Author: Tanya Huff
The following review was contributed by: Paul Lappen: CLICK TO VIEW Paul Lappen's Reviews
This book consists of 2 separate sets of fantasy stories, with different
back-to-back covers (reminiscent of the old Ace Doubles).
On one side are stories of Terazin, top-notch thief. To join the Thieves' Guild,
one does not simply knock on the front door and ask for an application. It is
necessary to break into the building and make it to the inner sanctum deep
underground, avoiding the traps set up along the way. Terazin does so, and is
given an initiation test. She must bring the braided hair of Swan, a famous
female warrior who will not take kindly to getting a sudden haircut. Other
stories feature Terazin finding herself in the middle when it comes to internal
Thieves' Guild politics.
Going the other way are stories of Magdalene, the world's most powerful (and
laziest) wizard. She is an apprentice to Adar, a castle wizard. She unknowingly
dismantles his most powerful spells like they don't even exist. She gains Adar's
powers, just before he is turned into a pile of gray ash, and decides to leave
the castle. Traveling with H'sak, a demon trapped inside a mirror, she finds
that the most bucolic villages have the most unique customs concerning wizards,
like welcoming them with axes or chains and manacles. It doesn't help that
Magdalene, a redhead with a very healthy libido, doesn't wear a pointy hat like
normal wizards. She is summoned to various kings and wizards, and her attitude
is like, "Yeah, yeah, let's get this over with."
I really enjoyed these stories. They're lighter, fast reading, and they show
that Huff is a veteran fantasy author. The reader won't go wrong with this
strong, well done group of stories.