I have just started George R. R. Martin's Dangerous Women anthology. Got it as a gift so definitely qualifies as free, even if I'm not so stiff about that in this blog anymore. My usual practice is to review all the stories individually, but in this case I'll also make comments on what I see in the anthology as a whole as I go along.
Some Desperado is an action story--a woman outlaw on the run, from the law and her erstwhile partners. It's a gritty fight scene that shows Shy, the protagonist, as a tough but now quite desperate survivor. It was OK to read, but I don't know if it would really stand alone as the link's marketing implies. On its own it's two stars.
As I was reading it, it made me think about what to get out of this anthology. It is supposed to be about strong women who will fight, with wits, wiles, or force. And sure enough this one is a fighter, with a reflective backstory. But other than a couple of paragraphs that indicated one of the other outlaws had kept her bedroll warm, it pretty much felt like reading about a man. Contrast this with Pyre of New Day, by Catherine Asaro, which also features a physically strong woman but ends up to be a more clever role reversal. I am thinking Asaro wasn't invited to this particular party, not sure she would fit here. Onward.