One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was an anthology called “Dangerous Women.”
The fact that it is edited in part by George R.R. Martin, the mastermind behind the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, as well as the TV show, and its inspiration for “Game of Thrones,” only adds to its appeal.
“Dangerous Women” was also just released in December, so the anthology is relatively brand new.
Anthologies usually have the connotation of classwork and textbooks, but this anthology could not be any further from those assumptions.
“Dangerous Women” is a cross-genre featuring never-before-seen stories that involve fascinating and complicated female characters. The benefits of this anthology over others is that there is science fiction, western tales, futuristic dystopias, mysteries and any other genre you can think of. There is a story for everyone.
These little novellas were created by many well-known authors, such as Joe Abercrombie, Carrie Vaughn and Jim Butcher.
The two tales I was most excited about were the ones by Diana Gabaldon and the editor himself, George R. R. Martin.
Gabaldon is most recognized for her bestselling “Outlander” series, so she added to the famous Jamie Fraser’s backstory for “Dangerous Women” in which he encounters a clever and deceiving Jewish woman on her way to meet her betrothed.
Martin also deals with backstory, that of House Targaryen. In both the book and the TV series, Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, is of House Targaryen. Martin’s contribution to the anthology, called “The Princess and the Queen,” focuses on the first Dance of Dragons, or the battle for the Iron Throne after the death of King Viserys the First.
There are a couple of things that I would change about this anthology. For one, I really wanted more of the stories to have females as the main character. A good chunk of them just had the “dangerous woman” as a side character that the main character interacts with. From the title, I expected that most of the stories would have women as the primary perspective.
Also, I would have loved some scholarly dialogue about each story, but that might just be my English major talking.
All of this being said, I could not recommend this anthology highly enough. With 784 pages, this is not something you can devour within a day, but it is easy to break up with each story being around 20 pages. It’s perfect bedtime reading material.
Plus, with 21 stories representing different genres, you will not get bored.
If you do not let the classification of anthology scare you away, get a copy of this one and see how dangerous women in literature can be.