Book Cover
Title Summoned to Destiny
Series ---
Editor Julie E. Czerneda
Cover Art Kenn Brown, Chris Wren
Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside - 2004
First Printing Fitzhenry & Whiteside - 2004
Category Anthology
Warnings None

Main Characters

See below

Main Elements See below

  • "Tangled Pages"
  • "Stormsong"
  • "Riverbend"
  • "The Colors of Augustine"
  • "White Shadow"
  • "Offering of Trust"
  • "A Prayer of Salt and Sand"
  • "When Dragons Dream"

It is one thing to deal with magic - quite another to find your fate bound to it.

Meet a war survivor who dreams of dragons...and a dragon who guards dreams. Watch a stormsinger unleash the past...and a painter record the future. Be amazed by the gifts of a young page...and the forms offered to a shapeshifter. Marvel as a bard uncovers the truth...and a priestess finds her faith. Discover that power has its price...and a destiny involving magic is never quite what you expect.

A coworker lent me this book because I was enjoying Michelle Sagara's Elantra series and this book contained a short story/novella of hers that was the inspiration she later developped into other characters in her novels. But another bonus was that this was a collection of Canadian authors, and being Canadian of course I wanted to read it.

As in all anthologies, some stories were better than others. Fortunately little bios of the authors explained why some stories seemed so much more well written than others, and some read like fanfic you can find on the web, good fanfic mind you, but not in the same class as the others. There is a mix of first time published authors and some who've been around a while.

A couple stories, such as Tangled Pages, was rather predictable. Others leave you feeling like you were missing the ending, such as Riverbend. Some have too clean and happy an ending such as Stormsong, though I found the premise of that story intriguing. A few were nice, but I don't have much to comment on them, such as Offering of Trust and A Prayer of Salt and Sand.

On the other hand, I found White Shadow mystical and When Dragons Dream sad and sweet. But the best of the group was the reason I was reading the anthology in the first place. The Colors of Augustine was engrossing, enchanting, complex (as all Sagara's novels are) and you always find yourself thinking you understand the basis of the magic at play, but at the same time you know it wasn't something that could be put into words and that only a Painter would know what it was like to be a Painter. The only criticism about this story is that we don't really find out who the "enemy" is and why the Painters go mad when they Paint him.

The theme of the anthology is of course magic, but more importantly, those whose lives are destined to be bound by it. As Tanya Huff writes in the introduction, fantasy has often been criticized as escapism, that there is nothing to learn from such novels, they are not "literature" (tell that to Lord of the Rings)

"But it's not real!" fantasy's detractors proclaim.

Not real?

Good and evil and love and hate aren't real? Trying your best in face of enormous odds isn't real?

Albert Einstein once said imagination was more important than knowlege, and I must concur. Knowlege can only be had after someone imagined something, created a hypothesis, tested it, proved it and only then it became real. So many of our greatest discoveries were made by someone thinking, "I wonder what will happen when I do this..." and how many of our inventions came from something thinking "Imagine if we could...". The magic is just a backdrop for a tale full of truth and meaning. Duty. Honor. Sacrifice. Courage. Truth.

"Tangled Pages"
Author: M.T. O'Shaunghnessy
Main Characters: Raal
Main Elements: Wizards
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
Author: Ed Greenwood
Main Characters: Amnaedra
Main Elements: Wizards
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
Author: Ruth Stuart
Main Characters: Alicjia
Main Elements: Bards
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
"The Colors of Augustine"
Author: Michelle West
Main Characters: Joseph, Caroline, Havernell
Main Elements: Wizards
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
"White Shadow"
Author: Marie Brennan
Main Characters: Shikari
Main Elements: Shapeshifter
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
"Offering of Trust"
Author: Jana Paniccia
Main Characters: Shen
Main Elements: Dragons
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
"A Prayer of Salt and Sand"
Author: Karina Summer-Smith
Main Characters: Asha, Narelle
Main Elements: Wizards
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny
"When Dragons Dream"
Author: Kevin G. Maclean
Main Characters: Brynelle, Eleanor
Main Elements: Wizards, Dragons
First Published:
Summoned to Destiny

Posted: October 2009


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