Tag Archives: anthology

Charmed Life

Jones, Diana Wynne. Charmed Life (2001 ed.) 263 Pages. Greenwillow Books. $6.95

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci

Ok, so in reality this is part 1 of the Omnibus edition of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume 1, but in an effort to keep my reviews of a manageable length, I’m breaking the volume up into individual stories. (There are only 2, and they’re each at least 200 pages, so I feel justified in this.) Besides, it took me two full days to read this (in part because I’m working so many hours) so if I were to wait until I’ve read the entire volume, I’d never get the review up.

Gwendolen is all the family Cat has left after a boating accident kills their parents. Because there is nobody else, Cat clings desperately to his older sister, to the point that he has no real identity of his own. He’s the prodigy’s younger brother, the boy who survives by clinging to Gwendolen.

Meanwhile, Gwendolen has aspirations. She’s outgrown their little street, and believes that it’s time that their distant relation, Chrestomanci, takes them in. She writes him a letter, and convinces him to bring them into his home.

Cat doesn’t really know what to make of life in Chrestomanci’s home; Millie immediately makes them welcome, but he doesn’t quite know what to expect from Julia and Roger. Chrestomanci refuses to allow Gwendolen to learn advanced magic, instead insisting that she must first get an elementary education before starting over at beginning magic. She is furious, and spends quite a bit of time getting attention, until she finally angers Chrestomanci to the point that he takes away her magic, which is when everything gets really crazy.

In Conclusion:

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci have a special spot in my heart, because I have read it several times. I’ve owned several copies and editions of most of these stories (at least 2 or 3 copies of the omnibus edition, for example). It’s an excellent descent into a well thought-out world, which is controlled by beautiful prose and strong characterization. It’s also a bit of a page-turner, even when you sort of remember what’s coming next. It gets a 5/5.

___________________________________

On an aside, I really love the way the universe is introduced in the forward-thing:

There are thousands of worlds, all different from ours. Chrestomanci’s world is the one next door to us, and the difference here is that magic is as common as music is with us. It is full of people working magic– warlocks, witches, thaumaturges, sorcerers, fakirs, conjurors, hexers, magicians, mages, shamans, divinsers and many more– from the lowest Certified witch right up to the most powerful enchanters. Enchanters are strange as well as powerful. Their magic is different and stronger and many of them have more than one life.

Now, if someone did not control all these busy magic-users, ordinary people would have a horrible time and probably end up as slaves. So the government appoints the very strongest enchanter there is to make sure no one misuses magic. This enchanter has nine lives and is known as “the Chrestomanci.” You pronounce it KREST-OH-MAN-SEE. He has to have a strong personality as well as strong magic.

– Diana Wynne Jones (0)

The universes of the Magids does not seem so very different from the worlds of Chrestomanci, and I think it would be interesting if they ever overlapped.

3 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Shakespeare’s Storybook

Ryan, Patrick & Mayhew, James. Shakespeare’s Storybook: Folk Tales that Inspired the Bard (2001). 80 Pages. Barefoot Books. $19.99

We all know that it’s only recently that plagiarism really became “bad,” and that playwrights and novelists borrowed liberally from folk tales, novels, and reality to create a lot of their works. I’m sure any of us who have studied any of Shakespeare’s work are aware that he did not think up everything. Rather, he took what was available and adapted it into the very special plays which we know (and mostly love) today.

What this novel does is summarize the barest details of the play, and then introduce a folktale which it was likely (or is known to have been) based off of. It’s illustrated, and explained in terms that your average elementary schooler could understand. My sister Kim said “Hey, that’s cool, I guess.”* The illustrations aren’t bad, either. (They’re really done in a very nicely stylized way.)

We’ve got several stories: “The Devil’s Bet” for The Taming of the Shrew, “The Hill of Roses” for Romeo and Juliet, “A Bargain is a Bargain” for The Merchant of Venice, “Snowdrop” for As You Like It, “Ashboy” for Hamlet, “Cap-o-Rushes” for King Lear, and “The Flower Princess” for The Winter’s Tale.

