FIREBIRDS by Sharyn November
Kirkus Star


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Age Range: 12 & up
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A splendid gathering of award-winning fantasists. Feminist allegories and fairytale retellings are heavily represented, with some gems among the standard fare. Delia Sherman’s “Cotillion” stands out for its fully realized heroine’s twist ending, and Sherwood Smith’s “Beauty” enlivens a would-be dull moral with likable characters. Tragedy and comedy are also here in force; Garth Nix’s and Megan Whalen Turner’s offerings both abandon not-quite-human infants in human towns, with drastically different results. Emma Bull and illustrator Charles Vess collaborate with a ballad, reworked as graphic short. Diana Wynne Jones brings fresh perspective to a deceptively simple tale of a country wizard and his cats. Elizabeth Wein’s realistic “Chasing the Wind” and Nancy Farmer’s changeling tale “Remember Me” provide compelling glimpses into adolescent self-realization. Not as extraordinary as the all-star contributor list could indicate, as the experimentation the form invites is largely absent here. Still, this is a magical collection. Lloyd Alexander’s chilling foray into darkness by itself would justify the price of admission. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-14-250142-5
Page count: 440pp
Publisher: Firebird/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2003


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