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1. The Eve of the Maelstrom (Dragonlance:
2. Terribly Twisted Tales
3. The Finest Choice (Finest Trilogy)
4. Timeshares (Daw Science Fiction)
5. The Finest Challenge (Finest Trilogy)
6. The Day of the Tempest (Dragonlance:
7. Spells of the City
8. Pandora's Closet
9. Time Twisters
10. A Taste of Magic
11. Red Magic (Forgotten Realms: The
12. Furry Fantastic
13. Sword of the Seas: Atlantis Awakens!
14. Downfall (The Dhamon Saga)
15. Shadows & Light: Tales of
16. Steampunk'd
17. The Ruins of Undermountain II:
18. This And That And Tales About
19. Shadowrun #5: Aftershock A Shadowrun
20. Elminster's Ecologies (AD&D

1. The Eve of the Maelstrom (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age Trilogy)
by Jean Rabe
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-11-18)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$27.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786928603
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A recovered edition of the conclusion of a key Dragonlance trilogy.This is the third title in a pivotal trilogy that bridges the gap between the core Dragonlance title Dragons of Summer Flame and the new War of Souls trilogy. The titles in this trilogy are being rereleased with new artwork and new cover designs that tie them more closely to Rabes Dhamon Saga trilogy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (64)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre books and writer
This book and the whole series in fact is, well, mediocre.Some reviews seem to indicate a vile hatred of this series, but I don't think it's truly that bad.Jean Rabe is a competent writer who can move a story forward.However, she cannot compare to truly great writers.Weis and Hickman take a fantasy story and make it epic.There is a power and current to their stories.Reading Jean Rabe novels is more like reading a textbook.Sure, you get all the details but not much emotion. There is not powerful mystery behind it all. Jean Rabe really needs to study more classical literature & fantasy, I think if she was to include some concepts from these stories, the things that make them memorable and powerful even today, she could be a good writer.

Blister comes close to being a character with depth with her somewhat tragic history, but it never seems to break through. The rest of the characters I feel have underlying emotions that the author is aware of and maybe wants to show us.But she just doesn't or can't.The characters simply remain superficial.

Don't give up on Jean Rabe. Many of her later novels get better, even ones based in this series. She'll never be a great and prolific writer, but she gets better.

4-0 out of 5 stars As good as I should have expected, I guess
The book itself was in great shape, but there was a price sticker on the back cover. It's not that big of a deal for me, but I would have liked to know it was on there before deciding to buy this one. Not saying it would have changed my mind...but it might have.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good book but the ending left me unsatisfied.
All in all this book was decent. Certainly was not one of the best Dragonlance books I have read. Some parts of it kind of dragged along without a whole lot of suspense to the point that I nearly put it down. It ended very blandly without a true and proper conclusion. As this book was the third and last of three books in a set it would have been better to end the whole adventure. Instead Jean Rabe pushes it even further to three more books in which after this one I truthfully am not looking forward to. This is still a good book to read I enjoyed many parts of it though so it is still worth a look.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Eve of the Malestrom
This is likely one of the greatest dragonlance books ever written. Any one who misses this great addition to the dragon lance seris will be truely sorry. READ THIS BOOK!

4-0 out of 5 stars Best book of the trilogy
As the trilogy progressed, Rabe's writing just got better and better. It went from being awkward and stilted in the first book to very smooth flowing in this last book. It actually felt like a true Dragonlance book and made for some very enjoyable reading. Yes, some of the characters needed to be fleshed out more and they seemed to get mortally wounded and overcome unbeatable odds more than they should have, but those seemed like minor things.

The last half of the book seemed like fight scene after fight scene with minimal rest in between. Rabe has a knack for writing suspenseful battles, despite the fact that they can be a little unbelievable at times (5 people taking on 3 dozen Knights of Takhisis and winning). Her handling of the dragons and the intrigue among them in this book was very well done. I especially enjoyed the introduction of the shadow dragon. There was also an interesting exploration of the undersea kingdome of the sea elves, Dimernesti.

The conclusion, however, seemed a little flat. It seems as if the author wanted to set up another book, be it one of hers or some other author's in the Dragonlance saga. Maybe it continues almost directly into Weis & Hickman's War of Souls or into her own Dhamon Saga. Guess I'll find out when I get to those books.

My only complaint was the need for some serious proofreading. Typos, missing words, incorrect words ("to" instead of "too"), and missing punctuation got to be really excessive. I was surprised at how bad it was. There were pages where I found three or four of these. Of course, this was the previous edition that I read, so maybe they fixed these in this new release.

All in all, a very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Even if you hated the first book, I think you'll like this one (just make sure you read the second installment as well). ... Read more

2. Terribly Twisted Tales
by Martin H. Greenberg
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-05-05)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756405548
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
eighteen stories that offer a new twist on old fairy tales

From Hansel and Gretel and Goldilocks, to Snow White, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and more, here are eighteen stories that take familiar fairy tales and twist them around to give them an entirely new slant. Any fan of far-out fantasy is sure to be delighted. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Sweetness & Light need not apply
If your penchant for fairy tales leans towards the dark, twisted and morbid, this book is for you. While it is compiled of well-written tales, only one really has a humorous bent to it, and all the others...well, don't. This is not a funny ha-ha book. It is more of a funny bwa-ha-ha-ha book. Hope this helps.

2-0 out of 5 stars terribly poor reading.
there were only a couple of these tales worth reading.quality was really lacking.$6.99 was about $5.99 too much to pay!

5-0 out of 5 stars fun "Fractured Fairy Tales"
These eighteen entries will remind readers of Rocky and Bullwinkle's Fractured Fairy Tales as the authors take an irrelevant spin on famous stories.Almost all the contributions are excellent with a couple, though well written, disappointingly changing the personalities of the key players without explanation.Fans will enjoy what happens to Snow White after she owns the Prince and the Mirror in Chris Pierson's superb "Once They Were Seven", the witch chasing after violent Hansel and Gretel in "Waifs" by Dennis L. McKiernan and the scary science fiction twister "Jack and the Genetic Beanstalk by Robert E. Vardeman.Overall this is a great collection that pays homage to the brilliant zany minds of Jay Ward and Bill Scott.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars These are not your childhood fairy tales...
Actually, in many ways, these fairy tales are very much in the spirit of the original stories by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christan Anderson, since the original stories were morality tales designed to scare and warn the populace, (and occasionally entertain). Here, 18 authors bring back that original feeling in their stories. Some authors went with humor, and some went with the original creepy feel. My favorite stories "Once They Were Seven" by Chris Pierson. If you like your stories on the horror side of life, this is an excellent reimagining of the Snow White mythos. It impressed me enough I would read more by Pierson. "A Charming Murder" by Mary Louise Eklund is also quite good: CSI meets Cinderella with great results. "Capricious Animistic Temper" by Mickey Zucker Reichert is hilarious, and anyone with a cat will like it that much more.

A complete list of the stories and authors (in order) is... *** Waifs by Dennis L. McKiernan ***My Great-Great-Grandma Golda Lockes by Annie Jones ***Once They Were Seven by Chris Pierson *** Capricious Animistic Temper by Mickey Zucker Reichert ***A Charming Murder by Mary Louise Eklund ***Jack and the Genetic Beanstalk by Robert E. Vardeman ***What's in a Name by Kathleen Watness ***No Good Deed by Jody Lynn Nye ***The Red Path by Jim C. Hines ***Lost Child by Stephen D. Sullivan ***Rapunzel Strikes Back by Brendan DuBois ***Revenge of the Little Dance Girl by Paul Genesse ***Clockwork Heart by Ramsey "Tome Wyrm" Lundock ***The Hundred Year Nap by Skip and Penny Williams ***Five Goats and a Troll by Elizabeth A. Vaughan ***Something About Mattresses by Janet Deaver-Pack ***Three Wishes by Kelly Swails ***The Adventure of rge Red Riding Hoods by Michael A. Stackpole

This latest DAW anthology delivers a great set of stories, and it would be well worth spending the money for a great summer read. You won't be disappointed, but as with the original stories, these are more meant for adults than children or young readers.

