Heroic Hearts

Ace: Berkley. May 2022. 368p. ed. by Jim Butcher & Kerrie L. Hughes. ISBN 9780593099186. pap. $18. FANTASY
In this new collection, editors Butcher and Hughes introduce a dozen short stories by some of today’s best urban fantasy writers. Standouts include Anne Bishop’s “The Dark Ship,” where, across the ocean from her tales of the Others, an act from a young woman brings her, and her town’s troubles, to the attention of great powers. Two powerful women face grief and hope on a search for their daughter in Annie Bellet’s “Train to Last Hope.” Werewolf Asil discovers that online dating may not be the trial he believes it is in “Dating Terrors,” by Patricia Briggs. Jim Butcher centers “Little Things” on the pixie Toot-Toot as he defends Dresden’s new castle, with an uneasy ally in Mister the cat. Avid fans of these authors will enjoy where their stories intersect with favorite characters, while new readers will find the shorts accessible and filled with vivid worldbuilding and interesting figures.
VERDICT A resoundingly successful collection of stories focused on heart, humor, and the strength of courage.
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