25) Winter Moon, by Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee and C.E. Murphy
is in good company here, her novella sharing covers with two of the giants of the field, all three providing fantasy stories involving the moon and winter. Cate’s is also much the best of the three. The Lackey is an awfully bog-standard romance yarn; while the heroine is slightly tougher than average, once you have met both the Bad Young Man and the Good Young Man, you know where it is going to end, and sure enough it does. Tanith Lee has tried a bit harder, with a heroine from a female warrior caste doing spritual penance on a moon-drenched island, but even here she slips into a convenient romance and an awfully pat ending. Cate’s story is (I guess) a follow-up to her first novel, a gritty urban fantasy set in contemporary Seattle, where our heroine solves the crime and works out some personal demons as well. The first two are harmless, the third recommended.