Assassin Fantastic

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Assassin Fantastic is a 2001 collection of fifteen short stories, all featuring Assassins, each with their own motivations and methods. Most of the stories include a Twist Ending of some sort, though a few are more straightforward. In order, the fifteen tales are:

  • "Death Rites" by Tanya Huff - Brother-sister team Bannon and Vree are dispatched to take care of a traitorous commander who has holed up in one of their own fortresses - a traitor who has already dealt with the first three assassins sent after her with ease.
  • "Green Stones" by Stephen Leigh - The old barkeeper Maire had his number the moment he set foot in her bar. He was looking for the legendary Green Stone... but for what purpose?
  • "Coin of the Realm" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - Princess Rosalind is to be married against her will to Prince Lief of Crystofil, whose lands her sexist father covets. Never mind that the assassins are currently in the middle of a bloody sort of Succession Crisis: whoever can kill the most high-profile target in a way that benefits the King the most will become his new right hand. And Rosalind is well aware that the wedding will make a very tempting target, indeed...
  • "The Svedali Foundlings" by Fiona Patton - Coll thought he was the Last of His Kind: the last survivor of the Svedali Foundling Home. But There Is Another, and when their paths cross, it may well mean the end of the simple sort of life Coll's managed to make for himself since the incident.
  • "History and Ecomonics" by Anna Oster - A young nobleman comes looking for revenge, only to recieve a few lessons in history and ecomonics.
  • "Never Say... Uh... Die?" by Josepha Sherman - Alexei Danilovich runs a efficent "Removal Service", taking out the targets heroes can't hack -- but how do you kill someone who calls himself "the Deathless"?
  • "Dying By Inches" by Teresa Edgerton - Miss Odilia Rowan navigates a Deadly Decadent Court, seeking vengence for how her family was wronged... but has she found the right target?
  • "Darkness Comes Together" by Mickey Zucker Reichert - An ordinary assassin finds himself working with the legendary Nightfall, inflitrating the same mansion and seeking the same target...
  • "Raven's Cut" by Lynn Flewelling - A former assassin recounts the tale of the best assassin he's ever known: Raven.
  • "Myhr's Adventure in Hell" by P.N. Elrod - A couple of dimension hopping travelers are recruiter to ensure a recently deceased Complete Monster stays dead by assassinating him in hell.
  • "He" by Leyte Jefferson - A modern werewolf assassin reports back to his master.
  • "War of the Roses" by Rosemary Edghill - The Flower Guild of the White City of Megiddo is legendary, though few know for certain if it even exists. Redlorn, however, learns that it must exist, for how else could he cross paths with one of its members? But for what purpose has he been singled out?
  • "On My Honor" by Bernie Arntzen - The trusted assassin for Queen Catherine of Oran is assigned to deal with King Avery of Roarke -- the very country he secretly serves as a Double Agent. This could be a problem...
  • "A Touch of Poison" by Jane Lindskold - Adalia, the Widow Baker, is dragged into an assassination plot as their instrument of murder -- poison her beloved master, or her infant son dies. Surely an ordinary, helpless girl like her can't stand against them, right...?
  • "Echoes" by Michelle West - The bard Kallandras reflects on part of his Dark and Troubled Past, on one of the finest friends he made in an unexpected place... and on the Training from Hell they endured together, and a Secret Test of Character that went terribly awry.

Tropes used in Assassin Fantastic include:

"Looks like you'll have to do."