The stories are nothing special, and most of them are at least passingly familiar. Several of them are Cinderella variations (something I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading) and a few are your standard folktales. A little is said about the origins of each of them, and it is a very cute book. (One which I will be donating to the library, since I don’t need to re-read a children’s book about Shakespeare when I have my massive Norton anthology of Shakespeare anyhow.)

I could explain the contents of the folk tales, but I’ll resist the urge. I’m sure most of you know most of them anyhow. The biggest issue I had with the book was the last story (“The Flower Princess”) in which a “wisest wise woman” calls a King and a Prince “You stupid idiots!” which just doesn’t seem very wise to me. Aside from the fact that her grammar is atrocious, and her vocabulary is hardly child appropriate, there is the fact that she just called two fairly powerful men “Stupid Idiots” to their faces. Before she leads them to “a painting” of their dead loves, only to find out that it’s not a painting when they start to sing. I mean, really. They couldn’t figure out they weren’t a painting? I realize that I’m obsessing over something which by fairy tale conventions I should be willing to ignore, but I’m just not sure I can ignore this one. (And Kim, said sister agreed with me.)

The Quick Version:

If you’re looking to introduce an elementary schooler to some Shakespeare, or want a light fluffy folk-tale read with some heavier literature relationships, then this is the book for you. It’s not terrible, actually. It gets a 3.5/5 and will be donated to the library when I have the time to drop it off.

_______________________________________

* She’s 10 next month, so “cool, I guess” is about as enthusiastic as she gets right now. She’s in her “whatever” phase.

5 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits

McKinley, Robin & Dickinson, Peter. Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits (2009). 297 Pages. Penguin Young Readers. $19.99

I never really thought about the possibility that a husband & wife team could actually write together in a cohesive way. I suppose I was working under the theory that one would ride on the other’s coattails, and the book would be a failure. Clearly, that was a poor assumption, as both Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley are strong writers in their own right, and both have brought significant contributions to this anthology.

There are five stories in this volume, though there might once have been six. But that was before both Sunshine and Chalice became full-length novels, instead of  novellas or short stories, suitable for inclusion. Three stories are by Peter Dickinson; “Phoenix,” “Fireworm,” and “Salamander man.” Two are by Robin McKinley; “Hellhound” and “First flight.” I have to say that I loved every single story, and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.

The volume opens with “Phoenix,” which takes a while to really unravel, but as it moves along, it reveals itself nicely. In a park in England there is a small preserve- Dave’s Wood. It is here that Ellie meets a boy, one who knows far more about the animals and trees in that little patch of forest than any child has time to know. The story isn’t about Ellie, rather, it is revealed to her by the Phoenix’s companions. There’s a lot going on, and there are a few surprises (though more of the “ooh, that’s nice” than the “omg what just happened” variety.) It was well-written, and very nicely paced.

I’m clearly biased to like Robin McKinley’s stories, so I doubt it’s a surprise that I loved “Hellhound.” Especially since I read her blog, and know that she refers to her own dogs as Hellhounds.*Our main character is Miri, a teenage girl who grew up helping at her family’s stable– cleaning, helping with horses, teaching riding lessons, and leading trail rides. Things begin to change when Miri graduates high school, and goes to the pound to adopt a dog. There she meets Flame, a dog she calls “hellhound” because of his solid red eyes. Some rather magical things happen, and Miri’s relationship with Flame enables her to save her brother from death.

If I had to say I had a least-favorite story in this volume, it would be “Fireworm,” which is about a rather primitive tribe and their nemesis; the fireworm. Tandin is an outcast in his tribe, because nobody knows his father, because of this, he holds no rank, and must sleep further from the fire than any other man in the tribe. Perhaps it is because he is so far from the fire that he wakes one night, to realize that the fireworm has appeared beneath their fire. He manages to save the tribe, and learns that he is to become a spirit walker– a sort of shaman. Because of insights he gains in the spirit world, he is able to help his tribe to defeat the fire worm at last. There are emotional consequences for characters, and I’m not sure I really liked the story. There were too many chances for Tandin to change course, chances which he ignored in favor of killing.

