I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
fantasy, romance that was published by Silhouette on November 1, 2003 and has 377 pages.
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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Unnatural Issue, "The River's Gift", Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Foundation, Intrigues, Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit, Owlknight, Changes, Beauty and the Werewolf, Invasion, Home From the Sea, Dead Reckoning, Conspiracies, Bedlam's Edge, Crown of Vengeance, Redoubt, Harvest Moon, World Divided, Elemental Magic: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters, Sacrifices, Steadfast, Burdens of the Dead, Bastion, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Games Creatures Play, Closer to Home, Born to Run, Wheels of Fire, When the Bough Breaks, Chrome Circle, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Arcanum 101, A Tangled Web, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, Silence, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar, A Scandal in Battersea
An anthology of three short romantic stories, which end in a charmed life. Unfortunately, it’s not so charming for the readers.
“Moonglow” (Lost Continent, 0.5)
Mercedes Lackey‘s “Counting Crows” is the best of the bunch although it is a bit confusing at first. I kept thinking it was a Valdemar story. It’s simply a peek into the life of an unfortunate young woman being used to protect her father’s lands by allowing the king to use her as a bargaining chip to encourage a Border Lord to support and defend his royal realm. Naturally the Border Lord is a major asshole but Gwynn gets her own back beautifully!
Rachel Lee‘s “Drusilla’s Dream” is so incredibly bad that for a bit I almost thought she was pulling a Xanth. Except, I then realized, Lee was so uneven in her bad writing that she wasn’t really trying to be horrible. Which made it so much worse. On the whole, there are two stories occurring at the same time. In the Real World, Miles is a sysop for a corporation and refers to the computers under his care as Behemoths while Drusilla is a data entry clerk. In Drusilla’s Fantasy World, she is a princess who meets Miles, the Behemoth Tamer. All of which leads to the one cute bit in the fantasy side where Drusilla and Miles find the Behemoth and must force it to give up the key by feeding it crackers that have a hole in it. Miles decides he must feed Behemoth the boot so he “tickles” the Behemoth until it sticks its tongue out to accept the boot cracker. Hey, I told you it was bad…!
Catherine Asaro‘s “Moonglow” is simply bad. I don’t even know how the title relates to this story of magic determined by shapes and showing as colors. A young prince is orphaned and left blind, deaf, and dumb in an attack that kills his parents leaving a doubly grieving grandfather behind for the prince is taken away and raised by one of his parents’ murderers. Years later, the King dies and a cousin will be king. A cousin who does not want it and is weirdly happy when Iris finds the supposedly-dead Prince Jarid through her mind. Yeah, it goes on with all these issues and, I’m sorry, but the issues just don’t make sense. It’s like Asaro was on a deadline and didn’t get past the synopsis stage.
The Cover and Title
The cover is very charming with its gradation of color from oranges to pinks. There’s a huge circular stained glass window at the top with an intricately-draped woman posing with a sphere and a rock. She must be standing on a pedestal for the swirling Deco-ish floor is far beneath where her feet should be.
The title, Charmed Destinies, is indeed accurate for each story ends charmingly. Actually I think the title, the cover, and Lackey’s story are the best of this particular collection. It’s certainly the only reason I gave it a whopping “3”.