... Read more

3. The Finest Choice (Finest Trilogy)
by Jean Rabe
 Hardcover: 288 Pages (2005-09-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$8.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000VYM6ZM
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
They were the Finest Creationsmystically forged creatures of perfection sent by the creators to aid the Fallen (mankind) during their mortal existence.Though they resemble ordinary horses, they are highly intelligent, capable of communicating telepathically, and completely moral. They are assigned to bond with individuals of great potential and protect them from harm while guiding them along a path of virtue.Gallant-Stallion has found his charge, a young girl by the name of Kalantha, whose brother is soon to be king. Her brother is also pawn of a deceitful and murderous bishop who covets the royal power and has allied himself with creatures of the dark arts. The Finest has successfully removed Kalantha from his influence but now must contend with the other temptations of the worldthe lure of power, the mystery of learning and knowledge, and the intrigue and freedom of adventure and independence.Kalantha is still young and bitter over her lot in life, betrayed, envious, and scared. Her mentor, Gallant-Stallion, is unsure of how to lead her as is his duty as her Finest. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Blah
I don't know why the other reviewers liked this book so much.I very much looked forward to reading the book.However, it did not live up to expectations.With so many other great fantasy books out there, this one was a waste of time....

5-0 out of 5 stars Book 2 of The Finest Trilogy
Jean Rabe continues her magical young adult adventure, following Meven as he becomes king and Kal as she seeks to escape both the evil birds that have continued to attack her and the strict, monastic life that the Bishop would have her follow.But as interesting and adventurous as the two young royals are, the real star of the piece is Gallant Stallion, the Finest sent to shepherd young Kal, but unsure how to perform his task.Gallant Stallion's wonderment at the world of men (the Fallen) and the sights and smells and interactions of nature make this much more than a simple adventure yarn.While Kal's impetuous nature can be a bit abrupt at times to adult readers, it is appropriate for her age and circumstance.Much more is set up for resolution in the final volume than is actually resolved at the end of Book 2, but such is the nature of trilogies.Jean's vivid descriptions of the flora and fauna that Gallant Stallion and Kal encounter and her action-packed fight scenes are a true delight.I am certainly looking forward to the final volume.Highly recommended for young adults and lovers of fantasy.Donald J. Bingle, Author of Forced Conversion.

4-0 out of 5 stars Book 2
They look like regular horses, but they are not. They are the "Finest Creations", mystically forged by the creators to aid mankind during their mortal existence. Each Finest is given a human charge to lead, without directly interfering. Humans must have free choice. A human is only granted the honor of Finest if the human has great potential.

Meven Montoll is being crowned King of Galmier at the beginning of this novel. but Meven is the pawn of a murderous man, Bishop DeNogaret, who intends to rid the world of the Montoll line before crowning himself ruler. But first the bishop will use his dark arts to persuade King Meven into war with the other kingdoms, thus enlarging the Galmier realm.

Gallant-Stallion "Rue", a Finest, has a young girl named Kalantha "Kal" Montoll as his charge. Rue has removed Kal from the bishop's grasp and they travel the land almost aimlessly until Destiny arrives. Rue and Kal communicate telepathically, thinks to their magical bond. In this novel, the second of a trilogy, the two must learn about the assassin birds from the Vershan Monastery. The problem is locating the monastery and then finding the one, old, needed book for answers. During it all, those of the dark arts hunt Rue and Kal with murder in their black hearts.

**** Like other second books within a trilogy, this one is not as great as the first. It is mainly to continue the first novel and set things up for the third. Yet the author, Jean Rabe, did a wonderful job in keeping my attention. I never found myself growing bored. People and events begin to come together. I can see where the story is going and am eagerly waiting until I can find out how it wraps up. Excellent book! ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read!
I love this series.

Not just because of the world the author weaves, but because of her use of words to transport me to a world that is not just muddy and musty, but that also has its beauties.I love the fact that Rue uses all of his senses to learn and interpret his world.I don't feel like he is a human in a horse's body.But Ms. Rabe doesn't stop there, she also packs in thrills and chills, at times leaving me breathless with fear for the characters.

I also love this series because we see the world not just through Fallen Favorite Kalantha's eyes, but also through the eyes of the Finest Rue.The reader watches as both Fallen and Finest learn about the world and each other, experience success and defeat, and see each other's strengths and weaknesses even as the evil that surrounds them shifts and grows.

One thing is for sure.I will never think of a flock of birds quite the same way again. . . ... Read more

4. Timeshares (Daw Science Fiction)
Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756406153
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Sixteen original stories about taking your dream vacation-in any era you desire.

Take a vacation through time with the help of a Time Travel Agency offering excursions into the past and future. Readers will find themselves in exotic, adventurous locales-and in all manner of trouble and mysteries. And figures from the past will be able to squeak by the other way.

Picture Cleopatra in modern-day New York City, or Hannibal searching for elephants at Wisconsin's Circus World. And that's just the beginning of the thrills and danger... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars A great concept, but a disappointment
I was truly looking forward to this book, because I have always loved stories about time travel. I remember combing through thescience fiction section of my hometown library for novels and short stories on the subject. There have been some remarkable and thoughtful stories written on this subject.

Unfortunately, this collection falls short. The stories are not compelling, the writing is fair but not great, and my interest flagged after four or five short attempts to read them. I kept telling myself that the next story would be better, but I met disappointment each time. The stories are just not engaging. Some of them are strange, some are almost pointless, but all have the unavoidable stamp of mediocrity. They are not objectionable or awful, but I just could not enthuse about them. Perhaps you will disagree, but I cannot recommend this collection to other readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars a very enjoyable read
I'm halfway through this book and I am enjoying it a lot.I agree it would make a great tv series something on the order of fantasy island maybe. Some of the stories are ok, others grab youand leave you all misty eyed at the end which is hard to do in a short story format.Well worth the money.I particularly like Kelly Swail's short story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sharing "Timeshares"
"Timeshares" is a witty and clever series of stories written by some forward or should it be backward looking people. Each story is engaging and allows you to live in their reality. Would make a great SF movie or TV series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Creative Takes on an old theme
The idea of time travel is possibly one of the first fantasies of all time.This anthology goes a step further and has the writers basing their stories on one company providing time travel to the public. But that is where the consistency ends.Each story has you nodding your head and thinking, "Yes, that's the way it would be" until you read the next.Imaginative, engaging and well-written, an excellent read for all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating concept anthology
Time travel has been invented, and somehow it's in the hands of someone who wants to turn it into a means of history tourism. Of course, there are problems with that. Such as, nearly everyone who goes back in time is going to have an ulterior motive. How could they really expect people not to interfere? In theory it's impossible to alter the past, and any changes that are introduced fix themselves back to the way things were. But naturally, theory and practice don't always line up perfectly...

Stories touch on the Mona Lisa, the Titanic, da Vinci, missing tribes of Native Americans, the Garden of Eden, saving dead relatives, fixing one's own past life, and of course, dropping in on the life of Jesus himself. Meanwhile, the different stories dance in and out of each other's spheres of influence, largely adding to each other by touching on similar subjects or spending time with one or two of the same people.

That gets undermined a bit by some of the differences. In some stories Timeshares is a slick, corporate affair. In others it seems to be represented by dingy little offices. In some there are security officers or police who try to keep people from messing with the past; in others folks are allowed to try what they want. In some stories the past really is inflexible, while in others, not so much. To counter this, however, I admit that one of the later stories, Michael Stackpole's By Our Actions, seems to present a sort of answer to these inconsistencies that very nearly ties things together.

Naturally, this being an anthology, and on a topic that begs such a wide variety of approaches, you're invariably going to find one or two stories that don't thrill you quite as much as others. The overall quality is quite high, however.