After “Fireworm” came “Salamander man” which was an interesting story. Tib has always known a life of slavery, and he has always served Aunt Ellila– a fact in which he was lucky, as the old woman actually cared for him. He helps her with her market stall, moving it, assembling it, and guarding it for her every day. Everything changes when a magician arrives, and forces Aunt Ellila to sell Tib. Desperately, the old woman gives Tib the one thing she can give; a salamander arm-band. However, despite the fact that most magicians are evil, this one is not, and has other plans for Tib. A lot of this story is told, rather than shown, but I feel like it’s solid nonetheless. The story was interesting, and I found myself caring what happened to Tib, and hoping things went well for the boy.

The volume closes with “First Flight” which is the longest of all the stories. Ern’s parents had his life planned out for him from the very beginning. His eldest brother Dag was to be a dragon rider. His second brother was a spiritspeaker, and Ern, the youngest son, was to be a wizard. In a lot of ways, this works out for everyone, the story isn’t about them chafing against their roles, rather, it is about how they embrace them. Though there is a middle brother, the story is more about Ern and Dag than the third sibling (whose name I cannot even recall). Ern has a talent for healing, though he denies it to himself constantly. He has a pet foogit (which is somewhere between a dog and a dragon) that he saved during its puppyhood. This ends up being very significant. A lot happens, and I don’t want to say too much about it because there is so very much to give away, but Ern goes to the Dragon Academy with his brother Dag, not quite knowing what he would do, but hoping to do something to help.

The Quick Version:

With five very solid stories by two very talented authors, this anthology is definitely worth reading. It is the second book in what should eventually become four elemental anthologies. Every story is a nice read, and they work well together as a set. It gets a solid 5/5.

____________________________________________

* They look almost exactly like I would expect Hellhounds to look, too.

4 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (Anthology)

Elrod, P.N. My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (2008). 358 Pages. St Martin’s Griffin. $13.95

I like trade paperbacks, they’re big, and they feel solid when you hold them. However, they’re tough on my style (what little there is) because while most of my purses are chosen for their ability to carry a book, mass market paperbacks are more common, and fit into more of my purses more easily. I checked this book out well over a month ago, and have been slowly reading it, trying to get through it, and wondering why it was so very difficult to read. I’ve decided that it is because of its format, and the fact that it is so very hard to fit it into my purse, so I haven’t been taking it to work for lunch-time reading.

Anyway, this is a very solid volume with a lot of stories that I really enjoyed. I sort of wish I’d read My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding first, but this was an impulse grab from a bookshelf, so I didn’t realize there was another volume in this set. (Though it’s hardly a prequel/sequel pair, as most of the stories are unique from the first volume, though I hesitate to call them stand-alones.) Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Sword & Sorceress (Anthology, #22)

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress XXII (2007). 269 Pages. Norilana Books. $9.95

I don’t know if I mentioned that I come from a town with a one-room library. It was the first floor of an old victorian, and it didn’t really have much in the way of books. My school had a library, and in elementary school, I believe I managed to read their entire collection, and then some. It was my preferred place to spend lunchtime. I’ve never had a library card before. (Small towns, they just write down your name, because they know you.) When I moved to the Bay Area, I had a school-ID library card, and then I got my first non-school card from the San Leandro Public Library, which was very exciting. I discovered that you can put books on Hold, and when you come in, they’re waiting for you.

I have abused this power to no end. I have a 20-book-long hold list, and every time I come in to turn some in, I’ve got more waiting. It makes life more fun, I think. (It also means that when I go to the library, I can limit myself to the holds shelves so I don’t leave with more than I can read in 2 weeks.)

Oh, there was a point to all this. Because I get my books by putting them on hold, I don’t really get to know what format the book is going to be in when I get there. (Or what shape– there have been several books that I’ve wanted to repair quite badly, but when I left the library*, I lost my access to book-repair and book-binding supplies.) Every other Sword & Sorceress novel has been a mass market paperback, but apparently when they switched publishers, they switched formats. Sword & Sorceress XXII is edited by Elizabeth Waters**

Anyway, there are sixteen stories in this volume, so as I’ve done in the past, I’ll choose a few that really stood out.

