Arc provided by Dragonwell Publishing through Netgalley
Release Date: October 30th
With more sorrows than wishes in it _ or maybe I just got more caught on all the darker aspects _ this is a wonderful anthology made of stories capable of breaking our hearts, and of making us _ okay, myself _ wish that each and every one of them had been turned into a full length book. Because if a story is good enough, I will always find myself wanting more!
Also I have to mention this: I had already read some of these stories in another anthology...the thing is, I didn't enjoyed them as much back then, as I did now. Surprise! o_O
Apparently my taste _and its growth _ still has a long route ahead of it...*inserts awkward silence*
This being said, it does seem that these are the type of stories that just get better with a frequent re-reading.
The Bell Witch and The Queen Of Vines - 3.5 stars
With small traits of the famous Eurydice allegory _ amongst many other influences.. _ this Bell Witch, is the story of Aziza who is very much alive _unlike the other Bell Witch poltergeist legend . (of which I had never heard previous to reading this story).
Aziza is the wise woman of her...let's say "village", and the one who has the task of keeping ghosts and all things "that lurk in the night" away, and properly behaving.
"She called herself Aziza, and as she walked she rang softly, bells in her hair, around her ankles and waist and wrists, which was appropriate, for she was a bell witch."
The writing, it invokes the magic Aziza possesses in her life.
This is a dark story of crossroads and of second chances, with a little dash of romance provided with the introduction of "shameless" naked werewolf..... :)
You people are probably getting the wrong idea with this, but, oh well, lol, go read it, and you'll find out what I am talking about ;)
Every Word I speak- 4 stars
When what was given as a blessing turns into a curse, what will Queen Sarah do with her life?
Dark and gritty, this is the author's take on a supposed happy ending....only instead of living a dream, our main character ends up living a nightmare.
I really liked this story, and I would love to know what happens next in a full length book!
p.s. Okay, a novella will also suffice :)
"I believe in devils, and sometimes in angels, but not in fairies."
One Hundred Eight Degrees - 3 Stars
A short that tells us the story of a time traveller, living with her head and heart in two different worlds.
"It was one hundred and eight quick steps to the bedroom.
She shut the door promising herself that tonight she'd dream of tomorrow."
I liked it, but I think it could have worked better with a little more information about her home country.
Remember - 4 Stars
A story made of missing pieces and unknown truths. The human mind and all it's secrets.
"Tears flowed again, but they were happy tears.
Perhaps it was her tears that drew him, the tall, slender shadow that separated itself from the wall and arched over her. He was all black except where the moon reflected in his gold eyes."
The Train - 4 Stars
“You have my heart,” Seagal says. He’s weeping now, his face red and angry. “I want it back.”
What if someone brought you back from the dead?
For how long, would you, "the creation", comply with the rules given to you?
The Tower In The Desert - 4.5 Stars
Finally, after quite a number of dark tales, here is one that doesn't end with people being killed, or insane or just plainly miserable!
Besides that _lol_ it was a pretty good story, and yes, the dragon fooled me as well.
"She was… a princess of our lands, she was to marry our Sultan, but the… his pet monster… he kidnapped her.
“A mage… a man of great power,” Dameer said softly. “Everyone was terrified of him. Everyone. Except her.”
A Necklace of Rubies -4.5 Stars
He is handsome, he is mysterious....and people say that he killed his previous wife! o_O
How can Tessa resist?
"Bluebeard" meets "Beauty and the Beast"...meets "East of the Sun"?
Suffice to say there are ghosts, axes and blood!
A perfect Halloween treat.
"Such a tiny, harmless, innocent key. Such a plain door. Just take a peek, prove them all wrong, no one would ever, ever know…"
What Will I do When The Dream Is Over - 3.5 Stars
A short urban fantasy story about the balance of the world, and the role two people play in it.
A story of fate, duty and love.
I think it could have used a little more descriptions regarding some scenes...
Sometimes I had a little bit of difficulty"seeing them" in my head, like for instance the scene in which both "girls" fall into a trap.
Also could have done without the whole "must be a virgin in order to use a unicorn as a means of transportation", lol, but besides that, it was an enjoyable tale.
“It was all a dream, and beyond our control.”
The Fortunate Ones - 4.5 Stars
I am just going to cry now...
" She wrapped her fingers around the bar. Inside her stomach, the coin burned.
“You’re my fortune, now.” she informed it, and let go of the ledge.
This is a story about a woman who is the victim of her husband's violence,and all the "ifs" our mind can make up in order to survive..
TW's, for "domestic violence".
The Jester's Heart - 3.5 Stars
"There is a place in the woods, a tight knot of brambles and dead willow trees that the gardeners want to cut, but neither the Queen nor I will permit it. In the center of this knot, there is a marble bench that no longer magically opens, and in the compartment rests a Jester’s Staff."
Dark, dark, and darker...I could have used a little more information about the Jester's staff, some basic background, but overall it was an extremely disturbing and creepy story.
I Am The Grey Lady - 4 Stars
I really hope that this edition that I am reading _a supposed arc _ will undergo some serious editing before being published.
As it was, the story is pretty compelling to read with ghosts and time travels, but the numerous typos did manage during numerous times, to break its fluidity.
“Oh, no. You don’t realize that you’re dead, do you?”
But Can You Let Him Go -4.5 Stars
A very ambitious Cinderella retelling that manages to give its readers a number of different takes of the famous fairy tale, all of this while telling a single story.
"This is me. The caution in your tale, the one with the thousand guises."
The Taste Of Cherries - 3.5 Stars
As far as I am concerned, the story doesn't matter as much as the pure gorgeous prose of this one.
"I will sit in the sun and dream in the warmth. Dream of petals as soft as a baby’s cheek, as light as the laughter of love. They will be pink and sweet, drifting through my hands like grains of sand. I will shelve all regrets away, and concentrate on remembering the taste of cherries."
All in all, a wonderful anthology sure to make every "fairy tale addict" and "lover of fine prose" _please, please, let it all be properly edited by now with the typos removed, or people will have my head! _ a very happy reader!
Now I am just going to bother BookDepository until they have the paperback edition! :)
Oh, and the cover is gorgeous!