[NOTE: review book provided by Penguin Group] ... Read more

5. The Finest Challenge (Finest Trilogy)
by Jean Rabe
 Hardcover: 320 Pages (2006-09-05)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$8.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001G8W7CE
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

They were the Finest Creations--mystically forged creatures of perfection sent by the creators to aid the Fallen (mankind) during their mortal existence. Though they resemble ordinary horses they are highly intelligent, capable of communicating telepathically, and completely moral. They are assigned to bond with individuals of great potential and to protect them from harm while guiding them along a path of virtue.


Kalantha has successfully rescued her brother from the shadow of the evil bishop's bellicose influence, but now finds herself cut off from both him and her Finest protector, Gallant Stallion. All three must race against the clock to curtail the unnecessary war that the Bishop’s minions have engineered. And, still lurking in the shadows and prowling the night skies is the avian menace whose dreams of a carrion-strewn countryside can still come through if their equine nemesis is neutralized.

The Finest series combines elements of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia to tell an inspiring tale of moral and mystical intrigue.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Finest Challenge Review
I enjoyed this end to the Finest Trilogy.There aren't a lot of stories in fantasy with horses so it was great reading this!The end of the story was also left open ended in a fashion so the author could continue the story if she chooses to do so.I hope she does pick up with the Finest Court and we can get a glimpse of life there and what happens if the evil birds get in and the Fallen Favorites have to give a helping hand.It would be a great plot twist.Excellent story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun Book!
What a fun book and a great read. The fast-paced adventures of Kal and Rue (also known as Gallant Stallion) continue in this novel about a young girl and her guardian angel--who happens to be a horse! The bad guys are out in force and a terrible war must be ended. There is something great about the determination of Kal, who shows us how to have courage no matter how bad it gets.

5-0 out of 5 stars An action-packed finale from a fantasy master
Having been a fan of Jean Rabe since her Dragonlance novels, I was very pleased to see her get the chance to create and play in her own world with the Finest trilogy, and I'm even happier to see that the third volume continues the wonderful writing and plot of the first two.It's refreshing to see characters, especially young adults, who know everything and aren't able to save the kingdom and tie everything up in a neat little bow; her heroes and heroines come across as real in their worry and hurt and struggle to make the right choices.And her take on such fantasy tropes as sentient animals (love the deadly flock of birds!) is a fresh breath of originality in endless books and films of talking animals and magical creatures.Kudos on a delightful journey...with the possible hint of more to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worthy Conclusion to Finest Trilogy
Jean Rabe brings the story of Meven, Kalantha, and Gallant Stallion to an action-packed conclusion, but leaves hints that may lead to a larger continuing story.Once again, Jean does a superb job portraying the world of the Fallen Favorites, as well as the world of their protectors, the Finest Creations.I especially enjoyed the chapter-beginning quotes from a variety of Finest characters, the battle descriptions, and the mix of impetuousness, stubborness, and wisdom in young Kalantha.Of course, the swarming, deadly, evil birds of the series are an interesting and original contribution to fantasy literature.Lavane is also a wonderful new character, though I confess I wanted him to do even more behind Nineon's back.I can only hope that he figures prominently in any continuing adventures.A fun read for YA and fantasy fans, with a serious side in its portrayal of the realities of war and the difficulties in simply stopping the fighting.Recommended. ... Read more

6. The Day of the Tempest (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, Book 2)
by Jean Rabe
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2002-08-19)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$28.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786928573
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The first two books in a rerelease of a key trilogy in the Dragonlance saga. This trilogy covers key events that take place between Dragons of Summer Flame and the bestselling War of Souls trilogy. With all-new artwork and cover designs, these books tie in with the trilogy currently being written by the author. JEAN RABE is the author of The Dawning of a New Age, The Day of the Tempest, The Eve of the Maelstrom, The Silver Stair, Downfall, and Betrayal. Rabe lives in Wisconsin. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Dragonlance book.
Unpopular setting in the timeline, coupled with a writing style that seems to be emulating Weis & Hickman but failing, make this entire trilogy overall unremarkable.Only worth reading to keep up with the setting storyline.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better than the first
Rabe gets her groove finally during this book.The first one was very clunky with very little character development.The characters become more fleshed out during this book and the plot twists are surprising.I wasn't holding out much hope after the first, but this was actually pretty good.Would have given 3.5 stars, but didn't have the option for it.

2-0 out of 5 stars I hated it
I couldn't get past the first 150 pages of it.I just found myself lossing to much interest in the story to the point where I didn't care what happened to the characters or Krynn.You could skip this trilogy and completely understand what's going on on Krynn during the War of Souls.Rabes style of writing just isnt for me I guess.The first book of the series was good, but not really this one in my opinion.

If you have nothing better to read, then pick this up, other than that I dont think it's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Picking up steam
This book was far better than the first. A lot of important things are now happening in the dragonlance world and everything is going at a break neck pace. I was very pleased to see that the characters from the first book are being given a lot more depth. New characters are entering in from different sources. This pick has a style very simaler to the Chronicles trilogy. There is a LOT that goes on.

4-0 out of 5 stars Day of The tempest
This book is likley to satasfy you even more than the one preceding it, The Dawning of a New Age, though not as good as the book following it ,The Eve of the Malestrom. I recomend this book highly and know any of the people reading this would enjoy every word. ... Read more

7. Spells of the City
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-12-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 075640567X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Venture into Spells of the City, where a troll may be your toll collector on the George Washington Bridge...Harry the Book will be happy to place your best in a spellbinding alternative New York...a gargoyle finds himself left to a lonely rooftop existence when he's forced to live by his creator's rules...and leprechauns must become bank robbers to keep up with the demand for their gold.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Magic cities
This is one of those anthologies I'm glad I stuck with: of its 18 stories I marked 11 as worth rereading, but if I'd given up on it after the fourth or fifth the figure wouldn't have been anywhere near that.Jean Rabe and the eternally busy Martin Greenberg have assembled an assortment of stories themed to the idea that modern cities often conceal magic and magical beings, and they range from the mildly horrific to the rib-tickling and from New York (the scene of several) to London and Chicago to unnamed locales in North Carolina and southern Iowa.Among these are Timothy Zahn's "Trollbridge" (a troll who earns his living as a tollkeeper tries to find out who planted a bomb under his bridge), Mike Resnick's very Runyonesque "Snatch as Snatch Can" (a bookie tries to deal with an irate loser who has a wizard on his payroll), Marc Tassin's "Wee-Kin Warrior" (the story of a human gamer conscripted into a faery war), Mickey Zucker Reichert's "We Burgled It, Sure We Did" (a band of leprechauns takes to robbing banks in order to replenish their pots of gold), Jackie Cassada's "Rose" (a finder of lost pets learns that a dogfighting ring has sinister otherworldly connections), "An Excess of Joy" by C. J. Henderson (a motley group of musicians jams together to save the world from a Lovrcraftian extradimensional horror), "Stannis" by Anton Strout (a living gargoyle forges a bond with the descendant of the sculptor who created him), Bradley P. Beaulieu's "Good Morning Heartache" (a black mother desperate to save her trumpet-playing son from the gang life finds that isn't all that threatens him), Robert Wenzlaff's "Twas the Happy Hour After Christmas..." (Santa Claus and Thor meet in a bar), "Eli's Coming" by Linda P. Baker (another story of an animate gargoyle), and Vicki Steger's "Helvik's Deal" (Anne Boleyn's tarot deck surfaces in the modern world and bad things start happening).Like all anthologies, this one will probably appeal in different ways to different readers, but with Greenberg's name on the cover you can be sure it will offer good-quality work and present you with at least a few pieces you'll enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars good stories
Good mix of stories - some better than others but that is to be expected ... Read more

8. Pandora's Closet
Paperback: 320 Pages (2007-08-07)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$0.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756404371
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Nineteen original tales of the pandora legend-as no one has ever imagine it before.

