Meredith Ann Pierce is filed right next to Tamora Pierce in the kids’ fantasy section, and apparently all her novels have won awards. She also lives in a solar-powered house, and is a librarian by day. I’m always a bit sad when authors who have won a lot of awards can’t make a living as an author, but I hope she loves being a librarian. This collection was inspired by Sharyn November, the powerhouse children’s editor behind the Firebird anthologies; she suggested to Ms. Pierce that she might have enough short stories to make a book, and she did. As a matter of fact, one of these stories was published in the first Firebirds anthology.

This collection of eight stories are all linked by the theme of water, in various forms. A few of them take place on or beside the sea. One involves a good deal of ice and snow; a well figures importantly in other stories. They span Ms. Pierce’s entire career; one she wrote at fourteen, and according to the introduction to the story, after she wrote it, she felt as if she were finally a writer. Another was published in 2003, although it doesn’t say when she wrote it. My favorite is the last and longest story in the collection, “Rampion,” about a young woman on an island and her half-sister and the seafoxes that provide the island’s livelihood; it was apparently a Witch World story. (more…)