Paperback: 393 pages
Publisher: Luna Books (Nov 2005)
The three authors listed each contributed a novella, themed around the idea of a Winter Moon. Unsurprisingly, given that theme, all three have written about strong women.
Mercedes Lackey has contributed Moontide, set in the Five Hundred Kingdoms. I'm not a huge fan of Lackey - probably because I really found much of her work overly twee (especially the telepathic horse novels), but this is a sensibly written story set in what feels like a standard mediaeval fantasy world. The heroine is the daughter, and sole child, of a sea castle lord. Sent away at an early age, she's been secretly trained as an agent of the king, and when she is recalled by her father, it is up to her to determine what is really going on, and sort the situation out. The description is nicely done, even though it does feel a little generic at times.
Tanith Lee has provided The Heart of the Moon, which I found much more interesting. The heroine of this one is Clirando, a professional temple soldier, who having found her best friend sleeping with her lover, has challenged both to duels, and defeated them, causing them to leave in disgrace. But her best friend curses her never to sleep again. How her temple then sends her to the Moon Isle, what happens it that magical place during the long full moon, and how Clirando becomes much less of a prig is the content of the story. There is an atmosphere of dream about the central part of the story, and the world in which it is set, though only lightly sketched, gives me a feeling of the Eastern Mediterranean in classical Greek times.
C E Murphy (a.k.a. mizkit) provides the final one - Banshee Cries. This is urban fantasy - Joanna Walker is a cop in Seattle. But she also happens to be a sensitive, a shaman, and when a body is found in the snow in a local baseball park, it is she who sees the other two hidden bodies. This novella is set between the first and second novels in the Walker Papers, and though I've not read either of those, it would appear to do a good part of character development, as Joanna comes to terms with her deceased mother, and with what her mother had been trying to achieve. I'm now having to go out and find those novels.
A nicely themed collection of novellas.