Read Legends II by Robert Silverberg Terry Brooks Diana Gabaldon Neil Gaiman George R.R. Martin Anne McCaffrey Elizabeth Haydon Robin Hobb Online

legends-ii

Realm of the Elderlings: Homecoming / Robin HobbA Song of Ice and Fire: The Sworn Sword / George R.R. MartinThe Tales of Alvin Maker: The Yazoo Queen / Orson Scott CardOutlander: Lord John and the Succubus / Diana GabaldonMajipoor: The Book of Changes / Robert SilverbergOtherland: The Happiest Dead Boy in the World / Tad WilliamsPern: Beyond Between / Anne McCaffreyThe RifRealm of the Elderlings: Homecoming / Robin HobbA Song of Ice and Fire: The Sworn Sword / George R.R. MartinThe Tales of Alvin Maker: The Yazoo Queen / Orson Scott CardOutlander: Lord John and the Succubus / Diana GabaldonMajipoor: The Book of Changes / Robert SilverbergOtherland: The Happiest Dead Boy in the World / Tad WilliamsPern: Beyond Between / Anne McCaffreyThe Riftwar: The Messenger / Raymond E. FeistThe Symphony of Ages: Threshold / Elizabeth HaydonAmerican gods: The Monarch of the Glen / Neil GaimanShannara: Indomitable / Terry Brooks1 ROBIN HOBB returns to the Realm of the Elderlings with “Homecoming,” a powerful tale in which exiles sent to colonize the Cursed Shores find themselves sinking into an intoxicating but deadly dream . . . or is it a memory?2 GEORGE R. R. MARTIN continues with Dunk, a young hedge knight, and his unusual squire, Egg, in “The Sworn Sword,”.3 ORSON SCOTT CARD puts Alvin Maker on the mighty Mississippi with ne’er-do-wells Jim Bowie and Abe Lincoln, in “The Yazoo Queen.”4 DIANE GABALDON puts Outlander misfit in “Lord John and the Succubus,” a supernatural thriller set in the early days of the Seven Years War.5 ROBERT SILVERBERG has a dilettantish poet in “The Book of Changes.”6 TAD WILLIAMS explores the strange afterlife of Orlando Gardiner from Otherland in “The Happiest Dead Boy in the World.”7 ANNE McCAFFREY shines a light into Pern in “Beyond Between.”8 RAYMOND E. FEIST sends one soldier on the ride of his life, an ordinary time for “The Messenger.”9 ELIZABETH HAYDON relates the destruction of Serendair and the fate of its last defenders in “Threshold,”10 NEIL GAIMAN tells of the man Shadow, after American Gods in “The Monarch of the Glen.”11 TERRY BROOKS adds an exciting epilogue to The Wishsong of Shannara in “Indomitable,” how Jair Ohmsford’ destroys the evil Ildatch, armed only with illusion....

Title : Legends II
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345456441
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 644 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Legends II Reviews

