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What was most disappointing about the authors’s story?
Niven has several excellent books/series. This is not one of them. It appears to be a series of short stories, some may have been written in an attempt to give the "book" some form of continuity. Would call this an "airport" book. If you have to kill some time sitting in the airport or in a plane and this book is the only interesting thing to be found in the terminal store......
Any additional comments?
I remember this book sitting on my bookshelf for many years. It was never re-read. Now I remember why.
An anthology of mixed quality. The highlights here are "... but fear itself" and "Strength" almost opposites to each other but with a key theme in one the main thread, in the other hidden.
The surprise within is "Manaspill" a jumpy story without a common pace, but for anyone with children that watch Sofia the First (a Disney show) some surprising similarities for a story written 30 years before the show was created, let's just say a boy from a village gets a magical stone, can then speak to animals and the king has eyes on his mother and let's not mention the evil inept magician...