Title: La Reine d’Enfer
Author: Kathe Koja
In: Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Gaslamp, LGBTQI
Dates read: 12th July 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: I grabbed up whatever I could put my hand to, a silver spoon from the table, a bottle of gin; then threw it all down again, my head a-swim like being drunk.
He’s been trapped in a life that isn’t one of his own making. Davey is hunting him, but all he wants to do is act on stage. Will he finally get what he wants?
When I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t quite remember what this short story was even about. There was a vague memory of enjoying the story and thinking it was very good, but I just couldn’t remember what happened in it. So I had to have a quick look at the pages again. And then it all came flooding back to me. And I’m really not sure why I didn’t remember this much clearer from the very beginning. There was a bit of an Oliver Twist feel to this story, with a great sense of darkness and brutality.
I like that there was a subtle feeling of magic to this story. It felt more about the magic of theatre than the casting of a spell. More about magics that we make others believe in (some might say manipulate) than that of the Fair Folk. It created a nice, dreary, mystical affect to the storyline that made you not want to put it down. Although, it’s this same shrouded mystery-effect which also made it quite difficult to remember exactly what it was that I had just read..