A wizard is "a person who injects a jolt of the
marvelous into the everyday" says Michael Stearns is his
He adds that "today's wizards wield paint brushes or pens or
typewriters or computers ..." and that the real magic of fantasy
fiction -- or of any story -- is the imagination.
And imaginative these 13 stories for young adults are, where a
computer can open the way to the Faerie realm; a king's curse turns
people into werewolves; a midget owns a magic marble; or a dog talks
because a girl believes it can.
The anthology's weak point is the tendency for some authors to
preach at the expense of the story. Although the introduction
acknowledges that we can learn from any of these stories, the weaker
tales struggle under the weight of their messages, while the stronger
ones put the story first.
This is a gentle foray into the field of fantasy fiction, with
such authors as Charles deLint, Patricia C. Wrede, and Jane Yolen for
tour guides. It's a good read for anyone interested in a new breed of
fairy tale. And mind that you note which story the wizard on the
book's cover is reading.
Editor Michael Stearns obtained his M.A. at Hollins College.
This review originally appeared in the May 15, 1994 edition of
The Roanoke Times and World-News.
Also edited by Michael Stearns:
A Starfarer's Dozen. Harcourt Brace, 1995
A Nightmare's Dozen. Harcourt Brace, 1996
This review copyright 1994 by Wendy Morris
Information last updated March 22, 1998