Sunday, November 20, 2005

Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg

I borrowed Legends II (edited by Robert Silverberg) from the library for the sake of Neil Gaiman's short story, 'The Monarch of the Glen', which is a sequel to his novel American Gods. I wasn't disappointed by Gaiman's tale, which sees Shadow once again at the mercy of people who want to use him for their own purposes. He is stayed in a remote hotel on the north coast of Scotland when he is hired as a bouncer for a private party. Jennie, a local girl who is originally from Norway, and works in the hotel bar tells him not to go because he'll be killed, but he decides to take the job. We learn, for the first time, that Shadow's real first name is Balder (which makes it quite ironic that his nickname is Shadow, since Balder/Baldur was the Norse god of light). Shadow finds that he has been set up, as he had begun to suspect from the time of his arrival at the house where the party is being held, and it is touch and go whether he will survive, but he calls on Jennie to help him - since she is not all she appears.

As is so often the case with short stories, I finished this and wanted more. I hope the library can get Anansi Boys for me soon - and I hope that Neil writes the rest of Shadow's story soon, too, as I like the character a great deal.

I was pleased to discover that there is also a short story by Robin Hobb 'Homecoming' in the collection (which is set in the area of the Rain Wilds, near Bingtown - the location of the Liveships Trilogy), and a story by George R. R. Martin, whose work has been mentioned to me several times of late, but I have yet to read it.


Anonymous said...

And I took this one out for Anne McCaffrey's short story! Which I hated, as per my blog entry of a couple weeks back.

Michele said...

That was a shame... I never got around to reading the George R R Martin story. The Gaiman one was very good, as I said here. The Robin Hobb one was also good - although somehow not what I was expecting (but that was my fault, not Hobb's !) It was an interesting little story - but I couldn't work out (from not having re-read Hobb's three trilogies) whereabouts it fitted into the tales; ie. whether it was a backstory or a "filler". I will have to re-read Hobb to establish that fact.

I didn't even look at any of the other stories in the collection - I got sidetracked by other books (and it was too unwieldy to carry around to work, etc.)