I’m going to start at the back of the book with Sarah Dozier’s “The Menagerie.” It’s a good story, and it entertained me, except that it is so very, very similar to “Oulu” by Aimee Kratts, which was in volume XXI. It’s forgivable to use similar stories more than once in a series, but to do so in two volumes which are back-to-back is a problem. Yes, they do take very different approaches to a similar twist, but that does not make them sufficiently different from each other.

“Night Watches” by Catherine Soto re-introduces Biao Mei and Lin Mei– a pair of siblings who made their first appearance in Sword & Sorceress XXI (though, in a story I didn’t review). There was a hint of magic last time, but this time it becomes a bit more blatant; there are magical beings mincing around in this story. (And a bit of political intrigue.) In the first story, it was hinted that these siblings were seeking… something. We haven’t learned what by the end of this story, but it’s led us a little deeper into their world. I am very interested to see where they go, and what is going on with their world.

“Vanishing Village” by Margaret L. Carter has a little bit of a twist, and features a story that’s not quite what you expect. I don’t know how to say a whole lot more without saying too much, but there’s an interesting spell which made this town “vanish.”

Kimberly L. Maughan’s “The Ironwood Box” starts with a form of magic I’ve never read about, as well as a unique political system. It’s a little reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s Beauty or Rose Daughter in that there are three sisters living in a cottage in the forest. I suppose that’s not a very strong parallel, but one makes me think of the other. The characters are interesting, and their story intriguing, making this one of the hilights of the volume.

Dave Smeds has one of the more unique stories with “Bearing Shadows,” which I read while on BART. Aerise loses everything when her baby glows in her belly. It is a mark that she is carrying the child of a Cursed One, something which she is cast out of her village for. Not knowing what to do, and afraid for herself (and to a degree, the unwanted child she is carrying), she goes to the Cursed Ones for help. Slowly, she comes to understand why she was chosen, but she never quite forgives. It’s a very emotional story, with what I hesitate to call a happy ending, though it is hopeful.

When I was a kid, I had a book of short stories which included “The Lady, or the Tiger” which I found to be infuriating. When I later found its sequel, I was only more annoyed. To put it simply, “The Decisive Princess” by Catherine Mintz left me far, far more satisfied by the end of the story. I don’t want to say a lot more, because there isn’t a lot to say without spoiling it, but it’s a very good short story.

One of the darker stories in the series is “Tontine” by Robert E. Vardeman– a lone mercenary enters a bar, and proceeds to drink a very special bottle of wine. There are five glasses worth of wine, added to the bottle by herself and her four friends in their youth. With each glass, she not only remembers her fallen comrades, but relives their deaths through their eyes. Then, Jonna drinks her own glass, and without us ever knowing what she saw, she leaves the bar, off on journeys unknown. It’s brilliant, and unique, and like nothing I ever expected.

The Quick Version:

Elizabeth Waters is not Marion Zimmer Bradley, but she manages to continue the series with the same sort of spirit as her mentor. A lot of the stories were very good, though a few fell flat. It scores a 3.5/5, because there were some very, very good ones, but one too many were mediocre or forgettable enough that I don’t remember them today.

_________________________________________________

* During College, I worked in the Library, and was a Periodicals and Processing Student Assistant. (Long title, I know.) The very best part about this job was getting to repair the really old books. The coolest one ever was The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in large-format hard-back from the 19th century. It had the etchings in it. We got to re-do the binding, and it was the most amazing, satisfying, and fun thing I’ve ever done. Because when you’re done, you’ve helped preserve history, and while you’re doing it, you’re engaged– your mind, your hands, and all your skills. Ok, I think I should stop dorking out about book repair, because there aren’t a lot of people who share that passion with me.

** Elizabeth Waters was apparently Marion Zimmer Bradley’s editorial assistant from Sword & Sorceress II until she died. Ms Waters is about as close as you can get to MZB’s editorial style, so they chose her to continue the series. It works, I think.

