Jessica Amanda Salmonson deserves to be better known. Her Tomoe Gozen
trilogy is one of my favorite fantasy series ever
.A Silver Thread of Madness
is a collection of her short stories. It's divided into three parts. The first part, Six Legends
, are legends, usually involving magic or divine beings, set in various cultural milieus (Russian, Arabic, Native American, etc.), demonstrating Salmonson's versatility. The second part, A Silver Thread of Madness
, is a collection of very, very loosely related stories (the "thread" running through them all is, in fact, madness) ranging from modern fables to ghost stories to a couple that are akin to traditional horror. The third part, Tales of Naipon
, consists of several short stories set in the same mythical feudal Japan as the Tomoe Gozen
trilogy (Tomoe does not appear in any of them, however).
I thought it was an excellent collection, though I'd really give it 4.5 stars out of 5; while Salmonson writes in the preface that she considers short stories to be superior to novels in terms of literary quality, it's still her novels I truly love.