A re-read – due to my somehow forgetting to mark down that I’d read the book, and finding another copy at the thrift store for $1. The stories are good enough that I didn’t mind re-reading.
Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case — This story features characters from the ‘Abhorsen’ series, but relates a stand-alone adventure. Nicholas gets involved with secret agents and has to save the aristocratic attendees of an annoying party from a vicious and magical creature from Across the Wall. Very action-oriented.
Under the Lake — What if the Lady of The Lake, of Arthurian legend, was an amoral, inhuman creature, interacting with Merlin for her own purposes?
Charlie Rabbit — A very sentimental, but effective story. Two boys are trapped in a bomb shelter after an air raid. The older boy tells his brother a story starring his toy rabbit to keep from panicking…
From the Lighthouse — I really like this one. A boorish developer arrives at a remote island that he has (possibly) purchased, with all kinds of plans to change it utterly. But a clever woman does not intend on letting her home be stolen from her community.
The Hill — Apparently, there was an objection to this story featuring Aboriginal Australian characters, and it got bowdlerized. I’d like to read the original. Still, it’s good. Thematically similar to the previous selection: a boy and his grandfather team up to prevent the boy’s father from selling the family land to developers.
Lightning Bringer — This one reminds me a bit of Charles deLint. A young man sees a girl he knows killed by lightning summoned by a strange drifter… There’s nothing he can do, but when the man arrives in town for the second time, and sets his sights on his girlfriend, he knows he has to somehow prevent a second crime.
Down to the Scum Quarter — A ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story. If you remember the series, you’ll find this hilarious. If you don’t, you’ll probably be mystified.
Heart’s Desire — A story of doomed love between Merlin and his apprentice Nimue.
Hansel’s Eyes — A cyberpunk-ish, dystopian & futuristic Hansel and Gretel story, where the witch’s cabin is a video game store in a ghetto. Really quite creepy and disturbing.
Hope Chest — In a Old West town, a foundling girl has a mysterious legacy – that will help her to defeat evil, but lose her the ones that she loved.
My Really Epic New Fantasy Series — A brief, humorous speech given at a con. Not really necessary. But it’s only two pages.
Three Roses — A short-short with an authentic fairy-tale feel. A king high-handeldly demands ownership of a gardener’s roses, but they always fail to thrive…
Endings — Another short-short – but possibly the most powerful piece in the book. Love it.