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Children of Magic

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Children of Magic (2006) edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes

As I have mentioned on many previous occasions, I am a huge fan of short stories. Occasionally I have been disappointed, but for the most part the anthologies I have read have good, especially the one edited by Martin H. Greenberg.

The theme of Children of Magic is (as you would guess from the title) children with magic and the ability to change the world around them. The major problem with this review, however, is that I only read a one or two stories at a time, and then left the book on the headboard for a few weeks while I was reading something else (anthologies are good for that). So it actually took me several months to read Children of Magic as it dropped to the bottom of the pile in favor of whatever I was currently reading during the day (or sometimes something more boring, to put me to sleep.)

Unsurprisingly (at least to me), my favorite story in the anthology was Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s story “The Weight of Wishes” (in fact, the fact she had a story in this anthology was part of the reason I picked up this book). Will and Beth have two children, one of whom is a magic user and is barely under control. But on Christmas, Lisa’s powers create unexpected gifts for her entire family, that may change not only Lisa’s ability to control her magic, but also the family’s ability to deal with Lisa.

“Touching Faith” by Alexander Potter was another story I liked, especially when the boy decides that his path will require a Southern accent.

Another very good story was Brenda Cooper’s “The Horses of the Wild Hills”. Carly tries to protect her mother–from herself as much as far everyone discovering her drinking, but she also has to protect and care for herself–something an eleven year old girl is not necessarily capable of doing. What I particularly liked was Carly’s discoveries not only about the world, but also about her self and her strengths and weaknesses.

When I started reading Karina Summer Smith’s story “An End to All Things” I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. However, once I got into the story and figured out what was going on (in some ways it was as much science fiction as fantasy, and adjusting to strange technology is sometimes difficult for me) I quite enjoyed it. Although I never did quite understand why she didn’t “register.”

“Titan” by Sarah A. Hoyt was another story I very much enjoyed. It tells how Leonardo da Vinci gained his powers, from the point of view of one of Leonardo’s childhood friends.

I found the rest of the stories adequate, but not anything particularly I’d go out of my way for. Some of that may have been that several stories were about teenagers, and I tend to dislike stories about teenagers unless those characters are very well written. (I remember all to well what it was like to be a teenager, and dislike reliving those feelings.)

So if you like anthologies, you may want to pick up this collection. Or you could wait and see if any of these stories ends up in a “Year’s Best” collection.
Rating: 6/10

Categories: Anthology, Fantasy     Comments (0)    



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