  • Bookwraiths
    2019-04-21 00:07

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.Legends II is an anthology edited by Robert Silverberg, who has gathered together an outstanding group of diverse stories for this collection. From George R.R. Martin to Diane Gabaldon to Terry Brooks, the big name authors have seemingly jumped at the chance to be featured here, and they have produced some fine tales, running the gamut from classic fantasy to urban fantasy to alternate history to science fiction. All of which means there is sure to be something in this anthology to satisfy or peak the interest of every reader.Naturally, however, the diverse nature of any anthology means certain stories will connect better to some individuals than others. Certain authors more palatable than others; one story more compelling than another. And since I’m a reader first and foremost that goes for me as well, and so this review will focus on and rate each story individually, so as to help others determine if this collection is one they wish to obtain.Homecoming by Robin Hobbs 5 starsThis return to the Realms of the Elderlings is an autobiographical story of a hapless colonist to the Cursed Shores. Her diary entries reading like a fantastical Robinson Crusoe tale, where this civilized lady must shed her modern ways, adapt to her harsh wilderness home, and deal with the strange madness which her fellow survivors begin to succumb to. All in all, it was a fantastic story, which I would recommend to everyone.The Sword Sworn by George R.R. Martin 5 starLike so many fantasy fans, I love A Song of Ice and Fire, as well as the Game of Thrones television series. Can’t get enough of anything to do with place, including the tales of Hedge Knight Dunk and his squire Egg. And this was yet another great tale of the duo, one where Dunk’s loyalty to his liege is challenged by the realization of how and why this elder knight has fallen on such hard times.The Yanzoo Queen by Orson Scott Card 2 starsI can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of this author or his alternate history series featuring Alvin Maker. And this story of the didn’t convert me, but I’m sure fans will enjoy this one, especially all the famous historical figures who make appearances.Lord John and the Succubus by Diane Galbadon 1 starOutlander is another series I’ve never really gotten hooked on. It just doesn’t appeal to me. And this supernatural thriller set during the Seven Years War with a good deal of eroticism mixed in did not appeal to me either. In fact, I DNF’d it about halfway through. I’m sure fans of the series will love it though.The Book of Change by Robert Silverberg 2 starsA Marjipoor story set in both the past and present, presented through the eyes of a frivolous poet. I couldn’t really get interested in it, but then again I’ve never enjoyed the Marjipoor series.The Happiest Dead Boy in the World by Tad Williams 2 StarsOrlando Gardiner, a virtual reality caretaker of a V.R. universe, must solve a mystery while dealing with the unique problems of his occupation. A nice sci fi/fantasy genre blender will some good moments, but it just felt a little flat to me.Beyond Death by Anne McCaffrey 4 starsAn emotional Pern story filled with love, grief, and peace after death. The quasi-religious overtones might bother some, but they aren’t specific to any particular religion, merely of a spiritual nature. Be that as it may, I have to admit Anne McCaffrey really tugged on my personal heartstrings with this one, causing me to nearly tear up a few times.The Messenger by Raymond E. Feist 5 starsThis simple story of a young messenger doing his duty no matter the cost during wartime is probably my favorite of the whole collection. Definitely, the action and drama of whether our youth will survive gripped me, but even more so, the character’s simple heroism, dogged determination, and unswerving dedication was what made me love his story so much.Threshold by Elizabeth Haydon 5 StarsA great cataclysm is about to destroy the kingdom. The majority of the inhabitants of the land have taken to the seas to escape. Left behind is a group of dedicated individuals determined to find and aid any stragglers, hoping against hope the cataclysm never comes. This emotional tale of self-sacrifice, dignity, and the true beauty of the human spirit an amazing read, filled with deep emotions.The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman 4 starsAmerican Gods continues here with Shadow traveling the world and being sucked into an ancient ritual. Gaiman delivers a mysterious, compelling narrative which will satisfy old fans and encourage others to give American Gods a try.Indomitable by Terry Brooks 4 starsA nice, light Shannara tale which picks up a few years after the conclusion of The Wishsong of Shannara. Brooks doesn’t change his style any here or subvert any classic fantasy tropes, but he does deliver a self-contained journey which is filled with likable characters engaged in an entertaining, fast-paced adventure. Honestly, it is probably the best thing I’ve read by Brooks in many years.If you were keeping count I thoroughly enjoyed most of these stories. I even discovered a few series that I definitely intend to try (Gaiman’s American Gods) and a couple I intend to revisit in the near future (Feist’s Riftwar). Certainly, there were a few which I didn’t love (Outlander), but overall, this was a great anthology, one which I would encourage others to give a try.

  • Eric
    2019-04-20 20:52

    The stories I read from this collection are: 'The Sworn Sword' by George R.R. Martin In the same league as its predecessor, 'The Hedge Knight', and its successor, 'The Mystery Knight', all three of which tell tales of the hedge knight Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg.'The Yazoo Queen' by Orson Scott CardAnother interesting alternate America story about Alvin Maker and his pupil Arthur Stuart. Like 'Grinning Man', which featured Davey Crockett, this story features appearances by multiple famous historical figures.'The Monarch of the Glen' by Neil GaimanThis novella functions incredibly well as an epilogue for American Gods, especially considering Shadow is already in Europe at the end of that novel, and apprehensive about returning to America, which is addressed in this story.

  • A. Dawes
    2019-04-19 02:10

    5*Loved Legends 1 and this was a superb follow-up. Silverberg was a legend of the field himself so it's no surprise that he's managed this feat. These are all novellas and they are all very satisfying at that.5** “Homecoming” by Hobb. v. clever look at what's reality and memory. 5* “The Sworn Sword" by George RR Martin. Song of Fire and Ice World. The tale of Dunk the Hedge Knight. Only Martin can entertain readers like this!5*“The Yazoo Queen”by Orson Scott Card. People rave on about Enders Game (which is very good), but the world of Alvin the Maker is richer and certainly better written. Forgot his conservative beliefs and enjoy his work. This is a fantastic alternative history on the Mississippi. A few historical characters are thrown in for fun too. Superb!5*“Lord John and the Succubus” by Diane Gabaldon. A gay protagonist who seems to timetravel in this dark fantasy set in the Seven Year War. I've always avoided Gabaldon but that's about to change. Much stronger than I ever imagined4* “The Book of Changes" by Robert Silverberg. Set in the past and future of his Majipoor world. Strong story again3* “The Happiest Dead Boy in the World" By Tad Willians. I personally found The Otherland Saga hard to get into and that affected my reading here. A likable story but not as strong as those surrounding it. 4.5* 'Beyond Between by Anne McCaffrey. The world of Pern by the Queen of dragon stories. What's not to love?4.5* “The Messenger.” by Raynmond E Feist A soldier's story in the Riftwar World. I thought I'd outgrown this world or it may be that this is another top story. Worth the read - Riftwar fan or not.3.5*'Threshold' by Elizabeth Haydon. Certainly enough in this for me to read more. An introduction into the world of her series. Enjoyed it.5* 'The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman. A man is involved unwittingly in an age old battle between man and beast. The best story I've read by Gaiman and this is much better than American Gods (which is still strong). This novella has stayed with me. Remarkable build up and the atmosphere throughout compels. Marvellous!4.5* "Indomitable,” by Terry Brooks. Thought I was over the derivative world of Brooks too but this brought me back. You can't deny that Brooks is a first class story teller. I'll remember not to forget his work so easily next time around.

