October 13, 2012 by Heidi
With Bated Breath is a regular feature at Bunbury in the Stacks where I feature books I’ve recently added to my TBR, whether they be up-and-coming, or books from the past that have been brought to my attention.
So…I really haven’t done a non-monthly release With Bated Breath post since June? Really? Woops! Blogger FAIL. High time to get my butt in gear! Because I have some potentially amazing reads to share with you today:
Unfettered ed. by Shawn Speakman
2013 by Grimm Oak Press
You define life or it defines you.
In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both.
Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story Shawn could sell toward alleviating those bills—and suggested Shawn ask the same of his other friends.
Unfettered is the result, an anthology built to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.
Every story in this volume is new and, like the title suggests, the writers were free to write whatever they wished. Authors contributing are
-The Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks (a Shannara tale)
-Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks (a precursor to the Word/Void trilogy)
-How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss (a Four Corners tale)
-River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (a Wheel of Time tale)
-The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
-Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey (a precursor to the Kushiel series)
-Dogs by Daniel Abraham
-Mudboy by Peter V. Brett (a Demon Cycle tale)
-Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
-The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian (a Vault of Heaven tale)
-Untitled by Geno & R.A. Salvatore
-Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood (a Summer Dragon tale)
-Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
-The Lasting Doubts of Joaquin Lopez by Blake Charlton
-The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid tale)
-Select Mode by Mark Lawrence (a Broken Empire tale)
-All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
-Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth (a Struck epilogue tale)
-Unbowed by Eldon Thompson (a Legend of Asahiel tale)
-Untitled by Naomi Novik (a Temeraire tale)
-The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (a Riyria Chronicles tale)
-The Duel by Lev Grossman (a Magicians tale)
-The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman (an Annwn Cycle tale)
and artist Todd Lockwood, who donated artwork as well as a story.
With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right but it’s a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises.
After all, isn’t that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?
Patrick Rothfuss mentioned this book on his blog this past week because um…hello? He has a story in it! Along with Jacqueline Carey, Naomi Novik, Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, and other goodness. And the proceeds go to a good cause, so it’s a win win.
Ombria is a place heaped with history — and secrets. There is a buried city beneath it inhabited by ghosts, accessible only through magical passages and long-forgotten doorways. When the Prince of Ombria dies suddenly, his wicked great-aunt Domina Pearl seizes power by becoming regent to the prince’s young son, Kyel. Minutes after the prince’s death, Domina kicks Lydea, the prince’s longtime mistress, out into the streets to die. But she is saved by a strange girl named Mag, a supposed waxling created by a powerful sorceress who lives underneath the city. With the help of Mag and the prince’s bastard nephew, a strange, silver-eyed man obsessed with drawing, Lydea tries to save Kyel and somehow defeat Domina.
And when I say Ombria in Shadow, what I mean is any and all Patricia McKillip! How have I never read any of her work before? I struggled to pick which book to blurb here because they all sound so amazing! After Nafiza reviewed McKillip’s new anthology, Wonders of the Invisible World, and Kristen talked about her in her The Leaning Pile of Books feature I became enraptured with the idea of reading one of her books. All of them sound amazing, anyone have recommendations/favorites?
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
I liked Anna and the French Kiss when I read it, but I didn’t love it. In fact, I thought Etienne St. Claire was a bit of a douche, and the more I sit around the blogosphere and see girls swooning over him the more bitter toward that book I become. I don’t think he was the worst guy ever, but I didn’t think he treated Anna or his girlfriend very well, and seeing how much everyone loves him just makes me hate him more. I was complaining about this on Twitter earlier this week, and lovely bloggers Jamie, and Cassie helped convince me that I ought to give Lola a chance, because I’ll probably (hopefully) like Cricket more.
This ravishing winner of the ALA’s William C. Morris YA Debut Award is a fairy tale, spun with a mystery, woven with a family story, and shot through with romance.
Charlotte Miller has always scoffed at talk of a curse on her family’s woolen mill, which holds her beloved small town together. But after her father’s death, the bad luck piles up: departing workers, impossible debts, an overbearing uncle. Then a stranger named Jack Spinner offers a tempting proposition: He can turn straw into gold thread, for the small price of her mother’s ring. As Charlotte is drawn deeper into her bargains with Spinner-and a romance with the local banker-she must unravel the truth of the curse on the mill and save the community she’s always called home.
Um…a Rumpelstiltskin retelling with Angie’s seal of approval? Yes, please! Angie brought this one up in her contribution to If You Like This, You Might Like That over at The Readventurer and completely sold me. On this and just about every other book she mentioned.
The year is 1861. Civil war is imminent and Tilly Pruitt’s brother, Noah, is eager to go and fight on the side of the North. With her father long gone, Tilly, her sister, and their mother struggle to make ends meet and hold the dwindling Pruitt family together. Then one night a mysterious girl arrives on a steamboat bound for St. Louis. Delphine is unlike anyone the small river town has even seen. Mrs. Pruitt agrees to take Delphine and her dark, silent traveling companion in as boarders. No one in town knows what to make of the two strangers, and so the rumors fly. Is Delphine’s companion a slave? Could they be spies for the South? Are the Pruitts traitors? A masterful tale of mystery and war, and a breathtaking portrait of the lifelong impact one person can have on another.
I went to a Newberry Author Event a couple of weeks ago and whipped myself into a shame frenzy after realizing that Richard Peck has a hilarious and captivating personality, has published dozens of books, and I’ve never read any of them. He said that The River Between Us is his best book, so of course that’s where I’m planning to go!
Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think–and especially shower me with your McKillip recommendations!