That I'm giving five stars to a collection of short stories should be an indication to anyone who knows me at all that "Sleight of Hand" is quite excellent - I just don't usually like short stories. I know, from reading what Mr. Beagle has written about his writing, that a lot of his work is painstakingly crafted, and may not even find a final form until after many years of languishing in a file, unfinished. It's easy to lose sight of that though because his writing is so fluid, and his stories so varied, he makes it look easy.
"Sleight of Hand" brings together stories of fantasy, science fiction and even horror. Some have a feeling of mythology to them, while others bring to mind the magic of of childhood, when anything seems possible, while one is quite experimental in nature. He's not afraid to explore and learn as he crafts a story.
Peter S. Beagle has been a favorite writer of mine, for most of my life, and I can say that this collection only strengthens my belief that he is one of America's best, contemporary fantasy writers.