  • Daphne
    2019-04-07 00:07

    I can't help but give this 5 stars. Even though I'm not interested in a couple of the series/authors, they weren't bad. The best part was the extra stories for Pern and American Gods.

  • Dan
    2019-04-07 21:07

    I originally bought Legends II because it contained a short story set in the Shannara world by Terry Brooks who has long been one of my favorite authors. In the intervening time that it's taken me to get around to reading it, I discovered and enjoyed The Tales of Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card and was pleased to see a short story by him from that world in the book. I'm only vaguely familiar with a couple of the other authors who contributed, but upon reading their contributions, I'm glad I discovered most of them through his anthology. What follows is a review of each short story.Homecoming by Robin Hobb is a tale of suffering, loss, betrayal, hatred, greed, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and perseverance told through the journal of an outcast noble woman. It is also a tribute to the goodness, love, forgiveness, compassion, and hope that is at the heart of human existence. A fascinating tale which makes me interested in Ms. Hobb's other work. The Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin recounts an adventure of a knight errant and his squire who is more than he seems. I think this short story would make an excellent movie. Hardship, danger, honor, deceit, love, fighting, and comedy are all present in balance. I have A Game of Thrones and am excited to begin the series after being introduced to the world through such an energizing tale.The Yazoo Queen by Orson Scott Card fills in the details as a sort of prologue to The Crystal City. The most important events are alluded to in the full novel, but it's by no means necessary to read the short story in order to understand their consequences. It's just a nice bonus to loyal fans of the series who've been waiting decades for Mr. Card to finally finish it. Mr. Card creates some very interesting characters, but it seems like the most interesting characters are not given the "screen time" I think they deserve.Lord John and the Succubus by Diana Gabaldon I did not finish because of the rampant and explicit homoeroticism throughout the narrative. There could have been a good story there, well written with drama and danger, but it was spoiled by being blatantly pornographic.The Book of Changes by Robert Silverberg is a drama taking place mostly through the thoughts of a frivolous poet who finds himself in a strange position, an unwilling "guest" and host to the greatest epic poem the world of Majipoor has ever seen. I'm not familiar with Majipoor other than through this story, but I wonder where the modern technology went and I find it very hard to believe that advanced humans capable of interstellar travel haven't yet completely colonized a new world in 14,000 years, even if it is 10 times the diameter of Earth.The Happiest Dead Boy in the World by Tad Williams is a story that integrates fantasy and science fiction in a believable and compelling way. More so than any of the other stories in Legends II, I'm interested in reading the series from which this story derives. Orlando Gardiner, semi-virtual caretaker of a virtual universe finds himself struggling with both the unique problems of his occupation, and those derived from his past as a corporeal human when a new mystery suddenly crops up which he must tackle.Beyond Between by Anne McCaffrey tells about loss, grief, reunion, love, and peace found after death. I've never read anything from Ms. McCaffrey's Pern before, probably because the cover art never attracted me, even though my Dad had recommended them to me years ago. This, my first introduction convinces me that it would be well worth my while to explore a little bit more into Pern.The Messenger by Raymond E. Feist should be subtitled "Nothing to speak of" because that seems to be the chorus of the short novel. The story is one of heroism, dedication, honor, duty, and true grit. It is my favorite in the whole book. The action and drama of this story gripped me stronger than any story has in some time. The suspense strung me out and made me hang on until the end of the amazing ride. Threshold by Elizabeth Haydon is the story of one sure cataclysm and one near cataclysm. There is something entrancing about life during and after destruction and devastation. The story is a true human drama, of suffering and loss, of love and the human will to live and survive, of self-sacrifice so others can do what must be done and have a chance to live and enjoy life. Ms. Haydon masterfully encapsulates all this in Threshold.The Monarch of the Glen by Neil Gaiman is about a reluctant savior-figure in a world where all the old myths and legends are real and still around us. I have respect for Mr. Gaiman. He had several opportunities to portray graphic sex in this story, but he steered it away from that. Still there were a couple of uncomfortable spots he could have avoided all together. The Monarch of the Glen is a sort of re-telling of Beowulf where the monsters are humanized and the humans are monsterized.Indomitable by Terry Brooks is the reason I picked up this book at all. I've since lost measure of my love for the world of Shannara and was a little jaded when I began reading Indomitable, but taking it by itself, the novella is very good. Indomitable is a sort of extended epilogue of The Wishsong of Shannara. The characters are true to their natures established in the full novel, but are older and a little more grown up. Jair is still the stereotypical Shannara hero, a very relatable sort, but they all seem to be pretty much the same. It's surprising to me that Mr. Brooks pulled off a short story so well. He tends to be quite wordy and drawn out in his novels, but there didn't seem to be a lot of excess material and he told the story quickly and well.

