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This is a collection of short stories from mostly well-known Fantasy authors, including such stellar names as Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, Mark Lawrence, Naomi Novik, Terry Brooks, Michael J. Sullivan, Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson.
The editor of the anthology, Shawn Speakman, organised this first volume after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011 and struggling with medical bills. The other authors donated stories for the cause and this grew to establish a fund for Fantasy authors facing similar difficulties and there are now three volumes!
All of the stories are professional quality. Many of them are related to series written by the respective authors, in some cases using material that had been cut in previous edits or adding to the fantasy worlds involved.
Picking stand out stories from this level of writing is a challenge, but the ones that appealed to be most were The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams, Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood, Dogs by Daniel Abraham (very powerful story), and The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (which had the most amazing first line).
Some of the stories I felt would be more interesting if I had read the related series while others served as good origin stories. Several of these authors have been on my tbr for ages and I'll be making an effort to read more of their stuff after seeing these samples of their work.
A highly recommended collection, both for the good cause and for the quality of writing.