Title: The Witch’s Bicycle
Author: Tim Pratt
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Magic
Dates read: 26th April 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: So play with me and you’ll get better, right?
It’s an age old tale, two boys, one girl, a rivalry that ends in tears. But, what happens when they decide to change the script? Will the dark magic continue?
I was really dreading a horrible ending to this story. One that would involve a tragedy and the dark magic practitioner riding off into the sunset with her own version of happily ever after. But it didn’t quite end like that. In fact, it had a very happy ending with a bit of violence and darkness thrown in. Something that I thoroughly enjoy in a good story – some violence, some hope and a happily-ever-after.
The idea of a girl with two boys interested is kind of age old. Something that has been around since time and time again. And a story that serves its purpose in most of the books that I read. But there’s not normally an evil, meddling witch trying to extend the conflict and end a life. There’s also not normally a girl running around with a hockey stick, protecting the boy (rather than the other way around). It’s these quirky, happy little differences that made me that much happier.
This story was a great, dark twist on the fairy tales and stories of witches that I’ve been reading lately. It was darker and far more twisted than usual. But it also had a happy ending, and didn’t leave me feeling uncomfortable and filled with a kind of horror at the end of the story.