  • Becca
    2019-04-18 22:16

    I greatly enjoy fantasy stories, even if I am not very well read in the genre, so this was a blast to work through. (And it is something that one might have to "work through" - 642 pages!) My favorite stories were by the following authors: Robin Hobb, Diana Gabaldon, Tad Williams, Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Haydon, and Neil Gaiman (of course - American Gods 'verse? Yes please!).

  • David Melbie
    2019-04-18 02:58

    I actually read these eleven stories in the two paperback editions that were published in 2004; Legends II: Shadows, Gods, and Demons and Legends II: Dragon, Sword, and King. I knew from reading the first Legends that I would not be disappointed, and I was not.The first Legends was where I first learned of Terry Goodkind, Orson Scott Card, Robert Jordon, and Stephen King's Dark Tower horror/fantasy series. Silverberg himself was new to me, and I eventually read some of his stories as well. I am glad that I read all of these because, had I not read these books, I would never have read Haydon, Brooks, Williams (Tad), and Gabaldon. I still need to read Robin Hobb!I recommend to anyone who wants to jump into the SciFi/Fantasy genre for the first time to find an anthology and start there; from there you can choose the authors that appeal to you and you can enter many strange, beautiful, and wondrous worlds!The Stories:Homecoming, by Robin HobbThe Book of Changes, by Robert SilverbergThe Happiest Dead Boy in the World, by Tad WilliamsBeyond Between, by Anne McCaffreyThe Messenger, by Raymond E. FeistThe Monarch of the Glen, by Neil GaimanThe Sworn Sword, by Geroge R. R. MartinThe Yazoo Queen, by Orson Scott CardLord John and the Succubus, by Diana GabaldonThreshold, by Elizabeth HaydonIndomitable, by Terry Brooks

  • Germancho
    2019-04-07 22:19

    (Dunk & Egg #2 Review) Man, I really needed this after A dance with dragons! It's beautiful in its simplicity, yet as well written as the early ASOIAF books. As a bonus, it also has a lot of back-story within about a certain raveny character who becomes pretty interesting in ADWD.

  • C.M. Skiera
    2019-04-06 03:07

    A fantastic collection of short stories--Legends, indeed!

  • Caleris
    2019-04-25 21:14

    Homecoming - Robin Hobb (4-5 stars)Very intruiging, didn't like characters at first but got totally sucked into the story, with lots of mystery and character development. Note to self: Robin Hobb is a WOMAN.The Sworn Sword - George R.R. Martin (the guy from Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones) (1 star)Extremely boring. Tried to start reading it several times and eventually just gave up, never finished it. Knights and valor are just not for me.The Yazoo Queen - Orson Scott Card (the guy from Ender's Game) (2 stars)The magic system is interesting, but the story ends when I feel it's just beginning...not much happens. Also, the dialects are annoying and the historical setting/slave trade thing does not appeal to me. Perhaps try stuff from same writer but different universe.Lord John and the Succubus - Diana Gabaldon (3 stars)More of a whodunnit than a fantasy story, no fantastical aspects whatsoever. The story was interesting enough for me to read to the end (solve the mystery), but again the historical setting does not appeal to me.The Book of Changes - Robert Silverberg (2 stars)The writing style is so over the top, with way too many adjectives and fancy words. The writer also keeps repeating himself, in true Goodkind style, to get a point across. I liked the strange world he describes, but its history is much too war- and especially male-driven to my taste. The story itself is nothing very interesting.The Happiest Dead Boy in the World - Tad Williams (4-5 stars)Fun concept, interesting story, pleasant writing style. The only thing I can complain about is that this story is sort of an epilogue, and it seems as though a lot of the stuff that happens in the Otherland books is mentioned. So not recommended as a first introduction to the series, because of the massive spoilers.Beyond Between - Anne McCaffrey (3 stars)A lot more supernatural than the usual sci-fi, with ghosts and all. Brings some closure to Moreta's story, but still sad.The Messenger - Raymond E. Feist (4 stars)I don't care much about war stories, but this one is very well written and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Now I remember why I used to like the Riftwar chronicles so much.Threshold - Elizabeth Haydon (2 stars)Came across as pretentious to me, mostly because of the writing style. I was rather frustrated with the characters because they all seemed to be doing a stupid thing in the name of honor and duty and so on. Would have given it 1 star if not for the plot twist at the end, at least that was mildly interesting. The Monarch of the Glen - Neil Gaiman (4 stars)Intriguing story, I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going on. Although in the end, I'm not sure I understood it all. Interesting mythos though, maybe one day I'll read American Gods (if I can overcome my instinctive aversion at the title :P).Indomitable - Terry Brooks (2 stars)It came off sort of pompous to me, I guess it was the writing style. The story was nothing special, and the 'man doing his duty' thing is really getting old.

  • Rafal Jasinski
    2019-03-27 04:12

    Bardzo nierówna antologia, w której teksty bardzo dobre, czy wręcz wybitne sąsiadują z miałką, pozbawioną polotu i ciekawej fabuły, kanoniczną do bólu fantasy. "Legendy II" doskonale sprawdzają się jednak, jako "próbnik" dla tych, którzy zainteresowani są pewnymi sztandarowymi dla gatunku cyklami fantasy, jakkolwiek wcześniej chcieliby się przekonać, czym dana seria się charakteryzuje, tudzież jakim stylem operują jej znani autorzy.Po lekturze drugiego tomu "Legend", nabrałem solidnego apetytu na więcej Robin Hobb, Orsona Scotta Carda i Elizabeth Haydon, z którymi zapoznanie się - do tej pory - z różnych przyczyn odkładałem. Ponadto swoim, w zasadzie pozbawionym elementów nadprzyrodzonych, opowiadaniem, zaintrygowała mnie Diana Gabaldon, o której - wstyd przyznać - wcześniej nie słyszałem. Jej cykl "Outlander" to dla mnie murowana pozycja do przeczytania w najbliższej przyszłości.Z pisarzy już znanych, jak zwykle nie zawodzi George R. R. Martin - opowiadanie mniej smakowite, niż pierwsze z mini-cyklu o przygodach Duncana i Jaja, ale i tak dopracowane fabularnie i na wysokim, warsztatowym poziomie. Natomiast nowela z "Innego świata" Tada Williamsa jest pozycją przeznaczoną tylko i wyłącznie dla tych, którzy mają już tetralogię za sobą, bowiem zarówno wprowadzenie do niego, jak i ono samo roi się od szczegółów zdradzających rozwiązania kluczowych wątków fabularnych i zakończenia tego cyklu, oraz stanowi niejako jego rozszerzony epilog. Miło było również powrócić do świata "Amerykańskich bogów" Neila Gaimana - ten pan również nie rozczarowuje.Bardzo słabo wypadają opowiadania pozostałych pisarzy. Silverberg, McCaffrey, Feist i Brooks promują swoje najsłynniejsze cykle nowelkami z pola klasycznego fantasy, pełnymi nużących opisów, nieciekawymi fabularnie i pełnymi patosu najgorszego rodzaju. I chyba raczej skierowanymi do młodszego, dopiero co zaczynającego przygodę z fantasy czytelnika.Antologię - tak czy inaczej - nie tylko dlatego, że znajdzie się tu w większości opowiadania bardzo dobre, ale również z uwagi na możliwość zapoznania się z tymi słabszymi może uchronić czytelnika przed zmarnowaniem czasu, tudzież pieniędzy w przyszłości.

  • Bill
    2019-04-04 05:09

    I've read three of the stories in this book so far, all of which were excellent. I am going to come back and read the rest in-between other books I think. The ones I have read thus far:The Sworn Sword - George R.R. Martin: This is a continuation of the Hedge Knight, which is set in the Song of Ice and Fire world. I love these two characters (Dunk and Egg), and both this and its predecessor are excellent stories. They read like they could be seamlessly integrated as a few chapters (each) somewhere in the Ice and Fire novels. Except that the time frame is earlier.The Monarch of the Glen - Neil Gaiman: Related to American Gods, and take place after the action of that book. I won't mention much here for fear of giving away any of Am. Gods. Suffice it to say, if you liked the novel, this short story will also be interesting.Homecoming - Robin Hobb: This one came as a surprise. I hadn't read anything from Robin Hobb before, and was not expecting to like this after a few pages. But it turned out to be an excellent story. It follows a woman's personal journal entries, written about her experience on a ship sailing to some destination that she and her family have been banished to. When the people on this ship end up *off* the ship and living in a strange swamp area awaiting rescue, and some rather unnatural things begin happening, the story really takes off.

  • Lauren
    2019-04-25 04:57

    In some ways I thought this collection was even better than Legends I. There were several authors in this anthology whom I had never heard of and whose stories I enjoyed immensely: Diana Gabaldon and Elizabeth Haydon particularly, although Robin Hobb's "Homecoming" and Neil Gaiman's "The Monarch of the Glen" were also good. Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker story was just as good as the one in Legends I, as was Raymond Feist's Riftwar story. Feist's descriptions of military campaigns are clear and interesting to read. In some ways his two Riftwar stories remind me of the battles between the Seanchan and Rand's forces in The Wheel of Time series, although without all of the kooky side plots. Once again, Robert Silverberg's story stood out as the least interesting, and I was disappointed in the uninspired offerings by Tad Williams and Terry Brooks, two writers whose books I have loved in the past. Finally, Anne McCaffrey's Pern story was moving and, I thought, much better than the one in Legends I. Overall a great book--now I have to read some of these new authors before I pick up another anthology.