When Pandora's Box was opened, so the ancient tale goes, all the evils that would beset humanity were released into the world. When the box was all but empty, the only thing that remained was hope. Now some of fantasy's finest writers have taken on the task of opening Pandora's closet. It is naturally chock full of an assortment of items, including a ring that can bring its wearer infinite health, a special helmet found in the most unlikely of places, a mysterious box that holds a legendary piece of cloth, and a red hoodie that transforms a woman's world. These stories are of items claimed by people, but only at their own peril. After indulging in these stories, readers will certainly look at their own closets in a whole new light. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars 19 Tales of Magical Bits and Baubles -- Enjoyable!
This anthology collects 19 stories from various authors -- some famous, some I never heard of -- that take the idea of Pandora and capture items from various places - some items magical, some terrifying, some fun -- and mix the characters' ideas, societies and sometimes shocking sensibilities as pertain to these items.

You can find a complete list elsewhere, but the following are what grabbed me (as with any anthology, some just didn't make the cut):

Timothy Zahn, best known for his Star Wars novels, wrote The Ring, an item found in a pawn shop that actually feeds off a broke stocktrader and immediately makes him extremely wealthy -- as long as he stays greedy -- but is saved by his lady love.

Louise Maley's "Technicolor" was a fascinating peek at Dorothy from Oz, now a degraded middle-aged woman in Kansas, who longs for her ruby slippers.

The best one was about a magical wedding dress, handed down the generations, that made their wearer's beautiful and stunning.But what would it do to a cross-dresser??Here's a guy who has always loved cross-dressing.One day he needed a job and they were particularly wanting a female employee, so he dressed up as one!Surprisingly, someone fell in love with him.How will he admit to his fiance that Stephanie is really Stephen?Oh my!The twist ending was a lot of fun. [The Travails of Princess Stephen by Jane Lindskold.]

The stories I did not like were either political or created worlds that were so secondary to plot that they did not make a lot of sense. A mouse during World War II fighting against Adolph and his Ratzi's?Sounds cute but it wasn't.Or a pair of John Lennon's glasses in an apocalyptic future and its affect on a spy -- droll.And Seebohm's Cap, A Clean Getaway and others were a bit boring.Maybe it's because the same theme is repeated over and over, it might be best to take breaks between stories, LOL.

Other Themed Anthologies:

The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: Fourth Annual Collection
A Date Which Will Live in Infamy: An Anthology of Pearl Harbor Stories That Might Have Been
Terribly Twisted Tales

3-0 out of 5 stars Hits and Misses in this Collection
A big fan of fantasy and science fiction collections, I definitely found this one to be a bit mixed.There are a bunch of stories here--20 I think--but I found them very uneven.I found myself skipping approximately every other one in search of something that worked better for me.Of course that's a strength of this particular format--in any collection it's easy to move on to the next one if a given story doesn't work for you.

Recommended for the completist or if you're a fan of this particular subject, but otherwise a limited interest item.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pandora's Closet Review
I LOVE this book!In fact, it is in the reading room [our bathroom] at the moment, and I have just finished it for the second, third, or fourth time.

Pandora's Closet is a collection of short stories that are very interesting, to say the least.The book is sub-titled '19 brand-new stories that take the Pandora legend to a whole new level.'Each of the stories is written by a different fantasy writer.

Two of my favourites are 'Technicolor' by Louise Marley, which is a re-telling, of a sorts, of The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy.I would say more about this one, but I don't want to ruin the story for anyone.You'll just have to get the book and read it!

My other favourite story is 'The Travails of Princess Stephen' by Jane Lindskold and is about an extraordinary wedding dress.

The book is a delight, which is why I keep going back to it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Busybody reading
Another collection of short stories where again, some are good though most are just ok.If you got time to burn, burn through this otherwise you can skip it.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Enchanting Closet
Most people have heard a little about the Greek Myth of Pandora's box. Pandora was entrusted with a box which she was told by Zeus (King of the Gods), not to open. Curiosity got the best of her and when she opened the box, evil and sin (greed, envy, gluttony, etc.) were loosed on the world. She tried to close the box, but when she did she sealed in hope.

Pandora's Closet is an anthology of short stories with a twist on the Pandora's box theme. The stories are based on items that might be found in a closet or box to and the consequences based on the magic that item contains.I love short story collections because it exposes me to new authors I may not have otherwise read. As most anthologies go, this is a mixed bag of efforts. Luckily, most of the stories are inventive, interesting and quite creative. A few were just not my cup of tea, but I am sure would be to someone elses' taste. My favorites were The Ring by Timothy Zahn, about a ring that gives, but with a price; Technicolor by Louise Marley about a famous fictional character we know called Dorothy;Seamless by Michael Stackpole which is fantasy and action combined; The Travails of Princess Stephen by Jane Lindskold, a story with an unusual topic that makes you quite sympathetic to the character; Lady in Red by A.M. Strout, about a girl who buys a red hoodie; Jack's Mantle by Joe Madson, which was quite creepy and may make you think twice about buying a used clothing item; Irrestible by Yvonne Coats, which might make you want to buy a used clothing item! LOL; Off the Rack by Elizabeth A. Vaughn which is magical with a little romance thrown in; and my favorite, Cake and Candy by Kelly Swails which tells a story about loss and recovery.

What's really great about this book is that the stories would appeal to both male and female readers. I would definitely recommend this anthology. ... Read more

9. Time Twisters
Paperback: 306 Pages (2007-01-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756404053
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A new anthology by some of the top names in the genre.

Time travel and the dangers of altering the time stream continue to fascinate readers. This book offers 17 new stories of daring adventurers who meddle with time including: a science fiction fan who warded off an alien invasion of Earth through contemporary culture...Joan of Arc's training in future history...and an FBI hunt for a Mafia don who found his way back to the age of knighthood. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Love This Collection!
I'm a huge fan of "focused" collections such as this, and so I was very happy to see that this volume delivered.

Excellent stories throughout--fast paced, neat twists, good writing.Most are time-travel oriented with a couple of alternate Earth stories tossed in for good measure.

Very recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cross Section of Time Travel Stories
This volume edited by Jean Rabe and Martin Greenberg contains seventeen time travel stories which vary somewhat in quality.The reader will certainly find more than one to enjoy, and they may be different ones than the reviewer prefers.Missing from the book are introductions to each story with background material and pointers to other publications by each author.These might have enhanced my enjoyment--and in a few cases helped me better understand an author's intent.

My three favorites follow no pattern, each making an impression for quite different reasons:

Jon L. Breen's "Parsley Sage, Rosemary, and Time" is a mystery that requires the main character to identify a time traveler among the members of a writing workshop.The story is well-crafted, with one or two surprises.Its real strength is in the characters, each with quirks and charm which endear them to the reader.

Stephen Leigh's "Chaos Theory" hints that a woman's affection can change the course of a man's life, making him do things he would not otherwise have done.It is a gentle, understated story, for the most part.

Nancy Virginia Varian's "Yeshua's Choice" examines another life that Jesus Christ might have led.Like most fans of time travel fiction, I have read several stories with this theme.I find most to be cliché and heavy-handedly disrespectful of religious belief.This one is surprisingly different.

These three stories were worth the time and small expense spent on the collection.A few others seemed either to end abruptly or not come to a rhetorical point I could recognize.I count Harry Turtledove's "Occupation Duty" and James Ward's "Downtown Knight" among them.Perhaps I have missed something--your reaction may be different.Readers who share this reviewer's general fondness for time travel stories may also wish to try The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century and Time Pieces.

3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat uneven, but good at a bargain rate
I picked up this book at one of those overstock/seconds bookstores for a few bucks, and at that price I'd say it's worth it.(On the other hand, I'd have a very hard time recommending it at the full retail price.)You're getting a collection of stories here that all involve time travel, but the quality varies considerably -- some of the stories just seem unfinished (intriguing ideas the authors had that they weren't able to fully flesh out), whereas others just weren't that engaging (for me).Of the 18 stories, it broke down to about 1/3 that I really liked, 1/3 that I wouldn't have bothered publishing if it'd been my design, and the rest were OK if not particularly memorable.

