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Sword and Sorceress XVI cover Sword and Sorceress XVI by Marion Zimmer Bradley (ed).

Published by Daw Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

Sword and Sorceress XVI is yet another installment in the long-running anthology series created and edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Yet again she brings together a wide variety of stories, representing many different cultures, but all having the common element of a strong female protagonist who faces magic or combat in a "sword and sorcery" setting.

Fujiko's "The Kappa's Gift" takes us to ancient Japan, where a young woman uses her wits to deal with a dangerous water-dwelling vampire. In Charlotte Carlson's "The Changeless Room" another young woman fights free of a terrible ancient spell that has trapped many famous treasure hunters far more powerful than herself. "The Day they Ran out of Princesses" by Gail Sosinsky Wickman is the story of a young woman of lowly origin who is suddenly thrust into the limelight and rises to the occasion.

We also have a number of return visits by writers who have appeared in numerous previous volumes of this series. "Honey from the Rock" by Dorothy J. Heydt is yet another story of the ancient Greek witch Cynthia, this time faced with rhodendron honey so powerful it can even poison a god. Vera Nazarian's "City of No-sleep" is another story set in her magical Compass Rose world, dealing with the true meaning of law and justice. "Enaree, an Azkhantian Tale" by Deborah Wheeler is another of her tales of those desert-dwelling people.

In total, this is yet another fascinating and enjoyable set of stories. The expectations developed by previous installments is not disappointed.

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This review posted December 28, 2000

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