This is a story about baby Penny, who one night is dropped into a bank's night deposite box. When the bank manager/owner comes into work the next morning he finds the baby in with the rest of the deposites and decided that it is the banks responsibility to raise her. In this short story we watch as Penny grows from a young baby to a young adult. It didn't have much fantasy in it until the very end. For me it ended right when it was getting good, again I felt this was a great set-up for a full-length novel, but it was an enjoyable story.
Beauty by Sherwood Smith
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story takes place in the same world of Crown Duel. It follows the daughter of Mel and Danric, who I loved, in the earlier books. Elestra is far from beautiful and is upset one evening and runs to the thrown room to get away, as soon as she enters the evil Flauvic (who had been imprisioned in a tree) takes her captive so he can make his escape. The curse that was placed on Flauvic in Court Duel has been lifted and although twenty years have passed he has hardly aged. All his family, friends and connections are long gone and he is all alone. As they travel toward the border a friendship grows between Elestra and Flauvic and before anything can really happen between them the story ends. I have mixed feelings about this one. Flauvic was such a "bad guy" in the Court Duel book it was hard for me to see him as a good guy in this one. I suppose living twenty years in a tree, losing everyone you know, and knowing that no one cared to rescue you is a pretty good punishment. Maybe he has learned a lesson and will strive to live a better life. The story ended a bit too quickly and I'm left wondering more about him then I ever was with the original story. It was fun revisiting and finding out how Mel and Danric are doing, although it didn't have the same magic from the other stories, it was still a fun read.