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Reviews of 'The Players of Gilean'

The Players of Gilean

by Fergus Ryan, Douglas Niles, Margaret Weis, Aron Eisenberg, Paul B. Thompson, Richard A. Knaak, Tracy Hickman, Jean Rabe, Donald J. Bingle
Anthologies, Volume 1

Reviews of 'The Players of Gilean'

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Reviewer: Cassandra Jacobs

Rating: Stars

This is a short story collection centered around the Traveling Players of Gilean, a troupe of actors who venture around Krynn, doing plays for anyone, from small settlements to large cities. Initially introduced in the short story of the same name, these short stories are aimed to teach a lesson, at least to the characters in the story.

Most of the stories are more of novellas, due to their length. There is only around six stories in total, most by established and known authors. I enjoyed many of the stories, as they were well written and definitely told a good story.

I think the one exception out of the whole book was Perfect by Donald Bingle. This story, about a Solamnic knight who wanted the perfect play put on by the troupe, really grated on my nerves. True, the knight was portrayed as a pompous arrogant jerk, but it wasn't only his personality that bothered me. The portrayal of Sebastius, the leader of the troupe, was very different in personality compared to the other stories. While a certain amount of difference is acceptable due to the variety of authors who contributed to this anthology, this author really changed and butchered this significant character. Combined with the poor story execution and the really dumb and annoying characters, I didn't enjoy this story at all.

There were some other aspects of continuity that came into question. One story stated that the members of the troupe were always changing, yet in another story, one character had been part of the group for 200 years. This story would also have overlapped a previous story, yet the characters were all different.

I did enjoy the aspect of the tattoo, used to mark members of the troupe, and making them immortal as long as they stayed. This was a significant plot device in A Matter of Honor by Richard Knaak.

Overall, this was a good collection of stories. The well known authors maintain their level of expertise and skill, while most of the newer authors also tell a captivating story.

Review made February 12th, 2004.

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