The stories included are listed below:

* Pruning the Tree, by Chris Pierson -- One of several "time cops have to figure out a divergence point and fix it" stories.OK...
* Occupation Duty, by Harry Turtledove -- More about the futility of war than anything about time travel.
* Mundane Lane, by Kevin Anderson -- A very "down to earth" story in the sense that I could very much see it happening (well, other than the time travel part :-) ).
* The Power and the Glory, by Rober Vardeman -- Nikolai Tesla provides endless fodder for sci-fi stories, and this one doesn't disappoint.
* Voices, by Jackie Cassada -- This is the story with Joan of Arc as the main character.I felt it's overly political in nature and a bit pointless.
* Downtown Knight, by James Ward -- Definitely one of the more entertaining tales, some (brief!) contemplation on what would happen if the mob teleported itself back in time to the middle ages.
* Parsley Sage, Rosemary and Time, by Jon Breen -- Another one of my favorites; very thought provoking.About a man who comes to the realization that the timeline must have been changed -- and he thinks he knows exactly who did it.
* A Better Place, by Linda Baker -- A post-apocalyptic story, that's well done, if only a premise rather than a full story.
* Chaos Theory, by Stephen Leigh -- Didn't do much for me (kinda read like a high school creative writing class assignment)
* The Man in Cell 91, by Gene DeWeese -- Also somewhat overly religious/political in nature, but interesting if you enjoy deep character examinations.
* Oyer and Terminer, by Joe Masdon -- Nice twist on the Salem witch trials.
* Standing Still, by Donald Bingle -- A good character drama between a man-from-the-future holding a time-warping device and the present-day detective who needs to figure out if there's any real danger or if the guy is just crazy; I enjoyed it.
* One Rainy Day in Paris, by Skip and Penny Williams -- Pierre and Marie Currie are visited by a slightly bumbling college student.A cute, sweet story if you're a bit sentimental as I am.
* Try and Try Again, by Pierce Askegren -- A relatively unique premise from the "infinite universes" theory: What happens if many diverging timelines send back the same guy to a critical point in time, before the timelines diverged?
* Yeshua's Choice, by Nancy Virginia Varian -- Somewhat intriguing take on Jesus and what would happen if he weren't crucified (as described in the new testament), although it felt to me like the author was "trying too hard" to imply spiritual significance here.
* Three Power Play, by Wes Nicholson -- An alternative history take on World War II: If D-Day never happened, what would the outcome of the war have been?I found the prediced results pretty hard to swallow, but it's an interesting premise, certainly.
* One Time Around?, by John Helfers -- Another diverging timelines story about a guy who goes back to advise a relative how to avoid a lifetime of abusive relationships.At least in one timeline, that is...

At the very end of the book there are brief (a paragraph or two) biographies of each author.I found this quite useful, as after discovering stories I liked, the author bios gave some idea as to whether or not I'd like their other books (and usually listed recent titles as well).

4-0 out of 5 stars seventeen fun new science fiction tales
These seventeen new science fiction tales focus on time travel and the related paradoxes including the impact on the present by changing the past and meeting one's self or ancestors, etc.The short stories are fun to read, but the mode of delivery never allows any of the entries to go deep into the seemingly impossibility of time travel.Still fans of the topic like this reviewer (EC comics hooked me during my prehistorical period - the late 1950s) will find all are Wells with this anthology.All the entries are fun for those who enjoy reading TIME TWISTERS; especially enjoyable are "Yeshua's Choice" at Masada, "Downtown Knight" (the mobster meets the Templar on the latter's turf), nineteen years old conscript Pheidas of the Philistine army who has "Occupation Duty" in Gaza and "Voices" as Joan of Arc learns combat strategy with a modern day military unit.The rest are well written fine contributions to a delightful compilation with all the time in the world to stroll down a not so "Mundane Lane".

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

10. A Taste of Magic
by Andre Norton, Jean Rabe
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (2007-08-28)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$0.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765354330
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

"The Green Ones favored me this day."

Thus begins A Taste of Magic, the latest magical world creation by Andre Norton.

Wisteria is magically attuned to the world around her. Her senses relish the tastes of magic that the wonders of nature offer. But the peacefulness of her backwoods existence is shattered when her village is attacked by the raiding force of the bellicose Lord Purvis, who leaves only this twenty-something magic wielder and an adolescent lass as the inadvertent survivors.

Wisteria has pledged herself to a mission. Now she and her young ward must brave the wilds beyond their home in pursuit of the ravager who destroyed everyone near and dear to their hearts.

The woman with the Taste of Magic now has a taste for vengeance, and the blood oath she has pledged must be satisfied with the life of Lord Purvis.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars just plain not very good
I haven't read a lot of Andre Norton, but what i have read has been very good. I've read nothing else by Jean Rabe, so i have no estimation of her quality as an independent writer.

This team effort, though, is lacking. (For those who don't know the backstory, Norton 'sold' the manuscript-in-process to Rabe for $1, so it would be completed since Norton didn't have the time to do so herself before she died.)

It's a short, fast read, with some characters more developed than others. The twist near the end is unbearably predictable, though, and the most tension i experienced was the desire to slap the main character for being so obtuse.

Unless you're a die-hard Norton fan, you should probably skip this book. It's better than a lot of books out there these days, but there are still plenty that leave this one in the dust.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Confused Quest
A Taste of Magic (2006) is a standalone fantasy novel.Wisteria t'Kyros is the daughter of the Emperor's food taster.Like her father, Eri has the wyse talent of tasting the air around her.She has an elder brother, Rembert, who is serving as a guardsman for some lord.

Eri was taken in by Lady Ewaren -- House Lady of Nar -- when her mother died.In that household, she learned to weave and care for the house.Yet she had also become a docent of Bastien t'Ikkes, once a royal guard and a fabled Moonson, who had saved the life of the Emperor.His injuries had led to a discharge and retirement to Nar.

In this novel, Eri has gone hunting and is returning with her kill when she hears a cow bellowing for milking.She tests the breeze and tastes blood and death throughout the village. The only survivor is ten year old Alysen.

While Eri is examining the body of Lady Ewaren, Alysen t'Greer attacks Eri with a knife, accusing her of being a demon.After calming down, Alysen tells of men who came looking for Eri.Lord Purvis of Elderlake had his men break the fingers of Lady Ewaren trying to find Wisteria's whereabouts, but Lady Ewaren did not know where Eri had gone.When she could not provide the information, the demon-of-a-man had her slain.

Nanoo Gafna had saved Alysen from Lord Purvis and his soldiers by weaving a ward spell over her.The soldiers looked right at Alysen without seeing her.Gafna had fled from the killing toward her home in the fens.

In this story, Eri takes a bloodoath against Lord Purvis, but first she must deliver Alysen to the Nanoo village for protection.As they are approaching the center of the fens, Alysen takes off running and leads Eri to a bird-like thing caught up by vines.Alysen and Eri free the creature -- named Grazti by Alysen -- and take it with them.

When Eri and Alysen reach the Nanoo village, Nanoo Shellaya -- the village leader -- informs them that Gafna has not returned from Nar.Eri scrys for Gafna and learns that she is being held in a village by the sea.She too has been tortured by Lord Purvis.

This story relates the journey of Eri and Shellaya to the village Elspeth's Knot to rescue Gafna.Eri learns a few things about patience and planning during that rescue, but they do rescue Gafna.Shellaya takes Gafna back to the Nanoo village and Eri continues her effort to slay Lord Purvis.

In Derilynn village, Eri scrys for Lord Purvis and discovers that he is back in the fens.Tillard -- a young man raised in the Nanoo village -- rides back with her.On the way, they start to see prior events in a different light.

This tale was outlined and partially completed by Andre Norton, but was finished by Jean Rabe.Norton struggled with this story for several years, but the words just didn't flow as in the past.So it does not have all the storytelling magic of Norton and the ending appears to be lacking something.Yet it is a better tale than many other works of fantasy.Read it, but remember the other tales that flowed from the author's pen.

Recommended for Norton fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of exotic magic, muddled quests, and impulsive women warriors.