This Book is part of the Local Library Reading Challenge! It is part of the Short Story Reading Challenge!

4 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Fantasy, High Fantasy

Unexpected Magic (Anthology)

Jones, Diana Wynne. Unexpected Magic (2004). 590 Pages. Greenwillow Books. $7.99

There are 16 stories here (fifteen of which are short stories, and one of which is a novella), all written by Diana Wynne Jones (which of course means that they’re fabulous). The highlight of the book is definitely the novella at the end, but all of the short stories are fun, and a bit witty with just a hint of magic. Of course, with a title like Unexpected Magic, one expects a lot of magic, and this book is certainly not disappointing. Despite the fact that the magic is entirely expected, it does find new and creative ways to manifest itself, ways which are certainly not what you thought they would be without feeling like a forced twist. For the sake of space, I’m attempting to keep the blurbs brief (bear with me where I fail.)

Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Humor, Romance, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Sword & Sorceress (Anthology, #21)

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress XXI (2004). 308 Pages. DAW Books. $6.99

I really do love anthologies. They make you feel accomplished every time you reach the end of a story. Unfortunately, such bite-sized pieces mean that I’m much more easily distracted and have difficulty pacing myself properly to be able to review daily (or at least every-other day). Diana L Paxson is the editor of this anthology, which still bears Ms Bradley’s name because it was her creation.

There are 23 stories in this one, each and every one featuring a strong heroine. As with the last Sword & Sorceress I reviewed, we’re going to pick a few hilights, because there is so much to say about every single story in here.

“Growing up, I had imagined my life would be full of danger, excitement, and fabulous riches. I wound up with two out of the three…” (21) begins “The Spell of the Sparrow” by Jim C. Hines. It’s a lovely, funny story about family acceptance and magical sparrows. It isn’t what you expect, and that’s what makes it such a good story.

Esther M. Friesner’s “Child’s Play” is from the point-of-view of a child, which gives it a certain charm which it would otherwise lack. Mira’s father married That Woman after her mother’s death, and it has changed her life for the worse. When the King learns of her magical abilities he sends people to get her, but they want her father’s permission (they’ve learned something about taking seers against their will in the past). I can’t say much more without ruining the story, but it was really a very good one.

“Necessity and The Mother” by Lee Martindale was another gem. Donta has followed her family’s legacy in more than one way; like her ancestors before her, she was a mercenary until she lost a limb, and like those ancestors, too, she retired to run The Mercenary’s Mother, an Inn and Tavern built by her family. Things go a bit crazy when the town decides to ban all metal, causing all of the mercenaries in town to uproot and move to Donta’s family farm. The end is hardly unexpected, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

“Plowshares” by Rebecca Maines is another good story which is not exactly surprising. It involves Canterbury*, bandits, and a not-so-surprising-if-you’re-familiar-with-fantasy-tropes twist. Or maybe because I read this before, I knew where it was going. Either way, it was fun, but not surprising.

Lynn Morgan Rosser’s “Favor of the Goddess” was a solid story, with a lot of lovely prose. Again, it plays with familiar themes, but it’s not exactly surprising. A beggar with amnesia finds out that she is much more important than she knows and learns an important lesson.

“Rose in Winter” by Marie M Loughin was not what I expected at all. Rosabel is the daughter of a lesser lord, and is more than a little overwhelmed by her first winter in the King’s court. She attracts the attention of the court Jester, as well as the King’s nephew, and is faced with a life-altering choice she is not prepared to make. The ending was surprising**.

“Kazhe’s Blade” by Terry McGarry is another mercenary tale; this time about one who’s lost herself in alcohol and doesn’t want to find a way out. Unfortunately, she’s not going to be able to wallow and lose herself in the bottom of any more glasses. She had a destiny once, and had thought herself a failure, only to learn that it is not as over as she thought.

“Oulu” by Aimee Kratts follows a very dark storyline which is not at all what you expected. Small towns can twist people, make them darker than anyone would expect. I don’t think I liked it, but it stands out in my memory.

