Today I Read…Sword and Sorceress

Today I read Sword and Sorceress IV, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

This is the 4th volume in a series of anthologies featuring female main characters in fantasy short stories. In Bradley’s words, “This series started out with only one major rule; that, without resorting to feminist rhetoric, we would present women as central to their own adventures, neither as victims nor as bystanders to the men’s deeds.” The series began in the early 1980s and continues to be published annually–there are currently 26 volumes, even though Bradley passed away in 1999. Some of the notable authors with stories in this volumes include Mercedes Lackey, who made her professional debut in Sword and Sorceress III, Charles de Lint, Diana L. Paxon, and the late Josepha Sherman.

My favourite story in this volume is “Rite of Passage” by Jennifer Roberson, about a pair of sword-dancers and a man torn between his religion and his love for his child, and a child torn between religion and freedom.

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