-Arthur W. Jordin

3-0 out of 5 stars A Taste of Magic
I was not blown away by this book. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't fantastic either - it was ok. Took me an afternoon to read it. The book just didn't grab me. You could tell that it was not put together by 2 writers working together - it just didn't flow in parts. I also found certain events, especially reactions to events occurring in the story, beyond believability. It is not a book I will re-read, & I am not waiting breathlessly for its sequel, which I am sure will be written.

5-0 out of 5 stars final tribute to one of the greats
One morning Westeria, commonly known as Eri, goes out hunting deep in the woods and on her return her powerful Wyse magic senses death and bloodshed in her Village Nar.When she arrives at her home she sees that everyone is dead except for Alysen who was protected by a "do not see me" spell by the witch Nanoo Gafna.Alysen claims that the leader of the men Lord Purvis came to kill Eri because her father the food taster for the Emperor is dead as is the Emperor.The empress wants the magic of her line to die with her.

Eri swears a blood oath to kill Lord Purvis but first she must get Alysen to the witches in Mardel's Fen protected by the woods and the earth magic that allows them to keep intruders out.Before they get there they rescue a trapped bird-like creature not knowing it is evil. It orders the two females to take it to a certain place but they destroy it before it can harm Eri and Alysen.After Alysen is put under the care of the Nanoos, their leader and Eri try and rescue Nanoo Gafna who saved Alysen.Eri is then free to complete her mission only she learns Lord Purvis is going to the village of Mardel's Fen; she races against time to stop another bloodbath.

This is the last book Andre Norton started to write before she died; Jean Rabe using outlines, notes and a few written chapters written complete the fine fantasy which contains the same magical feel as all the great author's books seem to have.Readers will sympathize with the heroine who blames herself for the deaths of her loved ones.However the shocker that makes this a delightful read is to learn who her true enemy is.

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

11. Red Magic (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, Book 3)
by Jean Rabe
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1991-12-03)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$9.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560761180
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The third novel of the Harpers series. The Red Wizards rule Thay, perhaps the most wicked land in all the Forgotten Realms. And one of the most powerful Red Wizards wants to control more than his share of the country. The Harpers, dedicated to restoring Good, send to Thay a magic-wielding council member to help infiltrate the malevolent land. Chapter heading illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not so good ending.
After reading through what I thought was going to be a good book, the ending was very disappointing, like when the author got near the ending she just gave up or ran out of detail and ideas.Very poor ending to what could've been a really good book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Realms: Red Magic by Jean Rabe
I like the series of the Forgotten Realms, but this book was for me way too dark; My 2 star rating is therefor not a rating of the author as such, but this particular novel in my very personal evaluation.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is the height of mediocrity
It's like Jean Rabe rolled some dice, DM'ed a game, and turned it into a novel.

I cannot communicate how incredibly sucky this book is. I had the misfortune to read it way back in 1995 or so when it came out. I was quite the AD&D fanatic back then, but this book was still crappy. What can I say -- the writing was wooden, the characters were lifted out of the Players Handbook --- need I go on?

I agree with the other reviews, Red Magic was like the 4th or 5th book in the Harper series, so some excuses may be made. But Elfshadow was a GOOD book. Well worth reading. I'm amazed that, ten years after I had the misfortune of reading Red Magic, Jean Rabe has chalked up a whole lot of books since then. I only hope her writing has improved in the interim.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE HARPERS vs THE RED WIZARDS!
Definitely one of the BEST in the Harpers Series and one of my personal favorites, RED MAGIC sheds light and provides a great insight into the magical world of Thay and the evil Red Wizards that inhabit it! The book is so incredibly well written that the reader feels that they have been transported to another plane of existence and are actually present among the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, sensing what they sense.Jean Rabe, has truly outdone himself and has presented us with a wonderful piece of literature the likes of which could be compared with JRR Tolkien's work, RA Salvatore's The Dark Elf and Icewind Dale trilogies, and in authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends trilogies.Magic, Heroes, and Villains are all about.In conclusion, it?s what Fantasy reading SHOULD be.A GREAT book indeed and a must read if you love Fantasy and especially if you love the Forgotten Realms! DON'T MISS IT!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars A good enjoyable read
I don't know what all the fuss is about; Jean Rabe has penned a good Harpers book.There are no earth-shattering revelations and your not going to find any truisms here (which is the case with most fantasy novels).

The characters are constructed fairly well.The villians are truly the most developed characters.I found myself anticipatingwhat would happen to the villians more than I did the heroes.In fact, if this weren't a Harpers book this could have made a nice starting point for a villians series.

To me the story reads like a good translation of a D&D module (unlike "Against the Giants").The characters are vibrant and colorful.

I enjoyed this book and I most people would also enjoy it. ... Read more

12. Furry Fantastic
Paperback: 320 Pages (2006-10-03)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756403812
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Magical creatures, great and small.

This original anthology gathers together eighteen fantastical stories about cats, dogs, mice, and other furry creatures from realms beyond our world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Furry Fantastic Anthology!
Animal lovers and fans of all forms of fantastic literature will adore this anthology of short stories devoted to creatures other than homo sapiens sapiens.Here are eighteen delightful tales of fantasy, dark fantasy and horror tales told from the viewpoints of the winged, scaled, furred and purely legendary.Herein you will find denizens of the city as well and roaming creatures of the wilderness. Their homes are sky, the forests and even cushy uptown condos.Like their homo relatives, some of these animals are drawn to light and courage, while others serve a darker purpose.Magic spells and portents abound in these stories where you will encounter dogs and cats as well as mice and gerbils--and practically every creature in between.Try Judi Rohrig's marvelously dark and cautionary tale of a wolf that bridges the dark territory between art and animal instinct.If you've been enjoying Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor, you will adore Paul Genesse's story, "The Mob", about a family of courageous little meerkats. C. J. Henderson turns in a wonderful examination of the loyalty of dogs with "All the Virtues of Man", and a dog returns from the dead in Diana Francis' "In Between the Dark and the Light".You'll find incredible stories from acclaimed writers who hail from every conceivable genre within the malleable borders of fantastic fiction.This is a cunning and magical blend of entertaining tales, some light-hearted, some darkly disturbing.All are deeply satisfying.I urge you to click on the cover and discover the FURRY FANTASTIC.It's the perfect cure for the winter blahs.

4-0 out of 5 stars fun fantasy collection starring animals
Before anyone decides this is too cute for fantasy, the editors remind the audience of the works of Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit), Richard Adams (Watership Down) and Robert C. O'Brien (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh).However, the inspiration for the theme comes from Andre Norton's "Catfantastic" tales.The eighteen all new stories are fun though mostly lighthearted as the contributors have had a good time writing the tales.The stars range from the normal fur bearers like dogs and cats to the rodent breed like mice, weasels, possums and gerbils; while some of the tales contain supernatural magical creatures who soar in the sky or come back from the dead.In all cases, the headliner battles evil using enchantments and courage to protect loved ones including human pets.Readers of short personification fantasies will appreciate this delightful anthology while those from the WC Fields' thought of never co-starring with animals (natural or paranormal) will pass as humans for the most part play a support part in danger roles.

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

13. Sword of the Seas: Atlantis Awakens!
by Jean Rabe, Shannon Eric Denton
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-14)
list price: US$2.99
Asin: B003VTZWYG
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Atlantis was lost to myth. Unfortunately the evil that destoyed it wasn’t. Now a young woman who has recently discovered she’s decended from the ancient Atlanteans is all that stands between mankind and the evil imprisoned beneath the sea until now! ... Read more

14. Downfall (The Dhamon Saga)
by Jean Rabe
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2000-06-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$8.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000F6Z6ZS
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
How far can a hero fall? Far enough to lose his soul? Dhamon Grimwulf, once a Hero of the Heart, has sunk into a bitter life of crime and squalor. Now, as the great dragon overlords of the Fifth Age coldly plot to strengthen their rule and to destroy their enemies, he must somehow find the will to redeem himself. But perhaps it is too late.Amazon.com Review
It's not easy being Jean. For some Dragonlance fans, the world of Krynn ended with Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragons of Summer Flame. Many Lancers would just as soon forget Jean Rabe's famously awful Fifth Age kickoff trilogy (The Dawning of a New Age, The Day of the Tempest, and The Eve of the Maelstrom), and that's putting it nicely. (Imagine the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons saying, "Worst fantasy author ever," and you'll begin to understand the enmity that Rabe has generated for herself.)

