The extraordinary stories in this new contemporary fantasy collection show a mature, darker side of the author of "The Last Unicorn" in modern parables of love, death, and transformation shadowed lightly with melancholy. Read more...
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The extraordinary stories in this new contemporary fantasy collection show a mature, darker side of the author of "The Last Unicorn" in modern parables of love, death, and transformation shadowed lightly with melancholy.
The Angel of Death enjoys newfound celebrity while moonlighting as an anchorman on the network news; King Pelles the Sure, the shortsighted ruler of a gentle realm, betrays himself in dreaming of a "manageable war"; an American librarian discovers that, much to his surprise and sadness, he is also the last living Frenchman; and rivals in a supernatural battle forgo pistols at dawn, choosing instead to duel with dramatic recitations of terrible poetry.
Featuring previously unpublished stories alongside recently published classics, this is a lovely, haunting, and wholly satisfying read.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 37.
- Review Date: 2009-02-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Hugo and Nebula Award–winner Beagle showcases his narrative breadth in this eclectic new collection with nine powerful fantasy tales and a short set of poems based on the famous Unicorn Tapestries. In the title story, one benevolent sibling must somehow stop another from becoming the Angel of Death. “The Last and Only, or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French” explores the significance of identity as a mild-mannered American librarian irrevocably transforms into the last true Frenchman, while the profoundly moving “King Pelles the Sure” denounces the insanity of war. The most memorable selection is “The Stickball Witch,” in which a group of Bronx boys playing stickball come face to face with the suspected witch of their neighborhood. Impressively diverse themes, styles and subject matter make this collection addictive. (Apr.)