Unfettered: Tales By Masters of Fantasy Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
You define life or it defines you. In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both. Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell to help alleviate those bills - and suggested he ask the same of his other writer friends. Unfettered is the result: An anthology built in order to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.
Twenty-three tales comprise this incredible collection, and as the title suggests, the writers were free to contribute whatever they wished. Here is the table of contents:
- Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss
- Introduction: On Becoming Unfettered
- Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks
- How Old Holly Came to Be by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
- Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
- The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey
- Mudboy by Peter V. Brett
- The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian
- The Coach with Big Teeth by R. A. Salvatore
- Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood
- Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
- Dogs by Daniel Abraham
- The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
- Select Mode by Mark Lawrence
- All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
- Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth
- Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
- Unbowed by Eldon Thompson
- In Favour with Their Stars by Naomi Novik
- River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
- The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
- The Duel by Lev Grossman
- Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks
- The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman
With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life’s hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right, but it’s a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises. After all, isn’t that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?
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|Listening Length||20 hours and 16 minutes|
|Author||Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, Jacqueline Carey, R.A. Salvatore, Naomi Novik, Shawn Speakman - editor, Peter V. Brett|
|Narrator||Peter Ganim, Marc Vietor, Bronson Pinchot, Jay Snyder|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 21, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#17,258 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#42 in Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories (Audible Books & Originals)
#49 in Science Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories
#148 in Fantasy Anthologies
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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4 stars-straight forward tale
How Old Holly Came To Be
2 stars-(4 stars if I enjoyed poetry)
The Old Scale Game
5 stars-funny & sweet
Game of Chance
3 stars- weird
The Martyr of the Roses
4 stars-the universe in which this is based seems interesting
Peter V. Brett
3 stars-not a happy story
The Sound of Broken Absolutes
2.5 stars-way too much musical imagery
The Coach with Big Teeth
1 star-stupid as hell
Keeper of Memory
3 stars-would have been four stars except for the ending
Heaven in a Wild Flower
3 stars-odd, but neat
2 stars-dumb ending, no resolution
The Chapel Perilous
5 stars-Applejack alone rates 5 stars!
3 stars-maybe if I had read the books the character comes from I'd have liked it more
All the Girls Love Michael Stein
David Anthony Durham
5 stars-I wish it was longer, favorite story in the anthology
2.5 stars-not a loss to never read the book
Robert V.S. Redick
2 stars-at least three different stories, none of which complete
4 stars-would like to know the next step in Kylac's journey
In Favour With Their
5 stars-wanted it to keep going
River of Souls
Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
4 stars-if this is truly the bad guy from "wheel" I will be reading farther
Michael J. Sullivan
4 stars-a nice adventure with good dialogue
4 stars-The Magicians' Eliot-enough said
Walker and the Shade of Allanon
3 stars-it is just a snippet, not enough to truly judge
The Unfettered Knight
5 stars-really wish Shawn would write the next book
I thought 'The Duel' by Lev Grossman was wonderful. It added some color to characters from 'The Magicians' and was an enjoyable story from start to finish. Just my two cents, by Mr. Grossman's story alone makes the anthology a worthwhile purchase. In my opinion, this was the best example of the stories I thought of as 'very good' in this anthology.
An example of what I term an 'okay' story for this anthology is 'The Martyr of the Roses' by Jacqueline Carey. It's a well written tale with an interesting premise, but the story and its characters never drew me in. All in all, it's a solid story, but just not my thing.
Unfortunately, there were a couple of tales I found truly awful. I'll just pick on one as an example, and I'll add the caveat that I bought the audiobook version of this anthology so it's always possible that the reading itself damaged the story. With that said, I couldn't stand 'How Old Holly Came to Be' by Patrick Rothfuss. Full disclosure: I am a fan of Mr. Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles--I have both HB and PB copies of those two books and am impatiently awaiting the third. Regardless, I found the story to be trite, unentertaining, and frankly a little too impressed with itself. While listening to the story, I felt like someone was yelling at me, "Look at me! Aren't my little techniques cool! Hey! A tree is the main character. Did you hear me?! I said a tree! How awesome am I that I can write about a tree!" While I'm overstating that a bit, I started off by listening to Mr. Rothfuss' story first and nearly threw away the anthology b/c the story annoyed me so much. As with all things, your mileage may vary. Hopefully, it does for this story.
Top reviews from other countries
I have previously read and enjoyed Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan.
Now I have managed to find some other very good Science Fantasy authors to look out for, which is great. Including Shawn Speakman, who I rate as five stars separately, for "The Dark Thorn".