  • Maura
    2019-04-19 00:59

    This contains short stories by 6 authors:# Neil Gaiman# Anne McCaffrey# Tad Williams# Robin Hobb# Robert Silverberg# Raymond E. FeistI hadn't read anything by Robert Silverberg before and will now track down a full length work or two of his. Anne McCaffrey was just as you'd suspect (I read about 4 of her books in the past and was sated; this story was fine, but isn't enticing me back for more). Tad Williams was better in short form than i remember his Otherland being. Robin Hobb came back into my good graces (i started out loving his Assassin's trilogy, but halfway through the 3rd book just couldn't be bothered to care about the characters anymore; i've been fearful of trying other of her books since then). Feist's story is set back in the Riftwar, and reminded me of the good early books rather than the Krondor or Serpentine series. And i fear i might have had too high of hopes for Gaiman's piece, because it was fine but didn't quite satisfy the way i expected.overall, a good collection and worth reading. but heck, we knew that from the author list. :)

  • Christopher
    2019-03-31 20:52

    3.5 stars overall.Fantastic story by Robin Hobb called Homecoming (4 stars).The Sworn Sword (the reason I bought this anthology) was another fantastic Dunk and Egg tale (5 stars). "A sworn sword owes his lord the truth." We get some insight into Bloodraven that I can't help but think will be important later...Enjoyed The Book of Changes by Robert Silverberg (3 stars). The Pern story (Beyond Between) was okay (2.5 stars). I think I might have appreciated it more if I followed the books. I really liked "The Messenger" by Feist (3.5 stars). It was a very good military-focused story about the struggles of a messenger who pushed on with his duties despite the dangers. Seemed very gritty and realistic to me.Also liked "The Symphony of the Ages" by Elizabeth Haydon (3.5 starts)."Monarch of the Glen" by Neil Gaiman and "Indomitable" by Terry Brooks were both solid stories for me (3 stars). In both case, this was my first time reading them.

  • Lora Rivera
    2019-04-20 00:02

    Realm of the Elderlings: "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb - 2.5 starsA Song of Ice and Fire: "The Sworn Sword" by George R.R. Martin - 3 starsThe Tales of Alvin Maker: "The Yazoo Queen" by Orson Scott Card - 3 starsOutlander: "Lord John and the Succubus" by Diana Gabaldon - 4 starsMajipoor: "The Book of Changes" by Robert Silverberg - 2 starsOtherland: "The Happiest Dead Boy in the World" by Tad Williams - 4 starsPern: "Beyond Between" by Anne McCaffrey - 2 starsThe Riftwar: "The Messenger" by Raymond E. Feist - 1 starThe Symphony of Ages: "Threshold" by Elizabeth Haydon - 4 starsAmerican Gods: "The Monarch of the Glen" by Neil Gaiman - 4 starsShannara: "Indomitable" by Terry Brooks - 2 stars

  • Elizabeth Mallory
    2019-04-11 22:16

    One of my favorite fantasy books of all time, this collection of novellas is easy to read (all the works are short!) and gives you a good overview of definitive authors in the genre. It's a good place to find new writers worth reading.Favorites:1. "Lord John and the Succubus" by Diana Gabaldon.2. "Homecoming" by Robin Hobb.3. "The Yazoo Queen" by Orson Scott Card.

  • Skut L
    2019-04-04 04:13

    I had a longer review written then lost it.I only read the stories penned by Raymond E. Feist and George RR Martin. 'The Messenger' by Feist is part of his Riftwar Saga and while a well-told tale it was certainly nothing to crow about. On the other hand, 'The Sworn Sword' by Martin made me want to read the other Dunk and Egg tales, as there was enough in there to fill out a novel. I am a fan of both these authors so I was quite satisfied with their offerings here.I would read more but have to read reserve-listed books from my library which I'm quite eager to read.

  • Jeremy Preacher
    2019-04-22 21:18

    Sadly, Legends II lacks the consistency of its predecessor. Some of the stories are excellent - the Otherland story, the Gaiman - and some of them seem forced - in particular the Pern story and the Shannara, which, even though I have not read the novel its related to, feels like a tacked-on retread of an otherwise completed work. Overall it's worthwhile, and it's a nice range of worlds and authors, but it feels too much like a runners-up volume.

  • Willow
    2019-03-31 02:02

    This book of short novellas by top sci-fi writers is a fantastic way to check out their writing without committing to an 800-1000 page book. The stories are good, the writing top notch, and one or two of them, I hadn't actually read the series which they complement, and I think I will. If you have already read these authors, then it's a great way to revisit their worlds with new stories.

  • Daniel Taylor
    2019-04-02 00:18

    The great thing about anthologies is discovering writers you know you should have read but have never got around to. That's especially true in this one, where authors offer short stories that take place in the worlds that made them famous.

  • Dave Golombek
    2019-04-06 04:18

    I've read many of the series for the worlds that the short stories were set in, but it's been a long time for many of them. It was fun to revisit the worlds that McCaffrey, Feist, and Brooks created in this short form -- fond memories, and just the right amount of their writing. I've read some of Tad William's fantasy and didn't love it, but found his story set in the world of Otherland to be a lot of fun, and a series I may follow up on. The Gaiman story was great, and it was interesting to see the similarities in tone to Anansi Boys, which he was working on when he wrote this story.

