Reviews of Lammas Night (1996)
Review by mojosmom (2004-10-27)
Mercedes Lackey wrote a poem (a not-very-good one) about a wizard who settles in a village where the previous wizard has died. She begins to sense his presence in the house where he lived (and she lives now). In the end, she is faced with a choice of laying his soul, or bringing him back to life.
The conceit of this book is to have several authors use this theme as a jumping off point for their stories. It's an intriguing idea, but it doesn't work. The primary reason for this is, I think, that rather than use the story as inspiration, the authors simply put flesh on its bones. They don't use their own creative powers (assuming they have any) to make something unique and different of it. As a result, it's all much of a muchness and ultimately boring.
The other difficulty I had with it is the same difficulty that I have with much current fantasy writing. Many writers of this kind think that putting together a hash of various mythologies along with invented names that have no linguistic similarities are all you need. It's all very unsatisfying.
Having been introduced to fantasy via masters such as Lord Dunsany and Arthur Machen, I have no patience for this sort of thing.