YA a few years older

Magic, check. Fantasy setting, check. Court politics, check. Swashbuckling characters, check. Female protagonist, check. Female protagonist who saves the kingdom, check. Female protagonist who saves the kingdom and engages in a romantic relationship, check. Female protagonist who saves the kingdom and engages in a romantic relationship while defeating dastardly villains, …

Light-hearted short stories

Short stories in high school anthologies tended toward the bleak. Nothing was resolved, nothing quite made sense, and everyone was unhappy in a sort of run-down, hopeless way. I was not fond of short stories. There were a few exceptions: Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” was a bright light, bleak, yes, …