  • Rik
    2019-04-02 23:52

    A bit of a mixed bag. I wish I'd read Robin Hobb last, as this was far too short and I just wanted more, meaning most of the others didn't quite hit that spot. All the stories seemed to be appendages to established series, and I felt I would have enjoyed them more if I was familiar with them. However my appetite has been whetted for some Neil Gaiman, (new author for me), as I thought his writing stood out above the rest.

  • Joey V.
    2019-03-31 05:03

    I'm only reviewing Beyond Between. Haven't read the others yet. This short story deals with Life After Death for Dragonriders. I don't really like the fantasy element being added (yes, I know, whatever. Shut up) Pern doesn't need religion or ghosts. But having said that, it's a nice little story. There are callbacks to Dragonsdawn, and Runner of Pern, and a happier ending for several characters who originally didn't have one.

  • Liss Capello
    2019-04-14 21:04

    Having read the first Legends anthology, I came to this one with a better idea of what to expect. Some of the authors are repeats, some are new, and like any anthology I had my favorites and the ones I didn't care so much for. My purpose in reading this was to get access to the second Dunk and Egg story by George R. R. Martin, so I was especially pleased that it was placed early in the anthology, so I could enjoy it and then enjoy the other stories without perpetually waiting for that one."Homecoming" - Robin Hobb: This is not a world with which I have any familiarity. This story managed to place it within what I felt to be a well rounded and developed world, without giving too much unnecessary background that was immaterial to the story itself. It quickly moved the protagonist off into an otherwise-unexplored sector of the world, such that the discovery of this area is new both to the characters and the reader. This worked very well! The protagonist was utterly unlovable at first but grew to become a much more well-rounded and sympathetic character by the end, and I was very interested in the archaeological and sociological bent of the plot. The themes also touched on the nature and purpose of art, which I really enjoyed."The Sworn Sword" - George R. R. Martin: As I said earlier, I was looking forward to this story. It picks up a year or two after the first story, and I felt that it wasn't as strong from a plot perspective - the major relationship between Dunk and Egg has been established, and so this felt smaller in scope, and more episodic. Nevertheless, Martin asks some meaningful questions about the nature of loyalty and duty, and Dunk got his first kiss. Awwww. "The Yazoo Queen" - Orson Scott Card: I'm not a huge fan of the Tales of Alvin Maker - I like the theory of them but the world just doesn't enthrall me. This story was pretty okay, taking that into account, but it just didn't light me up."Lord John and the Succubus" - Diana Gabaldon: I have to say, I've never read any of the Outlander books. I'm told I should! Maybe I will. I liked the characterization and the way this story was written, and that was what made it really interesting for me. I would like to read more of her work."The Book of Changes" - Robert Silverberg: In the previous Legends work, this author's work was my least favorite, because it dwelled distractingly on the backstory of the main body of work. I liked this story much, much better. Although I believe the details of the work of epic poetry that the protagonist creates would have much richer meaning for someone familiar with the world, the tale of its creation and the powerful effect it has over the author is compelling in its own right, as well."The Happiest Dead Boy in the World" - Tad Williams: I had to look up this story to remember which one it was, which doesn't bode well. However, once I did that, I remembered I actually liked it quite a lot. The futuristic virtual universe is more sci-fi than fantasy in some ways (or at least that was my impression from this reading), but since the universe is full of landscapes mostly drawn from literature of various kinds, its inclusion is perhaps not so incongruous. In either case, the story was clever and also rather sad, leaving me interested in reading some of the other related works."Beyond Between" - Anne McCaffrey: Oh, Pern novels. I loathe them and I love them. It's an odd thing. This story tells the tale of the final days of Moretta, dragon rider, which was pretty bittersweet although likely would have been more meaningful to me if I were less removed from the series at this point. Still, it worked nicely."The Messenger" - Raymond E. Feist: Military adventure stories are about the last kind I expect to enjoy, and I know little about the setting of the world for this short story. Despite all that, this was a really enjoyable piece to read. I got caught up in the protagonist's simple but extremely treacherous mission, and held my breath every time he encountered another seemingly insurmountable barricade. Surprisingly interesting!"Threshold" - Elizabeth Hayden: Another world about which I knew essentially nothing. Despite that, this story was exceptional. I came to know the characters well, and the setting was contained yet fit within the larger framework of the world so that it seemed at home without having to be under-explained. The nature of sacrifice is always an interesting theme, and I actually cried at one of the final scenes."The Monarch of the Glen" - Neil Gaiman: I love Neil Gaiman's writing and I very much liked American Gods, so I became quite excited when I saw this sequel was included. This tread more upon the notion of monsters and heroes than gods and mortals, and I think it could bear a re-reading or five. It's a dense and significant piece but also very subtle."Indomitable" - Terry Brooks: I never got into the Shannara books, and I have to be honest, this story did not particularly make me want to go read them. It was a pretty normal 'adventure quest' story with a young protagonist who learned something about himself, a few somewhat cardboard companions, and the memories of other companions (characters from the original works I presume) who drive the plot forward. It just wasn't all that exciting, and seemed kind of phoned in.

