Tag Archives: Ellen Klages

The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Coyote Road
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Pat Murphy, Carolyn Dunn, Steve Berman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Christopher Barzak, Delia Sherman, Richard Bowes, Ellen Klages, Patricia A. McKillip, Theodora Goss, Charles de Lint, Katherine Vaz, Caroline Stevermer, Midori Snyder, Michael Cadnum, Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth E. Wein, Kim Antieau, Will Shetterly, Kelly Link, Holly Black, Carol Emshwiller, Jedediah Berry, Jeffrey Ford, Jane Yolen & Kij Johnson
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Short story collections, Tricksters
Dates read: 11th March – 24th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: She handed me a message, one that read I was to be married to a stranger.

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Synopsis

Coyote. Anansi. Brer Rabbit. Trickster characters have long been a staple of folk literature – and are a natural choice for the subject of the acclaimed Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s third “mythic” anthology. Twenty-six authors, including Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Charles de Lint (Little (Grrl) Lost), Ellen Klages (The Green Glass Sea), Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow) and Jane Yolen, have crafted stories and poems drawing from cultures and traditions all over the world – each surprising, engrossing, and thought provoking. Terri Windling provides a comprehensive introduction to the trickster myths of the world, and the entire book is highlighted by the remarkable decorations of Charles Vess.

The Coyote Road, like its companions The Green Man (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and The Faery Reel (a World Fantasy Award Finalist), is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary fantastic fiction.

Thoughts

This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds since starting this collection.

Like many of the Ellen Datlow collections lining my shelves, the theme and collected authors in this are brilliant. Each and every story is perfectly curated to match into the theme of Tricksters. Often in surprising and confusing ways. After all, the prefect trickster never does what is expected, and many of the stories in this managed to take me by surprise.

I would suggest this collection to anybody who loves short stories, fantasy, mythology, tricksters… really I would just suggest it to almost anyone. There are sad stories and happy ones. Insanely complex tales and ones that are so beautifully simplistic. Definitely one of those collections that I’m going to read again and again.

 <- The Cinderella Game Anthology ReviewOne Odd Shoe Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Friday Night at St. Cecilia’s by Ellen Klages

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: Friday Night at St. Cecilia’s
Author: Ellen Klages
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Easy reading, Tricksters
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: She looked at the light switch across the room, but didn’t bother turning it on.

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Synopsis

Friday night at St. Cecilia’s means a night of board games and companionship for Rachel and Addie. But, when Queen Mabe decides to up the stakes, traditional board games become far more complex, and a whole lot more dangerous.

Thoughts

Game nights were kind of a big thing in my family when I was younger. Actually, they’re still kind of a big thing, although I’m not around as much to play now. They were always a great way to spend time together in a fun way. And, since we’re all more than a little competitive, a very fun, not to mention loud way to spend the night. So, a short story that features board games that I grew up playing and a trickster… it’s the kind of story that I was always going to love.

I was kind of expecting Rachel to learn some kind of lesson throughout this story. After all, she starts out as a very rebellious young woman in a catholic boarding school. Who is in detention. This is exactly the kind of not-on-the-right-path character that tends to need a bit of adjustment. But, it doesn’t really happen. Rather, her rebellion just leads her on a very fun and interesting adventure. And it is one that is full of nostalgia and humour. An easy read that made me think of all the times with my family. And all of the board games in my cupboard.

 <- A Tale for the Short Days ReviewThe Fortune-Teller Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan

Overview

Under My HatTitle: Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
Author: Jonathan Strahan, Diana Peterfreund, Frances Hardinge, Garth Nix, Holly Black, Charles de Lint, Tanith Lee, Neil Gaiman, Ellen Klages, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Patricia A. McKillip, Tim Pratt, M. Rickert, Isobelle Carmody, Jane Yolen, Peter S. Beagle, Margo Lanagan
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingShort story collections, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: Collection
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Was he?” asked Mari.

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Synopsis

Broomsticks.
Black Cats.
Pointy Hats.

They can mean only one thing – somewhere nearby, there must be a witch. From fairy tales to fims to fiction, witches cast their spells and capture our imaginations.

Now the biggest names in fantasy and young adult literature have come together to make a little magic of their own. Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Diana Peterfreund, Margo Lanagan, Peter S. Beagle, and Garth Nix are just a few of the authors who have toiled over their cauldrons and conjured up bewitching new creations inspired by and celebrating the might and mystery of the witch. Assembled by one of the most well-regarded anthologists in the science fiction/fantasy world, this rich, intelligent collection will enchant readers of all ages.

Thoughts

Short story collections are always good fun. They’re a great way to discover new authors, and the common thread through them can be so unique and different. Sometimes I even struggle to find the common thread! Not with this amazing collection though. It’s simple. Witches.

Strahan did a great job of putting together this fun and cute little collection of witch-y tales and I’m actually kind of disappointed that it’s over. Although I bought it to read B is for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher, the rest of the stories really jumped out at me. It’s actually difficult to pick an absolute favourite – they all had this twisted, fun, unexpected adventure that they took me on. Closing the cover of the book, I feel like I’ve gone on journeys through distant lands (and realms) and come back to land squarely on earth. Which is actually kind of disappointing… time to find my next epic journey of witchcraft and wings…

<- Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow Review Stray Magic Review ->
Image source: Frances Hardinge

The Education of a Witch by Ellen Klages

Overview

Under My HatTitle: The Education of a Witch
Author: Ellen Klages
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Witches
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Lizzy scoots, and her father puts the little chair from her bedroom right on the seat of the car.

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Synopsis

Lizzy Breyer’s parents take her to see the movie, Sleeping Beauty. Unlike most little girls her age who are enthralled by Sleeping Beauty and her prince, Lizzy is entranced by the wicked witch Maleficent. Her mother takes her to the toy store, where she chooses a Maleficent puppet to buy, and she imagines that it talks to her. When Lizzy’s baby sister is born, everything changes for Lizzy. She is no longer the center of attention, which makes her feel angry. As her obsession with Maleficent grows, Lizzy begins acting out at school and soon discovers an ability within herself to cause mischief and mayhem just like the witch she idolizes.

Thoughts

At the beginning of this story, I thought that it was really sweet that a young girl found solace in Maleficent when her family welcomed a new baby. After all, I totally get feeling an attachment to Maleficent – she is one of my favourite Disney villains. But, as with many short stories, it took a completely unexpected turn. And quite a sinister one.

I’m a bigger sister, so I’m sure that there were bumps in the road when, at two and a half, my baby sister came on the scene. I certainly remember there being many, many, many arguments as we grew older (they still occur frequently for that matter). But, I would never resort to witch craft to lash out at others. And (I hope), the teething issues weren’t as bad as they were for Lizzy. Since she turns from cute girl with no understanding of why she’s not the centre of attention to a slightly crazy little child. I’m actually glad the story ended on such a cliff hanger, since I don’t really want to know how it ended!

 <- Witch Work Review The Threefold World Review ->
Image source: Frances Hardinge