Four excellent novellas comprise this anthology of fantasy and romance from masters of both genres. Patricia A. McKillip opens with "The Gorgon in the Cupboard," the tale of a Victorian painter seeking a muse. He's more than a bit surprised when one of his paintings starts offering advice. Lynn Kurland offers a medieval tale with "The Tale of Two Swords," a rip-roaring fantasy adventure with unexpected heroes and more than one nifty twist that nevertheless leaves the reader wanting more.

Delacroix reworks a medieval legend in "An Elegy for Melusine." When Melusine chooses the human world over the faerie realm, her choices reverberate through the centuries. In the gem of the collection, "Fallen Angel," Sharon Shinn returns to the faraway world of Samaria, where angels rule from stone towers and centuries of tradition direct the actions of mortals.

Ranging from pleasant diversion to hair-raising adventure, this collection has something for every romance and fantasy fan. (Jul., 368 pp., $12.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum