Rogues by George R. R. Martin

Genres:  Anthology, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-fi
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication Date: June 17th 2014

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

“Everybody loves a rogue…though sometimes we live to regret it.” 

A collection of stories focused on those dashing characters with gray morals. Stories from prolific authors, spanning as many genres as you can imagine, each with their own depiction of a rogue. From the classic fantasy thief to lying entrepreneurs and shady actors. Characters you’ll fall head over heels for, after all who doesn’t love a rogue?

The stories are all well curated and arranged. I never found myself with two stories of similar taste back to back. There were obvious standouts, “The Rogue Prince, or, A King’s Brother” by George R.R. Martin,  “What Do You Do?” by Gillian Flynn, and  “The Lightning Tree” by Patrick Rothfuss. There were stories that I didn’t expect much from that left me in love,  “Now Showing” by Connie Willis and  “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch. There were stories that were middling and one or two that I found a bit dense or boring. Some stories try to establish too much in the short time they had and were more confusing than enjoyable, but the majority of the stories were good. Better than good.

When working with a cross-genre anthology connecting stories can be difficult. I have too often seen anthologies fail because there was too little connection, or because author’s all had the same idea of how to incorporate the connecting theme. It’s bad when an anthology doesn’t flow, it’s worse when I have to read six stories about robot detectives in a row. Rogues suffers none of these issues. The genres vary but there is always a rogue character. It doesn’t limit itself to daggers and lock-picking rogues either. The connection was tight enough that the anthology felt together, but it allowed every author to create something different.

There are stories in this book that just don’t work as short stories, and stories that feel a little bland but they are outweighed by the good. It’s surprising for an anthology to have even one story I’d consider a 5/5 but for it to have five is astounding. This is not an anthology without disappointments (a creature I’m still positive is a myth when the anthology involves multiple authors), but it is an anthology worth plowing through. There are stories that make this book more than worth the read.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

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