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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dark and Stormy Nights - Anthology by Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Lilith Saintcrow, PN Elrod, etc.


I read four of the stories in the Dark and Stormy Knights anthology.

A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews is the story of the first time Kate met Saiman. We've heard bits and pieces of this story as the series has progressed, now we get the whole story. I doubt it would be that good as a stand alone story if you aren't familiar with the Kate Daniels series, but as part of the series it was a nice short story.

Even Hand by Jim Butcher is told from the viewpoint of Marcone, and I very much enjoyed the story. If you aren't going to buy the book and just have time to read one story while standing in a bookstore somewhere, this is the one you should read. In my opinion, of course.

God’s Creatures by Carrie Vaughn is a Cormac story, one I'm assuming happened long before he went to jail. He's on a solo job, and we get an idea of how he works. Or worked, I guess. It's further insight into how he thinks... the morals of a paid assassin.

Dark Lady by P. N. Elrod is a Jack Fleming story. If you like historical gangster stuff then you may enjoy this series, and this story. Imagine a vampire mixing it up with the gangsters and you've got an idea of the basis for the series.

Other stories in the anthology include The Beacon by Shannon K. Butcher, Even a Rabbit Will Bite by Rachel Caine, Beknighted by Deidre Knight, Shifting Star by Vicki Pettersson, and Rookwood & Mrs. King by Lilith Saintcrow.

Here's the blurb:

They’re the ultimate defenders of humanity—modern day knights who do dark deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of supernatural knights that are brimming with magic mystery and mayhem.

John Marcone sets aside his plans to kill Harry Dresden to go head-to-head with a cantrev lord in Jim Butcher’s Even Hand. Kate Daniels is called upon for bodyguard duty to protect Saimen, a shifter she trusts less than the enemy in Ilona Andrews’ A Questionable Client. Cormac must stop a killer werewolf before it attacks again on the next full moon in Carrie Vaughn’s God’s Creatures. And in Vicki Pettersson’s Shifting Star, Skamar gets more than she bargained for when she goes after a creature kidnapping young girls—and enlists the aid of her frustratingly sexy neighbor.

When everything’s on the line, will these knights complete their missions and live to fight again another day? Find out in Dark and Stormy Knights!

I'm not sure how to rate an anthology, so I'm not going to try. For the most part I'm not a fan of anthologies in general. Especially a story that is an intrinsic part of a series storyline. Kim Harrison is terrible about that - making it so that if you missed an anthology piece then you are completely lost when you read the next book in the series. Charlaine Harris has done it a few times as well. Of the four stories I read, I think there is information in Jim Butcher's story that will probably be important in a future book, but I don't believe there is anything in the other three stories that would be important knowledge for upcoming books.



  1. Thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to reading about Kate and Saiman. Have you read any other of Butcher's books?

  2. Hi Zelda!

    Yes, I've read all of the Dresden books. Some of them are really good, but some of them... not so much. The latest book, Changes, was probably the best of the series, so far.

    Marcone is kind of a minor player in the series, but this story shows us that he takes Dresden very seriously, and it makes me think he's likely to play a bigger part in later books.