Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2016 Edition

Some of the Best from Tor 2016 Edition

Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

You can get the anthology on tor.com here.

About:

Tor.com regularly publishes original fiction, short stories and novellas on their website. And each year, some of them are collected into an anthology. The stories in the 2016 edition are varied, but all are either Fantasy or Science Fiction.

While there were some stories that did not speak to me, there were also some really great and enjoyable ones. The best stories in the anthology, for me, are:

  • The DestroyerTara Isabella Burton
  • A Dead DjinnP. Djeli Clark
  • Autobiography of a Traitor and a Half-SavageAlix E. Harrow
  • Your Orisons May Be RecordedLaurie Penny
  • The Great DetectiveDelia Sherman
  • Finnegan’s FieldAngela Slatter
  • That Game We Played During the WarCarrie Vaughn

Read on for a more detailed review of the individual stories.

 

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The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Toolbooth

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself – not just sometimes, but always.

Plot

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams. . . .

 

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King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

King of Thorns Mark Lawrence

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

I found these pages scattered, teased across the rocks by a fitful wind.



Plot

A six nation army marches toward Jorg’s gates, led by a shining hero determined to unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.

Faced by an enemy many times his strength, Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan…


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The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

Rating 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

“Not in this lifetime.” Tazir snatched two of the pebbles off of the pile for the equipment budget. “Or at least not after what you pulled coming into Hanshi.”



Plot

When the Dragon Ships began to tear through the trade lanes and ravage coastal towns, the hopes of the arichipelago turned to the Windspeakers on Tash. The solemn weather-shapers with their eyes of stone can steal the breeze from raiders’ sails and save the islands from their wrath. But the Windspeakers’ magic has been stolen, and only their young apprentice Shina can bring their power back and save her people.

Tazir has seen more than her share of storms and pirates in her many years as captain, and she’s not much interested in getting involved in the affairs of Windspeakers and Dragon Ships. Shina’s caught her eye, but that might not be enough to convince the grizzled sailor to risk her ship, her crew, and her neck.


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The Young Elites by Marie Lu

the-young-elites-marie-lu

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

I’m going to die tomorrow morning.

Plot

Adalina Amouteru survived the blood fever as a child, but she has been marked ever since. Her father calls her an abomination, a malfetto, but he still hopes he might be able to use her to his advantage. Because some of the marked ones have developed strange powers. These are the Young Elites.

Enzo Valenciano is one of these Young Elites. He is also a member of the Dagger Society, a secret group determined to fight back against the Inquisition Axis and the throne.

When the two meet, Adalina hopes desperately that she can trust him, that she finally found a place where people like her for who she is and not for what she can do for them. There is a blackness in her heart she is fighting against, a thirst for vengeance and power.

If the Dagger Socienty is not who she thinks they are, she does not know what she will do then.

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Mister Monday by Garth Nix

mister-monday-keys-to-the-kingdom

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

They had tried to destroy the Will, but that proved to be beyond their power.

Plot

Arthur Penhaligon is not supposed to be a hero. He is, in fact, supposed to die an early death. But then his life is saved by a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock.

Arthur is safe – but his world is not. Along with the key comes a plague brought by bizarre creatures from another realm. A stranger named Mister Monday, his avenging messengers with bloodstained wings, and an army of dog-faced Fetchers will stop at nothing to get the key back – even if it means destroying Arthur and everything around him.

Desperate, Arthur ventures into a mysterious house – a house that only he can see. It is in this house that Arthur must unravel the secrets of the key – and discover his true fate.

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season Cover

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now.



Plot

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.


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