Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Best of the Realms: Book I


This anthology’s introduction by Philip Athans indicates the content of the collection derives from an online survey on what they considered the best short stories of the Forgotten Realms assortments.

“Rite of Blood” by Elaine Cunningham – This short story is divided into chapters and follows Liriel, who prepares for a ceremony called the Blooding, which celebrates what it means to be a drow.

“Elminster at the Magefair” by Ed Greenwood – Elminster and Storm collaborate.

“Darksword” by Troy Denning – Delves into past of Melegaunt Tanthul.

“Blood Sport” by Christie Golden – Deals with elven vampire Jander Sunstar.

“Six of Swords” by William W. Connors – Answers the question of what adventurers do when retiring.

“The Rose Window” by Monte Cook – Supposedly deals with readers “changing” the story.

“The First Moonwell” by Douglas Niles – Written by the author’s view of the Moonshae Islands under the Goddess Earthmother being among his favorite fantastical locales.

“The Greatest Hero Who Ever Died” by J. Robert King – Draws inspiration from a village high on the Snowdownia Mountains in Wales.

“Tertius and the Artifact” by Jeff Grubb – Inspired by Tolkien’s Middle-earth with the British sensibilities of P.G. Wodehouse.

“Red Ambition” by Jean Robe – The author notes that she loved the villainous character of Szass Tam.

“The Common Spell” by Kate Novak-Grubb – The writer notes that she took inspiration from a Dickensian orphan being mystified by a city’s shop signs.

“Assassin’s Shadow” by Jess Lebow – The author indicates that the scenes in Karsus were fun for him to write.

“And the Dark Tide Rises” by Keith Francis Strohm – The writer definitely isn’t shy about his obsession with the Celts.

“Empty Joys” by R.A. Salvatore – The voices of the characters Artemis and Jarlaxle “spoke” to the author.

All in all, I enjoyed this anthology and would recommend it to fans of the Forgotten Realms series.

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