Magic City: Recent Spells, An Urban Fantasy Anthology

Jul 26, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs

by Mary Anne Barker

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Magic City.

Magic City: Recent Spells is a selection of previously published short stories which have been brought together because they have the common “urban fantasy” theme. The stories are previously published in different anthologies. Some of them are good; some are okay and some of them “bleh.” But if you select it because there a couple of authors you like and you read more of the stories, then maybe you will find some great new to you authors and continue expanding your store of authors to read.

Some of these stories are great fun to re-read, like Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher. Briggs story seems kind of tongue in cheek. “Seeing Eye” for example is a werewolf instead of a dog, but if you read her Mercy Thompson books, this one does tie into one of her story lines, in Hunting

Jim Butcher’s is a Harry Dresden short about Harry being very, very polite and trying to lift a “Curse” on a baseball team.

Scott Lynch’s “In the Stacks” is a very interesting take on what a library could be like if you collected all the magicians and wizards’ books and they became semi intelligent, with magic. Oh my! The life of a librarian just got a whole lot more challenging as they go around the room with swords and spells. Retrieving and re-shelving books just got a lot livelier!

“The Arcane Art of Misdirection” by Carrie Vaughn is about a dealer at a casino who “sees” more than regular, and a magician named Odysseus Grant who work together to try and stop a cheat.

A very different story is “The Slaughtered Lamb” about a werewolf ‘Queen’ in New York who just wants to be accepted for what she is.

Charles de Lint’s “Dog Boy” I liked too.

Altogether it’s an interesting anthology. You might want to give it a try and maybe find a new storyteller to read.

To enter to win a copy of Magic City: Recent Spells, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Spells,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 2, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Check out more fantasy/horror book and TV reviews in our Fantasy and Fangs section.

Use this link to purchase Magic City & a portion goes to help support KRL:

Mary Anne Barker works at the Reedley Library. She loves books, TV and movies.


  1. Jim Butcher AND Charles de Lint – definitely a book worth reading!

  2. Anything by Patty Briggs is worth a read!

  3. I see several stories I want to read, and some that sound interesting. I agree with your analysis of why to read anthologies – and your bleh stories may be great to me, and vice versa!

  4. Several of these authors are worthwhile, and any author I don’t know may well become a favorite.

  5. Sounds like a cool book!


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