The Quick Version:

I really did enjoy this volume a lot. Short stories are perfect for riding on trains, or for breaks at work. This collection especially tends to have good stories which follow familiar (but often re-thought) themes. It, like most volumes in the series, gets a 5 out of 5.

__________________________________________________

* My college had a Great Books program which involved reading The Canterbury Tales so many times that I know some of the stories by heart. Every time I hear someone say “The Canterbury Tales” (especially my mother when she does it in her silly voice) my PTSD kicks in and I giggle like an idiot. When I read about a pilgrimage to Canterbury, it’s doubly so. I giggled like an idiot and was at a loss to explain it to anyone.

** Spoilers: It was sad, and I even found myself crying a little. Highlight to read.

This book is part of the Short Story Reading Challenge!

3 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Fantasy, High Fantasy

Sword & Sorceress (Anthology, #17)

Marion Zimmer Bradley Presents: Sword & Sorceress XVII (2000). 312 Pages. DAW Books. $6.99

This is the last volume in this anthology series which Marion Zimmer Bradley was alive to compile. Each and every story was hand-picked by her, and featured a strong heroine. The entire concept of a high-fantasy anthology about strong women appeals to me. I was known to read anthologies of stories for strong girls, and that habit has never quite faded. I love the kick-ass heroine, the princess who slays her own dragons (or indentures herself to them) instead of waiting for prince charming.

There are 21 stories in this book, which is a lot to give even the briefest of per-story synopsis about, so I’ll choose a couple favorites. (Book of Enchantments only featured 9 stories, so it was considerably easier to summarize them all).

“The Conjurer’s Light” by Lisa Campos is about a conjurer, a princess, a sword, and destiny. “I have learned to Conjure thousands of images in my life, and of them all, butterflies have always been my favorite” (31). Faced with the impossible task of conjuring a sword from legend, our Conjurer must find a way to triumph.

“The Summons” by Bunnie Bessell is a story with a different flavor. Blaze is a mercenary-of-sorts, charged with guarding the heir to the crown. However, when her Temple gives her an order she never expected, she has to find a way to cope and choose a new path for her life.

“Deep as Rivers” by Cynthia McQuillin is bittersweet. A troll falls in love with an elf, and makes a huge sacrifice (which is unappreciated). It is especially enjoyable because there are so few stories about Trolls. It is very bittersweet because of the way things turn out, but the end is hopeful for a better future.

“Nor Iron Bars a Cage” by Deborah Wheeler is another excellent story, which doesn’t turn out quite how you expect. Alaina has the ability to speak to metal, and metal spirits, something her father has taken advantage of. However, this same skill may one day give her the ability to change her fate.

“Memories Traced in Snow” by Dave Smeds is nothing like what you expect when you begin reading. The town of Cascade Dell has forgotten… something, but nobody knows that they do not remember, nobody realizes that they have forgotten. Should they have a hint that something is wrong, they will have forgotten that by morning. The memory is not what you expect, and the hunt for the missing memories is impressively written.

It’s a very, very good anthology, one which I enjoyed a lot the first time, and I enjoyed nearly as much the second time around.

The Quick Version:

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress is an excellent anthology series, featuring solid stories with a firm unifying theme. It gets a 5/5 for being so excellent. (This is possibly my favorite volume in the series, honestly)

And so opens the Attack of the Anthologies, a solid week of me reading far too many anthologies for my own good.

3 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Fantasy, High Fantasy

The Book of Enchantments (Anthology)

Wrede, Patricia C. The Book of Enchantments (1996). 234 Pages. Magic Carpet Books. $5.95

Shortly after I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles the first time around, I came across a little red book with a picture of a snake-thing on it. I thought it was weird, but I was on a short-story anthology kick, and I knew I liked the author. (I apparently also like the editor- Jane Yolen, though I didn’t know that at the time.) Unfortunately, like most of Ms. Wrede’s other books, it has been republished in the last decade with a lousy little-kid cover. The cover aside, it’s a good book. There are ten stories in this book, and I must admit, I liked some better than others.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, Fairy Tales Retold, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Humor, Realistic Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction