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Dark and Stormy Knights
by Carrie Vaughn, Deidre Knight, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Lilith Saintcrow, P.N. Elrod, Rachel Caine, Shannon K. Butcher, Vicki Pettersson
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Hunter’s Prayer, Redemption Alley, Flesh Circus, Undone, Unknown, Heaven's Spite, The Demon's Librarian, Dead Man Rising, Ghost Town, Steelflower, Mean Streets, The Devil’s Right Hand, Saint City Sinners, To Hell and Back, Changes, Death's Excellent Vacation, Must Love Hellhounds, Unbound, Chicks Kick Butt, Side Jobs, Ghost Story, Rachel Caine, Bite Club, Angels of Darkness, Devil's Bargain, Angel Town, Devil's Due, Hexed, Burning Alive, Finding the Lost, Fate's Edge, Last Breath, Unseen, Storm Watcher, Kitty Goes to Washington, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, "Kitty Meets the Band", Aftertaste, Hex Appeal, Unbroken, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Fire Watcher, Black Dawn, Working Stiff, An Apple for the Creature, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Two Weeks' Notice, "The Devil You Know", Cloud Watcher, Kitty Raises Hell, Mindhealer, Kitty's House of Horrors, Bitter Blood, Holidays are Hell, Kitty Goes to War, Kitty's Big Trouble, Welcome to the Jungle, Kitty's Greatest Hits, Kiss of Death, Kitty Steals the Show, Kitty Rocks the House, Magic Bites, Falling Blind, Fall of Night, The Iron Wyrm Affair, Daylighters, The Red Plague Affair, Kicking It, Kitty in the Underworld, Dangerous Women, Storm Front, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Prince of Shadows, Fool Moon, Magic Bleeds, Dark Watcher, Cold Days, Skin Game, Blood Rites, Death Masks, Proven Guilty, White Night, Small Favor, Burn For Me, Night Shift, Magic Shifts, Rough Edges, To Hell and Back, Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, Burn for Me, Shadowed Souls, Magic Binds.
An anthology of nine short stories with a central theme of the dark, stormy protector. A person who will fight to save but not always in the most scrupulous manner.
“A Questionable Client” (Kate Daniels, 0.5)
“Even Hand” (Dresden Files, 11.6)
“Dark Lady” (Vampire Files: Jack Fleming, 2 years after his “death” and Lady Crymsyn is open)
“Shifting Star” (Zodiac, 4.75)
“God’s Creatures” (Kitty Norville, 0.6)
Ilona Andrews‘ “A Questionable Client” fills in the background on Kate and Saiman’s first meeting. It certainly rams it home as to why Kate finds it so easy to ignore Saiman’s attempts at seduction! As we also learn more about his pricing and the discount he’s given Kate.
Also in Magic Graves.
Jim Butcher‘s “Even Hand” is actually about Gentleman Marcone in which we learn more about his business ethics—both good and bad. This is not a man you want to cross.
Shannon K. Butcher‘s “Beacon” is an oddly sweet romance that starts with our dark and stormy knight with a bead on a little girl, the Beacon. The only way to keep the town around this young girl safe is to shoot her. But Ryder Ward can’t quite bring himself to do it. No matter how many people will die…
Rachel Caine‘s “Even a Rabbit Will Die” is a clever bit! Liesl Martin is over 742-years-old and being retired from her duties as a dragonslayer. Yeah, yeah, sure, the Pope sent her a sweet letter with blessings and thanks but what is she supposed to do now. Oh, yeah, train her replacement…young pups!
P. N. Elrod‘s “Dark Lady” brings a little light onto Myrna! A mobster, Foxtrot Joe, has been caught skimming on his collections and Gordy’s found out. Joe’s girl, Emma, is hoping Jack can help a girl out.
Deidre Knight‘s “Beknighted” is confusing with little illumination at the end. Dreams have caused Anna to continue to try to paint the knight who appears in her sleeping fantasies but a miscut here, a slip of the brush there, poor mounting, a misapplication of color. It’s just too frustrating until he shows up with exactly what she needs.
Vicki Pettersson‘s “Shifting Star” made me cry! Skamar is exploring life, learning how to cope. Becoming a full-blown tulpa has made Skamar strong but dealing with people is confusing. That neighbor of hers, Vaughan, keeps bugging her about coffee. Then Zoe Archer, her maker??, has a task for her. Protecting her granddaughter, Ashlyn, from the Tulpa. For Ashlyn is a young agent just about to start her second life cycle, “the most vulnerable point” in her life and she must be protected from the Dark.
Okay, I think I want to read this series as it sounds intriguing if a bit cartoony BUT this story was a bit frustrating as it didn’t explain who people were or what their relationships were to each other.
Lilith Saintcrow‘s “Rookwood and Mrs. King” is intriguing. I’m hoping there’s more than just this one story out there! A new widow has just hired Rookwood, a private eye, to deal with her husband. Seems he just won’t go quietly into that good night. Seems there’s a lot more beneath both their stories than we see on the surface. Saintcrow provides plenty of information for this particular story with lots of gaps that make me want to know more about the bigger story.
Carrie Vaughan‘s “God’s Creatures” is an aside with Cormac taking on a job to hunt the killer of a rancher’s cattle. A trail that seems to lead to a Catholic reform school.
The Cover and Title
I think the couple on the book with the hazy lit-up city in the night’s background are compiled from the various stories in the book. They seem to be perched in front of a railing. He’s wearing a black leather jacket and a white T and sitting down in front of her loosely clasping a smoking rifle. She’s wearing a shiny black scoop-necked shirt with cap sleeves and black leather pants with a low-slung studded belt. Loose, long hair blowing in the breeze, studded leather cuffs around her wrists and left bicep with a V’d black choker around her neck as she holds a gun up. He looks a bit stunned while she’s looking out at us at an angle, a knowing look in her eye as she seems to question our next step.
The title, Dark and Stormy Knights, is, oh, so appropriate for these stories. For every story has a dark hero who storms in to protect.