But Weis and Hickman returned triumphantly to the Fifth Age with Dragons of a Fallen Sun, proving that the reports of Krynn's death were, at worst, an exaggeration. So maybe--just maybe--Rabe deserves a fresh start in Dragonlance, too. Downfall begins a trilogy revolving around Dhamon Grimwulf, former Knight of Takhisis, ex-Hero of the Heart, and erstwhile co-protagonist of Rabe's aforementioned Dragons of a New Age series. Dhamon is on the outs, running around robbing the sick and the weak in cahoots with a kobold, a tattooed half-elf floozy, and a suspiciously powerful thief-wizard named Maldred. (Hmmm, there's something fishy about that guy...) In rolls plate-mail babe Fiona (a spit-shined Knight of Solamnia) and pirate-turned-good-guy Rig Mer-Krel, presumably to clean up Dhamon and set him on the straight and narrow. But faster than you can say "Charm Person," the entire crew ends up on the road together, heading off to bargain with an ogre chieftain, rescue a herd of goats, and ransom Fiona's brother from the black dragon overlord Sable. Or so they think. Quite a few switchbacks and blind canyons here, enough to keep you wondering what's around the next corner, but don't expect emotional, involved Weis-and-Hickman fare: while many Dragonlance fans would consider it damning praise, Downfall reads a lot like a decent Forgotten Realms adventure. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

2-0 out of 5 stars Read at your own risk
I should start off by saying that this is the first Dragon Lance book I have read so if there was some great back story that would have given life to these characters it was lost on me.

The Good

The story moves along at a decent pace with plenty of action and battles.

The Bad

A good story has to have a degree of logic behind it, things have to make since. Like if you knew where a valley with priceless gems just laying about was would you waste time robbing patients at a hospital? If you see a guy cozying up to your fiancé would you allow them to be alone together all the time? If you knew a spell that would allow you to explore a cavern without going into it would you wait until you were ¾ of the way in then use it?

Character problems. The characters over all came across as relatively flat.Maybe it is just my perception but perception becomes reality. I always pictured elves as graceful, intelligent, reserved and honorable even if they are only half elf. The one in this book comes across like a stupid red neck and is quite annoying.

Annoying writing habits. The author was apparently in a contest with someone to see who could use the phrase pommel of his/her sword and the word pommel the most time in one book. Jean Rabe wins! The phrase and word are repeated so often that I began to get mad every time I read it. I thought writers were supposed to be creative and use their extensive vocabulary to mix it up a little. Also why is everybody hissing everything? "Shut up" Rikali hissed. Also everyone always mouths something. "Wow" Maldred mouthed. No one ever just thinks something.

Anyways I could go on and on. Only read this if you have nothing else to read and no money to buy anything else.

4-0 out of 5 stars Different style, with different character types
I have read a few types of reviews about Jean Rabe's books, but to get the best opinion, you should read for yourself.
My own opinion is high.I like the detail about the atmosphere and suroundings the characters find themselves in.This detail really makes the scenes pop and come alive for me, and I appreciate it.The characters are not developed like in other Dragonlance novels, but whether you can fault Rabe, or not, is another matter.These characters are definately not like the originals, such as Caramon or Goldmoon.They are quite a contrast, struggling with good and bad, right and wrong.A solamnic ammong theives, a fallen hero, a pirate questioning life; these characters are much more delicate, and as such, require a different way to bring them to life.Is Rabe's way the best?I can't say I know what the best way is, but I found her style well done, and this book a good read.I recomend it, and await reading the next in the series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dragonlance: Downfall the legend of Dhamon
Downfall by Jean Rave is very well planned out. The plot is easy to seperate from the details of book. The adventure in the story is engrossing. and mysterious. While teh characters are journeying around and the events take place, no matter what the story alwyas stay on track of it's main plot. It's a good stroy, but it's like a movine-if you miss a poart, then it doesn't make sense at all. The plot of the story is clear and easy to follow. While reading the story, I admit it was hard to remember all of teh hundreds of citeis that they had traveld to. But it was also easy to understand the past of teh main character. Since the book is part of a saga, the ending that led to the sequels wasn't too vague. The antagonist and the heros of the book aren't all that hard to seperate, but they could use a little work. It was really amazing to me how the author how the author made you feel like you were part of the story. The book also described the characters very vividly. I could easily picture each of the characters personalities. The way the book was written, it felt like something important was always happening and that none of the information was there just to make it look long. The author made all of the creatures come to life and made a wonderful book to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable
After having spent the last couple years reading text books for school, I was ready for a great adventure.Although Rabe's Downfall was not the greatest book in the world, it did satisfy my immediate needs.The thing I thought was hokey is a couple times when one of the main characters, Maldred, uses magic to win the heart of his traveling companion, Fiona, and all I could think of is that it's the Jedi Mind Trick all over again. Oh well. The book had it's moments and was good enough that I ordered the other two books in the series.

1-0 out of 5 stars this book is not good
Downfall was the first book I read from Dragonlance realm, big mistake on my part.But I didn't learn and thought the second book of this series, betrayl, would be better.BoyO', I was wrong.

Downfall starts off with the main character, Dhaemon, being an uninteresting and very annoying, it ends the same way too.The plot and the characters were very hard to believe and were even harder to like.After finishing this book it left me with nothing, except a strongly dislike towards dragonlance novels and for a couple of years I refused to read them. But don't worry, I like Dragonlance now.

Even if you have read the core books (chronicles and legends) and are looking for other dragonlance novels, stay clear of this one.It's really horrible. ... Read more

15. Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms
by Jean Rabe, Christopher Heath
Paperback: 272 Pages (2009-09-27)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$14.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0984261001
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Stories of the fantastic have captured the hearts and inspired the dreams of people since the sagas of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and Beowulf were first uttered.These mythic tales have helped mankind define the concepts of good and evil, and the epic struggle between the two.Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms continues this tradition with twenty-two fantastic tales of magic, forgotten worlds, and the conflict between the hero and the villain.From burning deserts to the center of the sea, from enchanted forests to King Arthur's court, and from dueling wizards to beleaguered cities, Shadows & Light has something for everyone who has ever wondered "what if?".Authors in this volume include: Jean Rabe, Vaughn Heppner, Max Wright, Scott Harper, Christopher Heath, Laura Eno, JW Schnarr, Jessy Marie Roberts, Bill Ward, Christopher Jacobsmeyer, Kody Boye, Lydia Sharp, Martin Turton, D.M. Bonanno, Jessica A. Weiss, Carrie Harris, Gustavo Bondoni, Paul L. Bates, Ray Kolb, Alva J. Roberts, Jonathan Shipley, and John B. Rosenman. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine addition to any collection of short fiction
Fantasy has always emphasized man battling an evil greater than themselves. "Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms" is a collection of fantasy short stories compiled by Alva J. Roberts, bring tales from many different authors, using their own interpretations of fantasy and the battles between man and an evil they can't comprehend. Drawing from traditional mythology to more original fantasies, "Shadows & Light" is a fine addition to any collection of short fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet collection of fantasy short fiction
The literary palates of fantasy readers will appreciate the flavors packed into the anthology Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms. This premium box of chocolates was published by the Pill Hill Press and edited by Alva J. Roberts, who can certainly be proud of the twenty-two short stories that mix a full measure of fantasy with a couple dashes of horror.

The overall quality of the writing in this anthology is very strong. The stories grabbed my attention right away within the first paragraphs and often the first sentences. Vivid imagery, strong emotions, smooth transitions, and tireless action were standards upheld by every author selected for the anthology, and, like a book of paint swatches, all the darker shades of the genre were represented. A daring elf queen, female centaur, changeling warriors, a priestess of the dead, and a barbarian king are a smattering of examples from this suite of stories that were obviously written and selected with care.

