I absolutely love, love, love Tamora Pierce. If you have no idea who Tamora Pierce is and love fantasy, go check out Alanna: the First Adventure. You won't regret it! The style of her books is very similar to the style of Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore; there's a strong female protagonist, magic, and romance. She is one of the few authors for which I can proudly proclaim that I thoroughly enjoy every one of her novels, and this one's no exception. I love the creativeness of her worlds and how vividly she can convey them through writing. I love that she's one of the few authors who can write a good, strong female characters; most of the time, the strong female character that the author tries to create is too flawless - to a point where the book gets annoying to read.
However, I didn't enjoy this book as much as her other ones; that's probably because instead of one storyline in a book, there are multiple. I found that her stories to be a little formulaic at times. Another thing I didn't like about this book was the fact that it was disorienting to go from story to story (some are set in the real world, some in Tortall, and others in a fantasy world other than Tortall). I guess those things are to be expected since the stories are a compilation of her over-a-decade-long writing career.
This collection is a documentary of sorts; I could tell which ones were her earlier stories because her writing matured as time progressed. The two stories in this collection I found were the most enjoyable was The Dragon's Tale, which is set in the same world as her The Immortals quartet; it gave a glimpse of Daine and Kitten all grown-up. The other one is Nawat, which continues Ali's story from The Daughter of the Lioness. If nothing else interests you in this collection, at least read those two.
Overall, if you're not a die-hard Tamora Pierce fan in the I-absolutely-have-to-have-all-her-published-novels kind of way, you're not going to want to buy this. Most likely, you'll borrow it from the library, read it, and enjoy it that way.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hinsdale, IL 60521