Author: Tamora Pierce
Publication: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 22, 2011)
Description: Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.
My Thoughts: This collection of 11 short stories and one comment on a short story lets us visit a wide variety of settings in Pierce's fantasy world and a couple of real world setting too. Most of the stories seem to have in common the fact that they are told in first person by a young woman. One notable exception is Elder Brother which happens to be told by a man who began his existence as a tree until Numair cast a spell. He learns to be human from a young woman disguised as a boy. Some the characters in these stories include crow men, darkings, and young dragons. All of the stories are about girls who can do extraordinary things most often against incredible odds.
This is a good collection for fans of Pierce's writings. I recommend it for those who have read her work or who are wondering if her work is for them. All of the stories are entertaining.
Adria stared as smoke oozed out of the lamp. No, she thought, too fascinated to run or shriek. It wasn't smoke. It was more like liquid, but it was liquid that kept to a roundish shape, without sending random trickles outward.
The liquid rose and produced a headlike knob. A mouth opened and said, "Hello."