As with any anthology, some stories resonated with me more than others, but this will vary with the tastes of each reader. One of my favorites was Azerian: Pawn of the Serpentine Witch by Christopher Heath that could be labeled as heroic fantasy or barbarian fantasy. With lizard men who sacrificed humans, a powerful witch desiring pregnancy, and a barbarian king, this story flowed like hot lava and drew me into its frightening action. My only complaint about the story would be its epilogue, which I considered unnecessary. It answered a few questions, but mostly I thought it came across as notes for future stories that should have been written instead of summarized in an epilogue.

Another story of note is Shadow on the Edge of the City of Light by Bill Ward. It was a well done study in the corruption of an abused innocent who was twisted by a strange seductress and a potently evil ancient sword. The main character's transition to an evil dark lord by an exploitative lover was stark and believable.

Then Lydia Sharp's story The Keeper of Secrets tugged at my emotions as the heroine went to a fateful meeting with her estranged mother. I could relate to apprehension at a homecoming after long departure. Plus, I loved how this story included ocean-based fantasy life forms that supported the protagonist, like mermaids and an octopus being.

Another story with powerful emotions was Treischan Strength by D.M Bonanno who told of an ancient and dying tree's struggle to save its offspring. I have always been sensitive to the life within trees, and I was touched by this narrative that showed the courage of trees.

For fantasy readers who are also fascinated by the Roman Empire, the Sword of Rasna by Gustavo Bondoni offers a fantastical view of the historical struggle between a rising Rome and the older Etruscan society. On a further military note The Siege of Ravelin by Ray Kolb is a well told tale. It compelled me to keep reading with its instant aura of mystery as a bored soldier keeps watch over a supposedly dead city that has been under siege for a century. The author succeeded in making me know that something terrible was going to happen and want to keep reading.

All the stories in this thoughtfully produced anthology deserve praise even if I did not mention them specifically. I rarely give a perfect five sword review because that rating has to be withheld for the best books, but this anthology really did strike me as a superior collection of short fantasy fiction. Shadows and Light would make a great introduction to the genre for someone unfamiliar with it, and it definitely reminded me of why I like fantasy so much.
... Read more

16. Steampunk'd
Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-11-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0756406439
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Steampunk can be defined as a subgenre of science fiction that is typically set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian setting, where steam power is prevalent. Consider the slogan: "What the past would look like if the future had come along earlier." The stories in this all-original anthology explore alternate timelines and have been set all over the world, running the gamut from science fiction to mystery to horror to a melding of these genres. ... Read more

17. The Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels (Forgotten Realms Campaign Adventure)
by Donald Bingle, Jean Rabe, Norm Ritchie
Paperback: 210 Pages (1994-02)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$341.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560768215
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A worthy, original sequel to the original
The legacy of the most infamous super-dungeon of all time continues in this unspeakably huge and darkly fun boxed set.The first set was just the beginning - now, submit your heroes to the Deep Levels!You get:2 entirebooks of monsters, adventures, adversaries and treasures, 16 pages of newmonsters, 4 giant poster maps highlighting the most dangerous levels in thedungeon, and a pile of cardsheets to help you whip up diabolical traps inan instant.Highest recommendation! ... Read more

18. This And That And Tales About Cats
by Jean Rabe
Paperback: 244 Pages (2008-08-05)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$16.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 098020867X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Inside this collection you'll find . . .An outmoded space station, a busty kitchen witch, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Mark Twain, a Civil War submarine, a beautiful ghost with an ugly temper, robots, thieves, an elderly Templar knight, sailing ships, WWI airplanes, a few monsters, and wolves who love jazz.In short, you'll find this and that . . . and a few tales about cats.Oh, and there's one very smart dog in the mix, too. ... Read more

19. Shadowrun #5: Aftershock A Shadowrun Novel
by Jean Rabe, John Helfers
Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-07-05)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451461010
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The troll known as Hood and his fellow Shadowrunners steal some biotechnological agriculture from the Plantech Corporation-only to find themselves framed for murder and tied to an even greater conspiracy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars No more elves...
I wasn't a huge fan of the book.I felt it did a good job setting up the Shadowrun world, but some of the characters beyond irritating.

You have a male elf who the author makes out as perfect.He's fighting small armies single-handedly and throws out terrible one-liners all while keeping a grin on his face.I hated everything about this character and his creepy, incestuous-implied relationship with his sister elf.

The male elf has a sister who is a caster.The irritating thing with movies/books that involve magic is it's like watching an episode of the old batman show; there is always a magic gadget (spell in this case) that saves the party from impending doom.It's nice to know that the caster can muster up powerful magic on a moment's notice that she has next-to-no experience with.

The orc hacker is odd - at best.She has no real purpose in the book except to make problems for the runners.She had potential to be interesting but gets all but written out of the book halfway through.

Not all of the characters are bad.Hood (troll), Roland (human), and Jhones (dwarf) kept me reading.

The story itself does a good job recreating the Shadowrun world.It's a silly at times and the ending was a little disappoint.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the 6 Shadowrun Books
The other reviewers did a nice job on the recap. In the end, I am a hardcore Shadowrun RPG fan. This book came closest in the series to explaining the new 4th edition environment. It was written at a higher reading level than the other books and I enjoyed it immensely. The first 3 books in the series tie together nicely but are neither challenging, nor original. Books 4 and 6 had some good points but lacked that 4th edition feel.
If you want to see what 4th edition SR is all about read this book. The others were good for a 1 night read or to collect the series if you're into that. Otherwise, borrow them from a friend or local library.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great Sci FI
Good solid sci-fi set in the shadowrun world.Just make sure you read the whole trilogy SR 4-6.The troll robin hood with the crazy standard not to "geek" anyone who is shooting and throwing grenades at his team gets a little tedious at times.In a great reveal at the end we find out who he realy is and the reason for his crazy behavior.The troll's team does some crazy James Bond like behavior like chopping down light poles with a mono whip while riding on the top of a swerving van and taking fire from several cars all to avoid killing anyone.Now let me ask you a question if you have a monowhip... How do you not kill people with it?

4-0 out of 5 stars Busting stereotypes in the genre
Let me preface this with some personal background: I'm big on screwing with the common perceptions of people.I've been an SR fan since way back (bought my copy of the first edition in August 1989) when I was in college the first time.I am now studying law for my second tour of academic duty.In between, I have worked construction, on a loading dock and as a bouncer (6'5" tall).Despite being an "Appalachian-American" (a fancy way of saying "hillbilly"), I don't have a twang and can speak six languages aside from English (I also spent time abroad teaching English as a second language).So to look at me, you would assume "brute" unless otherwise informed. That being said, I really enjoyed this book's concept of the hulking thing (Hood the troll) as the brains of the outfit with a serious compunction against homicide.I can also appreciate his fixation on a cultural icon (Robin Hood as presented by Errol Flynn).A similar fixation caused me to learn to fence back in college, a hobby I maintain to this day.The decker/rigger, Max, is an ork, again a member of a race frequently assigned to the brute-force/low-brow roles.Contrarily, the combat powerhouse is an elf physical adept, which is somewhat against type.I agree that the motivations and personality of Max (ork) are not particularly well developed, but for those of us who have played the game, how many times have we felt thoroughly shafted by our employers?For most of us, that happens in real life, we just don't usually have the opportunity to renegotiate our paychecks on the fly.I enjoyed the novel and look forward to more from this author/team.

5-0 out of 5 stars i beg to differ !!
i disagree completely with the above guy. i'm an old school SR fan and was glad to see someone take liberties with the normal roles of each race. yes, max wasnt very well written, but a refreshingtwist on a race that's usually all muscle and no brain. ditto for the character "hood". not since "changeling" (#5 of the first series) has a troll been potrayed other that a brainless bruiser. it was nice to see a troll with taste. ... Read more

20. Elminster's Ecologies (AD&D 2nd Ed Fantasy Roleplaying, Forgotten Realms)
by James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth
 Paperback: 210 Pages (1994-09-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$99.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560769173
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