edited by P.N. Elrod
Oooh, there are some good stories in this compilation! All of them are about a protector, knight or guardian, paid or not. It is great and I actually read all of the stories and enjoyed them all. Some more than others, but I think it is because I knew of some of the characters and not others. That helped. But honestly, it didn’t really matter.
A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews – I love the Kate Daniel’s world of magic vs technology Atlanta. In this story Kate meets Saiman who she has to keep alive for one night, Saiman stole something and there are some very strong magic users who want it back.
Saiman is an interesting side character in the books so I really enjoyed getting to meet him with Kate for the first time. This story is also a fairly good introduction to Kate and her world. Kate is snarky and tongue in cheek as usual, her interactions with Saiman are hilarious, she is tough and understated and understands her own nature. A good story for any fan of Kate Daniels or those who want a taste to see if they want to invest their time in the other books out there. (You should and if you do, commit to at least the first two books to see if you like them!!)
Even Hand by Jim Butcher – I have only read the first four or five Harry Dresden novels but know I will eventually be finishing the rest. I love Harry (he is the only wizard detective in the phone book) and many of the side characters are truly intriguing, none more so than John Marcone, the local “mobster” for lack of a better word. This short story is about him fighting a faery lord, told from his first person POV. Awesome! Love getting a glimpse into his head to learn some of his rules, which is a little scary, but quite informative and enjoyable.
The Beacon by Shannon K Butcher – I have never read her stuff before but this was a great little story about demons and how they get to earth. Ryder, the main guy gets swallowed by a demon and I am a little scarred remembering his journey. Ew! It was awesome.
Even a Rabbit Will Bite by Rachel Caine – A great story about dragons and the women that slay them. Very bittersweet and well done.
Dark Lady by PN Elrod – This story had me going, a little twist here and then, a little bit of a noir feel about a vampire and mobsters in Chicago. I liked it and might have to pick up the Jack Fleming books, I liked his character in this.
The others were wonderful as well. Beknighted by Deidre Knight an artist frees a knight from a painting. Shifting Star by Vickie Pettersson is about a newly formed tulpa (think Athena springing from Zeus’ mind, so this being sprung from another character fully formed) who falls in love and has human emotions for the first time. “Experience is what happens when you don’t get what you want in life.” Rookwood and Mrs. King by Lilith Saintcrow is about some newly turned vampires and a woman asking Rookwood for help in getting free from them. God’s Creatures by Carrie Vaughn is a short story about one of the characters that shows up in the Kitty Norville books.
All in all a strong grouping of short stories. Some are happy, many are bittersweet and or sad. But they all left me wanting more from the world they were set in. I have some new authors to track down! Yay – fun stuff, 4-ish chain mail stars forged in dragon fire.