Not a bad collection, all things considered. I went into it expecting a collection of stories from The Old Kingdom - Abhorsen based stories. Instead, only the first story, "The Creature in the Case", takes place in that world. We follow old Nicholas Sayre on a brief adventure, that left me wanting oh so much more. I didn't realize how much I missed the magic and creatures in Sabriel's world.
There were two humorous stories included, which actually made me laugh out loud several times. Down to the Scum Quarter is a Choose Your Own Adventure type of story, complete with inventory and 6 sided dice you have to roll for combat. Very entertaining! I ended up reading a lot of it out loud to my partner, and we chose the most hilarious options together. Here was my favorite passage:
You open the door of the Salon, ever, and quickly close it behind you. It is very dim inside, and your eyes take several seconds to adjust. There is a sort of snuffling sound in one corner, and you start to draw your rapier before you realize it is...seductive breathing. Your eyes adjusted, you see the fabled courtesan Yvette lying on a couch, her fishnet stockings gleaming against the red plush. She languidly stretches out one slim arm and beckons to you.
Abandon your mission, shout, "Every man for himself," and fling yourself upon her? Go to 67
Allow her to seduce you, pay her, then resume your search for your true love? Go to 53
Call on Sir Galahad, the Pure Knight, to help you fight temptation? Go to 71."
Needless to say, all of those options turn out horribly. Very funny story that I was not expecting! And I have never rolled a D6 for a story before, so that was entertaining.
I also enjoyed My New Really Epic Fantasy Series, which basically made fun of all the long winded fantasy epics out there. Any fantasy fan will get a kick out of it.
Besides those three, I thought the rest of the book was ok but nothing spectacular. Nix wrote a little introduction to each story, and I thought he came across as smug and egotistical.
Nothing I would go out of my way to seek out, but it was an alright read. I can't wait for book 4 of the Old Kingdom books (out in 2014! THAT'S SO FAR AWAY)