Title: Trio of Sorcery (Short Story Collection)
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: November 2010
Hardcover: 352 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Review Copy
Reviewed by: Jo
RATING: 6/10 – Good, would probably recommend
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.
Containing three novellas, two of which feature established characters of Lackey’s.
Arcanum 101 – Featuring Diana Tregarde
Having never read the Diana Tregarde series, I was worried I would have to know all the details but I was happy to see this was a prequel, and it’s a good introduction to the series. Set in 1970 at Harvard, Diana helps to investigate a kidnapping, which involves a ‘psychic’ who is hindering the case, rather than helping it. Who or what is this ‘psychic’?
I enjoyed this novella, I loved the way Diana used magic for everyday concerns, and how even though she has power, some trivial things are not above her! Some of it did feel slightly forced, whether this was due to the setting I’m not sure but it felt as thought the era’s decriptions were unnatural. I definitely want to read the original series though, and see the woman Diana has grown into.
Drums – Featuring Jennifer Talldear
Although a continuation featuring a character from a previous book, it was quite enjoyable. Jennifer Talldear (what a great name!) is a shaman, who is asked to help a friend’s girlfriend who has attracted the attentions of an Osage ghost who want her to be his bride!
I loved the subjects in this novella, it deals with Native American legends and it was a treat to read them. I did feel that some bits were clunky, and some issues were raised which led me to wonder if Lackey is planning more stories featuring these characters. I do want to read Sacred Ground, the novel which introduces these characters, because I thought the actual culture and legends surrounding the Native magick very interesting.
Ghost in the Machine – Featuring Ellen McBridge
A fresh story and a brand new heroine for us. Ellen is a computer programmer – a ‘techno-shaman’. A MMORPG game character is actually killing player’s characters, and Ellen needs to figure out how to stop it before it finds out how to get into our world.
Out of the three novellas, this was my favourite. I thought the use of popular MMORPG games was a really great idea, and mixing it with a supernatural threat was brilliant. I hope we get more of Ellen, she was a fantastic heroine and I loved the idea of a ‘techno-shaman’.
A great mix of urban and paranormal fantasy, it’s a good, decent trio of short stories featuring magical women spanning the past 40 years. If you are already a fan of Diana and Jennifer I am sure you won’t be disappointed by revisiting their lives, and if like me, you were new to them you will probably end up wanting to read their previous novels. For me the showcase was Ellen’s story and I look forward to seeing more of her – hopefully!
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