I suspect that these Round-Ups will happen very infrequently, but I’ve read several excellent pieces of short fiction recently and I wanted to make sure I posted review for them. They’re all available online for free reading too, so be sure to click on the links to read them!
“Anu-Anulan & Yir’s Daughter” by Emily Carroll – A beautiful comic fairy tale about a goddess and woman who are both dealing with loneliness. And the moon’s origin story is also thrown into the mix, which was quite cool. The way Carroll captures the feel and flow of traditional storytelling is really awesome. Caroll’s other comics are also worth checking out, but be warned that most of them are considerably darker and more haunting than this one.
“The Mountains of Mourning” by Lois McMaster Bujold – I really liked The (Hopeful) Librarian’s review and since I’ve been struggling to muster up the interest to crack open Barrayar, I figured I’d attempt a novella about Miles instead of Cordelia, his mother. I am so glad I did! This story was moving, haunting, and really well-written. I loved watching Miles’ case unfold and the way he dealt with the many challenges he faced in bringing a child murderer to some semblance of justice. And I think I’ll just move on to Miles’ adventures because I really like him as a character and because he reminds me quite a bit of Tyrion Lannister.
“Sightwolf” by Erin Hoffman – Although I had issues with Sword of Fire and Sea, I have to say that this story set in the same world was awesome. Without giving too much away, I will say that I really loved Hoffman’s writing as well as the unnamed exiled narrator protecting and tending to orphaned wolf pups.
“Spider’s Bargain” by Jennifer Estep – An interesting and very dark prequel of sorts to Spider’s Bite. I love how tough Gin is, the dark, gritty edge to her point of view, and how good she is at what she does which typically means killing someone. Looks like I need to get back to the Elemental Assassin series to see if that edge sticks around as Gin’s story progresses. For those who have read the first book or more of this series, I would also suggest checking out “Poison”, which is set several years earlier and focuses on a teenaged Finnegan Lane coming to terms with Gin being a part of his life.