Best New Romantic Fantasy 2
Paula Guran, ed.
Best New Romantic Fantasy 2 is the second book in this anthology series published by Jove Books. It has changed its name slightly - the first is Best New Paranormal Romance. This collection chooses what the editors consider to be the best from 2006 in this type of short stories. Once again we have a wide collection of storytellers and storytelling methods. Most of these tend to be that slight twist on reality (often called urban fantasy) but not all. They range from England and Paris in the 1800's to the Mediterranean and Appalachian Mountain area of Kentucky today.
David Sakmyster's "The Red Envelope" covers 30 years going between Taiwan and the United States. Meanwhile, "Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge" by Richard Parks gives us poignant tale that takes place in Japanese royalty just as the samurai were starting to come to the fore in that country hundreds of years ago. Haddayr Copley-Woods' "The Desires of Houses" is a new way to look at our abodes, while "Smoke & Mirrors" by Amanda Downum reminds us of the allure of running away with the circus.
"Journey into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert, "Evergreen" by Angela Boord, and "The Depth Oracle" by Sonya Taaffe take the reader into the land of the supernatural. "La Fee Verte" by Delia Sherman adds the supernatural in the middle of a war and siege. "The Moment of Joy Before" by Claudia O'Keefe and "Wizard of the Eternal Watch" by Eugie Foster take the readers into worlds with powerful beings that affect our world.
Sarah Monette's "A Light in Troy" is a gentle tale of a conquered woman and her circumstances. Vera Nazarian's "The Story of Love" follows an abused daughter as her father gives her to a rich Persian for marriage. Sandra McDonald's "The Mountains of Key West" shows one woman how the world could be.
"Jane. A Story of Manners, Magic and Romance" by Sarah Prineas takes place in a slightly alternate world 150 years ago where magic, witches, and warlock exist and intermingle with the rest of the population. The first story, "An Autumn Butterfly" by Esther Friesner quickly catches the reader's wonder and holds on.
Some of the stories are sad, some powerful, some twisted for the reader to decide and make his or her own decision. I'm sure not all readers will like all the stories, but everyone will find something that catches the imagination or thoughts. I'm already looking forward the the third of this set in spring, 2008.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong sexual content
Publicist provided for review
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