  • Ruth Ann
    2019-04-08 00:11

    An anthology of modern fantasy writers can be a hit or miss, but I have read works from about half of the authors in this collection. So, I was not disappointed. Overall, I enjoyed many of the short stories to varying degrees. Rather than evaluate each tale, I'm just going to list the authors included so I can refer back to this anthology when looking for my next modern fantasy to read. Authors in this collection: Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Anne McCaffrey, Tad Williams, Robert Silverberg, Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Haydon, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Brooks.

  • Deanna
    2019-04-11 22:00

    This book showcases writing from several authors of series and introduces you to, or provides additional information about, the storylines. I found several new books to read after reading this book.

  • Elar
    2019-04-17 04:11

    This book is even better than first collection. Full of gems which all fill in some gaps or give additional information about masterful fantasy series.

  • Maria
    2019-03-28 04:01

    Some good, some bad

  • Angelica
    2019-04-25 03:52

    I have this habit of creating an arbitrary to-read list and sticking to it no matter what. So, even though I have just read Legends I and realized that I might have enjoyed it more if I had read the fantasy series before that, I had to read this one now, even though I STILL haven't read the series to which these novellas belong. Oh, well.HOMECOMING by Robin Hobb - 5 starsWhen I started reading it, I actually thought I wouldn't like it. Boy, was I wrong... This was an absolute pleasure to read. The story is captivating, and the character development masterfully done. The Realm of the Elderlings was already on my to-read list, and now I can't wait to start reading it!THE SWORN SWORD by George R. R. Martin - 4 starsI have already read the Song of Ice and Fire books, and it was very nice to revisit the universe with this story. It still feels like a novelty to read something by him that has a clear ending... I found it interesting that this tale shows the summer as a harsh and unforgiving season. With the whole "winter is coming" thing from the books, you might forget that a summer that lasts for years would be just as troublesome as winter. I did think the "final resolution" of the situation was a bit obvious, and was actually surprised the characters hadn't realized it would be the best by themselves much sooner.THE YAZOO QUEEN by Orson Scott Card - 1 starI very much disliked Alvin Maker from the story I read in Legends I. I'm afraid this one confirmed my dislike. He's a typical Picaresque character, a man-child with too much power in his hands and not enough conscience. A very good friend of mine insists that this series is worth reading, so I will give it another shot, but so far it has failed to impress me.LORD JOHN AND THE SUCCUBUS by Diane Galbadon - 3.5 starsI suspect I would have enjoyed this one much more if I had been familiar with the rest of the series. Lord John Grey seems to be a very interesting character... I will definitely put the Outlander series and the Lord John spin-off in my to-read list. The only problem I had was that this didn't seem to be a fantasy story at all - maybe I'm missing some vital information because of my ignorance of the rest of the series. But I still liked it.THE BOOK OF CHANGES by Robert Silverberg - 3 starsA nice tale of Majipoor. I had already decided to read this series because of the story I read in Legends I, and this one confirmed it. It is not an outstanding fantasy story, but it's good enough to entertain, and the universe in which it's set seems fascinating.THE HAPPIEST DEAD BOY IN THE WORLD by Tad Williams - 3.5 starsI dearly wish I had read the books before reading this story. It seems to contain major spoilers... I also think it is more science fiction than fantasy. It is well-written and entertaining. I'll check out the Otherland saga whenever I can.BEYOND BETWEEN by Anne McCaffrey - 4 starsA very sad story. I would probably have found it even sadder had I read the books... I have a suspicion that Moreta is kind of a major character in at least one of them. I liked this story MUCH better than the one I read in Legends I, and I'm very glad to see Anne McCaffrey can write better than that. I'm very interested in the world of Pern, and I'll try to read the books in the near future.THE MESSENGER by Raymond E. Feist - 2 starsI haven't read the Riftwar series, except for this and the story in Legends I, so I imagine it must be very military-oriented. For both of the stories I've read, the invaders could very well be just humans from a far away land... The fact that they're aliens makes no difference whatsoever. And whenever someone writes a war/military story it always seems to be a subterfuge for not including female characters with any depth. This was a nice story, but I expected more.THRESHOLD by Elizabeth Haydon - 1.5 starsI just didn't buy Hector's blind obedience to his orders. Or the other guards'. It felt silly that they wanted to stay; it was obvious they had no reason to and should just go. I hope this was because the story was too short for enough character development, and that this kind of fault won't be present in the rest of the books... Because this universe seems interesting, and I would like to know more about it.THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN by Neil Gaiman - 5 starsI read American Gods and Anansi Boys a while ago, and I can't remember much of the details, but I do remember that I loved them. I adore the idea of ancient gods and monsters finding ways to survive in the modern world. This story was creepy, spooky, touching and sweet. I love Neil Gaiman.INDOMITABLE by Terry Brooks - 3 starsReading this books description here on Goodreads I've discovered that this story is not exactly independent, as the others claim to be, but it's more of an epilogue to one of the books in the Shannara series. I thought it was very good, but there was a lot of information lacking, and I think there were many spoilers for the books. But I'll still read them, and I suspect I'll enjoy them too.