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Unbound II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy…
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Unbound II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy (edição 2022)

por Shawn Speakman

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622,602,780 (3.75)Nenhum(a)
Membro:justgeekingby
Título:Unbound II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy
Autores:Shawn Speakman
Informação:Grim Oak Press, Kindle Edition, 529 pages
Coleções:Read, A sua biblioteca
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Unbound II por Shawn Speakman

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Originally posted on Just Geeking by.

Content warnings:
Content warnings for each story:

‘Imperial Court’ by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson – Violence, gun violence, blood, death, poisoning by insect bites, and betrayal. As a result of betrayal and poisoning, a victim becomes disabled, losing bodily function and putting them at the mercy of an abusive family member. Discussion of off page scenes of death, bombing, death by fire, loss of a family member, poisoning, and assassinations.

‘A Poor Reflection’ by Peter Orullian – Religious tyranny.

‘The Shadhavar’ by Saara El-Arifi – Poaching, hunting, blood, violence, death, and branding.

‘Gladys and the Whale’ by Kevin Hearne – Deforestation, and animal death.

‘Moonflower Alchemy’ by Jordan Ross – Slavery, death, blood, violence, betrayal, murder of women (off page), war, massacre of families and children (off page).

‘The True Adventures of Gilgamesh and Enkidu’ by Dyrk Ashton – Violence, captivity, and adult humour.

‘Samantha vs. the Shadows in the Basement of the Captain Riddle House’ by Kristen Britain – Blood, jump scares.

‘Last of the Red Riders’ by Django Wexler – War, blood, violence, gun violence, death, and knife violence.

‘Heart-Eater’ by Anna Stephens – Prejudice, ignorance, unwanted sexual attention, and reference to children sold into servitude.

‘Sandra and Me’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky – While this story does not contain abusive or controlling relationships, some aspects of it may be triggering.

‘Shadow’s Daughter’ by Jon Sprunk – Violence.

‘The Sheriff’s Daughter’ by Tamora Pierce – Violence, attempted murder, misogyny, physical assault, attempted sexual assault, reference to animal abuse off page, drug use, knife violence and verbal abuse.

‘Solomon’ by Mark Lawrence – Violence, threats to a baby’s life, death, blood,

‘A Knight Was Once Sent on a Quest by Her Master’ by Anna Smith Spark – Violence, blood, and animal death.

‘The Last Arrow of the Autumn Huntsman’ by Shawn Speakman – Grief, reference to death of a loved one (off page), death of a loved one, reference to war and the death of children (off page), PTSD, and suicide attempt.


With stories from a wonderful selection of SFF writers, Unbound II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy also offers a short story by editor Shawn Speakman in memory of his father. Out of the seventeen authors, I had only previously read work from five of them, although I was familiar with quite a few of them by name. This anthology was a great chance for me to finally read some of their work.

Despite featuring so many well known SFF authors, Unbound II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy was only a three-star read for me. That isn’t to say that the stories were not good quality, just that this anthology includes such a wide variety of genres, content and styles. While some of them were interesting, others just did not catch my attention at all.

The ones that stood out above the rest for me are:

The second story, ‘A Poor Reflection’ by Peter Orullian, is a dense read due to the scientific jargon, but it is one that is worth sticking with for the clever conclusion. I tipped my hat to Orullian when I finished this one, very well done. It’s followed by an equally clever tale by Saara El-Arifi, an author whose name I’m familiar, although I’ve yet to read any of her books yet. If ‘The Shadhavar’ is anything to go by, I need to remedy that pronto. El-Arifi’s story is a slick, enticing tale of hunters trying to find a legendary beast.

Kevin Hearne’s story was one of my most anticipated, as it promised to tell the origin story of the mysterious Gladys, a character from his Ink and Sigil series. While this story can be read alone, it is one that readers of that series will enjoy infinitely more. The story did not disappoint, and is Hearne at his absolute best. It’s a must-read for anyone who is reading the Ink and Sigil series.

‘Moonflower Alchemy’ by Jordan Ross is a gorgeously gothic fantasy story filled with dark magic. I loved everything about this and would love to see this world explored further in a book. Anna Stephens also delivers an incredible and heart-warming story in ‘Heart-Eater’. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Tamora Pierce that I’ve never loved, and the ‘The Sheriff’s Daughter’ is no different. It was particularly interesting to see her write urban fantasy instead of fantasy, and I hope she writes more in the future!

The final story of the anthology is ‘The Last Arrow of the Autumn Huntsman’ by editor Shawn Speakman and is a beautiful tribute to his father that reflects his father’s struggle with PTSD. It’s linked to a previous story Speakman wrote in Unfettered II to commemorate his mother. I loved that he wrote the first story for his son to learn about his grandmother through his eyes, and reading this story with that in mind just makes it even more beautiful. It is also a brilliant fantasy short story in its own right, and I’m very excited to read Speakman’s upcoming novel, The King-Killing Queen.

The full list of stories in Unbound II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy is:

‘Imperial Court’ by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
‘A Poor Reflection’ by Peter Orullian
‘The Shadhavar’ by Saara El-Arifi
‘Gladys and the Whale’ by Kevin Hearne
‘Business in Great Waters’ by Ken Scholes
‘Moonflower Alchemy’ by Jordan Ross
‘The True Adventures of Gilgamesh and Enkidu’ by Dyrk Ashton
‘Samantha vs. the Shadows in the Basement of the Captain Riddle House’ by Kristen Britain
‘Last of the Red Riders’ by Django Wexler
‘Heart-Eater’ by Anna Stephens
‘Sandra and Me’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky
‘Shadow’s Daughter’ by Jon Sprunk
‘Homecoming’ by Patrick Swenson
‘The Sheriff’s Daughter’ by Tamora Pierce
‘Solomon’ by Mark Lawrence
‘A Knight Was Once Sent on a Quest by Her Master’ by Anna Smith Spark
‘The Last Arrow of the Autumn Huntsman’ by Shawn Speakman

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( )
  justgeekingby | Nov 26, 2023 |
A bit of a cheat here, as I only read the Kevin Hearne story, which I liked very much ( )
  KrakenTamer | Dec 30, 2022 |
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