Best New Romantic Fantasy 2
Paula Guran, ed.
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Paula Guran's
Best New Romantic Fantasy 2

Buy *Best New Romantic Fantasy 2* by Paula Guran online

Best New Romantic Fantasy 2
Paula Guran, ed.
Juno Books
320 pages
June 2007
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Despite the revised title, this is the follow-up to the anthology Best New Paranormal Romance, which was an excellent book. However, this book was quite different in tone (with different contributors), as is discussed in the excellent introduction, and doesn't feel comfortable as a continuation of the series. These stories are overall darker in tone with less of an obvious Happy Ever After (which one tends to expect in romantic fantasy). Many of the stories were quite difficult to understand as the complex worlds are crammed into short stories. The writing standard is generally very high, with no turgid prose but often beautiful turns of phrase. Still, many of the stories feel like they are rather more form than substance.

The story I most liked was Sarah Monette's "The Light In Troy," about the last member of a conquered race who works in a library and sees a young boy playing on the beach and befriends him. It's a gentle story with a minimal romantic element but well-written. Other highlights are "Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge" by Richard Parks, which has a wonderful twist (although one I did half expect), "Jane, A Story of Magic, Manners And Romance" by Sarah Prineas, set in Regency times but with wizards, and the very short "The Desires Of Houses," which gives a fascinating insight into what your house might think of you.

Ones I found less successful are "An Autumn Butterfly" (I couldn't quite get my head around it, which is no doubt more a reflection on me than the story itself), "Evergreen" (which seems to go on and on without much action), "the Depth Oracle" (too deep for me) and "The Wizard Of Eternal Watch," which feels like part of a series, and I wasn't always sure what was going on.

The fifteen stories are all completely different from each other. This variety makes for a good book to dip into, but very few of them are light reading matter. The complexities of the plots in most cases means that this book is less accessible than the previous edition.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2007

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