Winter Moon: Moontide\The Heart of the Moon\Banshee Cries
By Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, and C. E. Murphy
Published November 2005, LUNA Books
Paperback, 393 pages
New York Times bestselling author Mercedes LackeyThe first story by Mercedes Lackey is meant to take place in her world of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, minus the power of The Tradition to force things a certain way. The only clue the I found that could indicate that this story would fit in the Five Hundred Kingdoms is the presence of the Fool. Other than that, it simply read as a good fantasy plotline, with equal parts romance, intrigue, and adventure. The story wrapped up nicely, with no loose ends, but I would love to read a full novel about the Grey Ladies - not much information is given on this group of women and they certainly have much potential for a good full-length story.
In an isolated land where the lure of the "Moontide" leads to shipwrecks, a woman is torn between obeying her father or her king. When she chooses to follow a Fool, she discovers magic she'd never expected… at a price that might be too high….
World Fantasy award winner Tanith Lee
Struggling under the curse of a dead comrade, Clirando, a warrior priestess unready to face the powers trapped within her, must face "The Heart of the Moon" to reveal what has been hidden….
In "Banshee Cries," ritual murders under a full moon lead Jo Walker to confront a Harbinger of Death. Maybe this "gift" she has is one she shouldn't ignore— because the next life she has to save might be her own!
The second story is by Tanith Lee, whom I have never read before now. I rather enjoyed the world development, despite the length she had to work in, and the imagery was both mysterious and beautiful. After I read the story, I went looking online to see if this world fit into any other novels, but I could not find any information on this. Still, I plan to check out more of her work now.
The third story by C. E. Murphy takes place in her Walker Papers series, specifically between the first and second book. Since I have only read the first two books in the series, I thoroughly appreciated how this story filled in a few blanks for me about what is happening in the series. In this story, Joanne learns about her deceased mother, who turns out to be quite a fascinating character. I think I may even prefer her to Joanne. It can't be easy for the author to translate a thick Scottish accent onto paper, either. Now I am anxious to read more of the Walker Papers series.
The Cover: The cover is generic enough to loosely fit all three stories easily, without really dictating what any of the three stories are actually about. But hey, this is what you gotta do with an anthology.
First Line: "Lady Reanna watched with interest as Moira na Ferson took her chain-main shirt, pooled it like glittery liquid on the bed, and slipped it into a grey velvet bag lined with chamois."
The opening line to the first short story is beautifully written, plus there is enough happening in this first sentence to peak my interest to learn more.
Favorite Quote: "...but that's the price of Gaelic blood, my Siobhan. For all their wars are merry."
"And all their songs are sad," I whispered.
Read For: Speculative Fiction Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge