this tale they must leave their homes away from the impending doom of the Great Fire of London, as prophesised by Naia, a girl with special psychic powers. She warns them of the terrible fires, but it is up to them to heed it, and take the best course of action. Seanan McGuire's story dances on the page, and its mix with Shakespeare gives it a theatrical tone and added edge.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes is currently writing articles and reviews for The British Fantasy Society, Love Romance Passion, and Love Vampires.

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