Tag Archives: Patricia A McKillip

The Snow Queen by Patricia A. McKillip

Overview
Image result for snow white, blood red book cover

Title: The Snow Queen
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
In: Snow White, Blood Red (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary romance, Retellings
Dates read: 7th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Signet
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: Fool.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Gerda and Kay have been together for years. Yet, somehow their marriage and love doesn’t quite seem to be the way it was. Then, one night, Kay runs across Neva, a startling woman of cold beauty and everything changes.

Thoughts

Hans Christian Andersen’s snow queen has long been one of my favourite fairy tales. There is something that is incredibly sweet, and incredibly dark about it. Something that I just find lingers with me long after I have turned the last page. Maybe it’s Gerda’s ability to love without expectations, fight against what everyone is saying and doing in an attempt to save the boy that she loves. Which meant that when I found out there was a retelling of this story in a more adult manner, I knew I was going to either love it or hate it…

Luckily for me, I actually really enjoyed this retelling. Gerda and Kay are older, their relationship that of a married couple (rather than two innocent children). Yet, the same moments and distances play out. This time, it is through a much more conscious decision made by Kay, but it still has that same horrible feeling. And I liked Gerda in this tale a lot more. In the original I never quite understood just why she goes to such lengths for a boy who never really seemed to give her much attention. I still admire her for it, but I didn’t quite get it…

In this short story, instead of fighting to get Kay back and spending all of her time and energy regaining his love, Gerda spends this time taking care of herself. Although her love for Kay never quire diminishes, she finds a way to take her own place in life. To find her own joy that doesn’t rely on a man… now that, I can really understand.

 <- Knives ReviewBreadcrumbs and Stones Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Fortune-Teller by Patricia A. McKillip

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Fortune-Teller
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Tricksters
Dates read: 12th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Then I can afford to be honest.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

She’s made her life under the sign of the trickster, but is she capable of change? Will a visit from an old flame remind her of who and what she truly could be?

Thoughts

This isn’t like a lot of the trickster stories I’ve been reading recently. Instead of featuring a supernatural being of balance, this is a mortal woman who follows the sign of the trickster. But, unlike the supernatural beings that I’m so used to, she’s actually capable of change. The question of whether or not she’s willing to become something more than herself, something better, is what fills this story.

Fortune-tellers are a great vessel for chaos and a realignment of the world. I like that this is a woman on the cusp of a decision. She can continue on her wily way by cheating and scamming people out of their money, or she can make the decision to become a better person. To gain her life and money in a way that she won’t feel ashamed of. And it is the mirror of her past lover that makes her really consider this…

 <- Friday Night at St. Cecilia’s ReviewHow Raven Made His Bride Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan

Overview
Under My Hat

Title: 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.

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 CrowStray Magic ->

Image source: Frances Hardinge

October 2017

October 2017

October has been a super weird month, I’ve had a tonne of assignments due (finals here we come), quit a job and just generally felt a little lost and aimless. It’s meant a bit of reading since I tend to read when I’m overwhelmed, but I’m still feeling a little lost…

Image source: Van Vorst Park Association

Which Witch by Patricia A. McKillip

Overview

Under My HatTitle: Which Witch
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
In: Under My Hat (Jack Dann & Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 04.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingFantasy, Witches
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: That thing at the bar had one hand on Quin’s shoulder and he wasn’t smiling anymore.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Hazel is a witch who is part of a popular band made up of herself and her friends who are witches. She has a familiar, a crow named Cawley. The pair only recently found one another, and are still having trouble speaking each other’s language. Cawley knows an evil creature is following Hazel, putting her and her bandmates in danger, but he can’t seem to make her understand. As Hazel and her friends go on stage to play, the creature comes after them, which leads Hazel to learn something new about herself and one of her friends.

Thoughts

This was a really quick, fun and cute short story. Which means that this is going to be a quick and (hopefully) fun review.

The idea of witches and their familiars is nothing new. But, witches in a rock band, with their slightly unorthodox familiars hanging off of them definitely is. The ability to use music as a power was also a great angle that I didn’t expect. It’s a nice echo of the power that music has over people – literally. A song can change a life, sweep you away in its wings. But McKillip takes it another step.

Although I love the symbolism of music in this story, it’s the bonding between witch Hazel and her familiar Cawley that I found the most engaging. Not only is it sweet, but it’s a reminder that all good relationships take time.

 <- The Witch in the Wood Review The Carved Forest Review ->
Image source: Frances Hardinge