Tag Archives: Ellen Steiber

Black Thorn, White Rose edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Black Thorn, White Rose
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, Ann Downer, Daniel Quinn, M.E. Beckett, Michael Kandel, Michael Cadnum, Lawrence Schimel, Isabel Cole, Tim Wynne-Jones, Midori Snyder, Jane Yolen, Howard Waldrop, Roger Zelazny, Peter Straub, Ellen Steiber, Storm Constantine & Susan Wade
Series: Adult Fairy Tales #2
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Short story collections
Dates read: 12th February – 25th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you for your last letter, which reached me before I set off.

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Synopsis

The award-winning editors of II Snow White, Blood Red II return us to distinctly adult realms of myth and the fantastic with eighteen wondrous works. From Roger Zelazny’s delightful tale of Death’s disobedient godson to Peter Straub’s blood-chilling look at a gargantuan Cinderella, here are stories strange and miraculous that remold our most cherished childhood fables into things sexier, more sinister… and more appealing to grown-up tastes and sensibilities.

Thoughts

After reading Snow White, Blood Red, I knew that I needed the other books which were edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling featuring fairy tale retellings. Because these aren’t the retellings that you would expect. And they’re not the kinds of retellings that make you feel all nice and fluffy on the inside. They’re dark and twisted in places. Sexual in others. And just downright make you think most of the time.

Many of the authors in this collection are ones that I have already come across. Which is something I most certainly enjoyed. A few were totally new to me. Enough to make me wonder who I would be coming across next, but not so much that I felt like I had a whole slew of new people to add to my shelves. Rather, it was a fair few authors who are already in my wishlist…

I love the constant returning to fairy tales that were reminiscent of the Grimm Brothers. It’s a nice little departure from the more common fairy tales that I find. And other than Rumpelstiltskin and Red Riding Hood, the vast majority of these fairy tales were of the lesser known variety. Which suited me perfectly. I like those more abstract stories at times.

<- Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy WidowerWords Like Pale Stones ->

Image source: Goodreads

Silver and Gold by Ellen Steiber

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Silver and Gold
Author: Ellen Steiber
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Poetry, Retellings
Dates read: 20th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: is it any wonder I went deeper and deeper into the green trees?

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Synopsis

A beautiful poem that investigates the reasons why we tend to follow the wolf off of the trodden path.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved this poem adaptation to Little Red Riding Hood. It’s not generally one of my favourite fairy tales – so many plot holes, but this one kind of took those into account. It questioned how you wouldn’t know that the shape in the bed was the damn wolf. It questioned why you would follow a wolf into the woods.

But, mostly what I loved about this poem was the fact that it had a much more adult take on the fairy tale. It was about following things that you just know aren’t good for you. But you’ll follow that anyway, it’s how we learn after all.

This is a great, easy to follow poem. There are hidden layers throughout it. But there is also a great and obvious storyline at the forefront too.

<- AshputtleSweet Bruising Skin ->

Image source: Goodreads

Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers: Magical Tales of Love and Seduction
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Storm Constantine, Delia Sherman, Joyce Carol Oates, Tanith Lee, Edward Bryant, Garry Kilworth, Michael Swanwick, Elizabeth E. Wein, Pat Murphy, Ellen Steiber, Jane Yolen, Dave Smeds, Neil Gaiman, Doris Egan, Melissa Lee Shaw, Kelley Eskridge, Brian Stableford, Conrad Williams, Mark W. Tiedemann, Ellen Kushner, Wendy Froud & Bruce Glassco
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 6th January – 19th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She abruptly saw herself as if from another’s eyes, toiling in dirty work clothes with the sharp blades, the mirror, the powdered remains.

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Synopsis

Prepare to be seduced by powerful magic — the sorcery of lust, need, and sensuality. Multiple award-winners Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together twenty-two tales of unearthly temptations wickedly concocted by some of today’s most potent literary conjurers — including Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, and Joyce Carol Oates. Here are stories of incubi and succubi, of forbidden fruits harvested in erotic gardens, of pleasures that persist beyond death. So heed the sirens’ song. Lie back, relax, and submit to the darkest delights you have ever experienced.

Thoughts

This collection isn’t quite toe curling, it isn’t quite horrific, but a nice mix between the two. It makes you think about the weirdness of sexuality. And the uniqueness of those things that go bump in the night. And thrive upon our sexual, deepest, darkest desires. I was honestly expecting this to be a little more of an uncomfortable read. However, mostly, I just found it intriguing.

This is a great collection of some very familiar authors, and some very new authors. It was a good way to depart from the realities of the world and be entertained by the imaginations of some very creative people. It wasn’t necessarily my favourite collection ever, the thread tying each of these tales together wasn’t as distinct as other collections. But it was a seriously enjoyable journey regardless.

This is definitely a collection that I’ll pick up again at some point in the future. It’s fun, light and easy. Also, there are a number of authors that I still need to hunt out books for… I enjoyed each and everyone of these stories.

<- ToadMy Lady of the Hearth ->

Image source: Goodreads

In the Season of Rains by Ellen Steiber

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: In the Season of Rains
Author: Ellen Steiber
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Lust
Dates read: 8th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She reached a hand toward him and the scent of the datura became stronger.

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Synopsis

Enrique has always pushed women away. Always kept himself in control of the relationship. Until one dark night when the rain is thundering down on his garden… then everything changes.

Thoughts

This short story had a great… quality about it. There was the sense of another (non-Anglo Saxon) culture about it. Although, it was a little vague on exactly which culture was inspiring the mythical woman in this story. I also loved the imagery of the garden and the rain. There is nothing like having a beautiful garden. And the sound and scent of rain surrounding it? Also stunningly beautiful. It worked well with a random, half-dressed woman strolling through the plants.

I felt like I should have had a little more sympathy for Enrique. But, honestly, I felt like he kind of got his comeuppance. He constantly wanted to show that he was less caring than the women he bought home. So he kind of got his poetic justice for using people. Fine, he did tell them that he wasn’t into commitment… but honestly, that’s just a kind of insane way to approach any kind of intimacy.

Although this story had a slightly dark feel to it, it also had me smiling all throughout. Probably because I really appreciated the poetic justice in it. There was just something refreshing and enjoyable about the whole story. Kind of like standing in the garden after a fresh rain.

<- AttachmentsBird Count ->

Image source: Goodreads