She’s growing up and leaving the past toys of her childhood behind. But in this case, that’s a little bit more difficult and dark than expected…
I find dolls creepy (I hope to god I don’t have a doll obsessed kid)… and, once I realised that the vampire like creature in this was, in fact, a creepy doll.. ick.
Honestly, I didn’t really love this story. I didn’t hate it… but it wasn’t my favourite. Probably the doll thing. There is just something about them that is… nope nope nope. Especially ones with glass eyes.
I did like the take on vampires, magic and familiars in this. It was a little dark and twisty, kind of convoluted and not what I expected at all. Which is what I truly love in a short story.
Gaslamp fantasy, or historical fantasy set in a magical version of the nineteenth century, has long been popular with readers and writers alike. Many wonderful novels, such as Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and The Prestige by Christopher Priest, ower their inspiration to works by nineteenth-century writers, including Jane Austen, the Brontes, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope. And, of course, the entire steampunk genre and subculture owes more than a little to literature from and inspired by this period.
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells is an anthology for everyone who loves neo-Victorian fiction and modern fantasists using vintage settings, characters, and themes. Their approaches stretch from steampunk fiction to the Austen- and Trollope- inspired works known as fantasy of manners. The result is eighteen stories by experts from the fantasy, horror, main-stream, and young-adult fields, including both bestselling writers and exciting new talents, who present a bewitching vision of a nineteenth century enhance (or cursed!) with magic.
This is an absolutely brilliant collection. One that I didn’t want to put down and introduced me to a whole new genre. It’s my first ever Gaslamp collection, and although I found some of the stories throughout a little weird and intense… I also loved the vast majority of them. Enough so that I plan to read this again and again in the future.
I was expecting a pretty simple and balanced collection. I
really wasn’t expecting such a convoluted and twisted set of stories. But, as
I’ve often found in life, it’s those unexpected surprises are the best and most
exciting aspects of life. They’re the moments that you don’t want to forget
because they were unplanned. And this anthology kind of felt like that.
I tend to read a lot of short stories late at night. Or when
I’m just needing a quick little break from the many complexities of my PhD. This
is not the collection that does that for me. It’s seriously intense, completely
unexpected and very full on. The kind of short stories that you want to read
when you have your concentrating brain working… not when it’s late at night and
you just want some easy entertainment…
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..
Snow White, Blood Red is a brand new collection of fairy tales. But be warned. It is not a collection for the faint-hearted. Or even one to lull the innocent towards the sleeping realms of dreams. For Snow White, Blood Red is a modern book of wonders: a boundless expanse of nightmares, lusts and fables for the grown-up child in us all.
Through richly imaginative retellings of existing fairy tales, twenty-one of the world’s top fantasy authors recreate the full mythical, magical, mind-bending power of humankind’s oldest fables. Prepare to be seduced by stories that bite – stories that are frightening, erotic, dark and compelling. Because as Terri Windling reminds us in the introduction: ‘Something still stirs inside us when we hear those old, evocative words: Once upon a time.’ Only this time, in this world, there is no happy ending…
I’ve had this book on my wish list for a very, very long
time. So, when I finally managed to find a second hand copy and get it
delivered to my door, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. After all, I
love fairy tales, I like stories with a dark twist, and I’m fascinated by
retellings and the ways in which people are able to twist and turn classic
themes to fit a more contemporary or recognisable setting. Which makes this
kind of the perfect short story collection to sit on my shelves.
Some of the stories in this collection are kind of dark and
twisted. Some are incredibly sexual. And some are just a great, contemporary
retelling that makes childish fairy tales far more relatable. I got goosebumps reading
some of these stories. While others left a smile on my face. You know it’s a
fantastic collection when it takes you through the rollercoaster of emotions
and leaves you feeling incredibly happy at the close of the last page.
Anybody who loves fantasy, horror or fairy tales, this is a
great collection to add to your shelves. It is one that I won’t be getting out
of my head anytime soon, that’s for sure…
Title: I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood Author: Kathe Koja In: Snow White, Blood Red (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Fairy tales, Villains Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast Format: Short story Publisher: Signet Year: 1993 5th sentence, 74th page: The inn-tavern was hot, hot almost as the departed day, crowded with those with something to sell, vice or service, proferring to the retinue what did not first interest their lord.
Red Riding Hood is poor, young and, too many, a little simple. So when a predator from another town fixates on her, and follows her into the woods, you think you know what’s going to happen. But you don’t. Because this is a very twisted fairy tale retelling.
In the collection, Snow White, Blood Red, I Shall Do Thee Mischief follows directly after Little Red. And I had to put this book down after Little Red because of the ick factor. So when I found out that there was a second story based on this fairy tale. Also with a sexual component… I’ll admit that I was kind of concerned. And uncomfortable. There is only so much ick I can read before I have to change over to the happy and carefree stories. Luckily for me, although the sexuality was still there, it wasn’t so intense. Or icky.
I did have to read the last page of this short story twice to feel like I fully understood what happened. And I’m still not entirely sure if my take is “correct”. But from what I absorbed… the young girl was completely able to turn the tables on her would-be predator. And, since that’s the kind of ending that I like… I’m going to stick with it.