Slowly, amidst intolerable noises from, on the one hand, the street and, on the other, from the large and voluminously echoing playground, the depths of the telephone began, for Valentine, to assume an aspect that, years ago, it had used to have--of being a part of the supernatural paraphernalia of inscrutable Destiny.
The telephone, for some ingeniously torturing reason, was in a corner of the great schoolroom without any protection, and, called imperatively, at a moment of considerable suspense, out of the asphalte playground where under her command ranks of girls had stood electrically only just within the margin of control, Valentine with the receiver at her ear was plunged immediately into incomprehensible news uttered by a voice that she seemed half to remember.
While I am really tempted to just power through the rest of The Silver Darlings, I really need something with more bite, more wit, more ... just something more engaging.
And I miss Christopher Tietjens and his complicated love life.
During negotiations for a truce between the feuding Pierce and Morgan families, Lord John Morgan makes a shocking offer: he will give the Pierce family their land, in exchange for Harrison Pierce's hand in marriage.
John has long been enamored with Harrison, the beautiful son of his late rival. Harrison is nineteen, inexperienced, and known for being cold and bitingly brilliant. The union seems impossible, but John is determined to win the affections of his young obsession.
Will the frigid Harrison concede, or will the object of John's adoration leave him alone at the altar?
by Peter S. Beagle, Garth Nix, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia A. McKillip, Bruce Coville, Carlos Hernandez, Karen Joy Fowler, Jane Yolen, Nancy Springer, Cailtin R. Kiernan, Margo Lanagan
How could I resist a collection of stories about unicorns, especially when I've actually heard of some of the authors!
A couple of stories were written in present tense but the one by Carlos Hernandez had a very interesting premise; unicorn poaching for their horns! Imagine, Americans not realising we've still got unicorns in England. *shakes head*
As you would expect with a themed anthology, there was a variety of takes on the subject. We had a unicorn rodeo and of course you have to be a virgin to handle one of the creatures! Unicorn hunters of various kinds, unicorns mating with human women and the subsequent offspring, unicorn magic and mythology that may or may not come from actual legends.
The stand out stories for me were Falling Off the Unicorn by David D. Levine and Sara A. Mueller, A Hunter's Ode to His Bait by Carrie Vaughn, A Thousand Flowers by Margo Lanagan and My Son Heydari and the Karkadann by Peter S. Beagle, which had some excellent stoytelling.
I liked some of the others fairly well and only found myself skimming a couple of them. The compilation wraps up with some poetry, which feels natural for this particular theme. Not a bad collection as anthologies go.