The Line Between by Peter S. Beagle
The long-awaited sequel to the popular classic The Last Unicorn is the centerpiece of this powerful collection of new tales from a fantasy master. As longtime fans have come to expect, the stories are written with a grace and style similar to fantasy’s most original voices, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, and Kurt Vonnegut. Traditional themes are typically infused with modern sensibilities—reincarnated lovers and waning kings rub shoulders with heroic waifs; Schmendrick the Magician returns to adventure, as does the ghost of an off-Broadway actor and a dream-stealing shapeshifter; and Gordon, the delightfully charming “self-made cat,” appears for the first time in print, taking his place alongside Stuart Little as a new favorite of the young at heart. This wide-ranging compilation contains sly humor and a resounding depth that will charm fans of literary fantasy. (via Goodreads)
Literary fantasy. What funny terms we make up for genres! Anyway, here’s what I wrote in my original post from Dec. 4, 2006:
I bought this book for “Two Hearts,” but I think my favorite story of it was “Salt Wine.” Maybe it was because I read it yesterday while feverish, and I can’t stop thinking about how great a film it would make, if the movie-makers could get it right. There aren’t enough mermaid stories in the world. I’ll give Beagle one thing if anything, he always knows how to strike the perfect note between beauty and the terrible.
Great if you loved The Last Unicorn and especially if Schmendrick and Molly are your favorite characters. Still, great if you want a solid collection of fantasy tales, both modern and classical.