This is a quick, sharp pithy little poem. Each line had few words and made the poem flow with a quick beat. Which was perfect for a poem which featured the trickster Anansi. After all, tricksters are always portrayed as quick, nimble and intense characters. They don’t stay still for long, and they’re constantly on the move. Kind of like this poem.
I liked the way that this story used dreams and insanity to construct a story full of tricksters and change. Mostly, I love the imagery of change being bought by the wind. After all, trickster stories are about change and balance, the wind is often something that brings new things into our lives… all weaved together in a beautiful, stunning tapestry.
I found this short story a little confusing and convoluted. Which is probably what the point of it was… after all, it’s based around the idea of a labyrinth. And there is nothing sensical and normal about a labyrinth. Which made this a somewhat perfect trickster story. The labyrinth being the perfect trickster persona.
I’ve sometimes wondered if the world is run by clowns. Or something similar. After all, nothing really makes sense, everything is random, and whoever in charge probably has a sick sense of humour. Very sick. Sadistic even. Which is why I like the idea of a story which is based on the idea of a God Clown.
Eating competitions fascinate me. They’re weird, random and something that I couldn’t fathom doing myself… mostly because I already feel way too sick whenever I overeat even slightly. When I found out that actually being sick is a huge taboo and has its own name (a reversal of fortune), I was drawn completely into the tale. It had me laughing out loud, smiling, and chuckling at the ways in which Holly Black was able to take a fairly typical trickster tale and turn it on its head.
This story was quite clever. At the beginning, it felt like any tale with a trickster-like character. One in which their smarts, wit and penchant for trouble had gotten them into a spot of bother, and you knew that they would get out of it in the end. Which is kind of what happened… but the character actually was the trickster, and he was in trouble with death.
The Princess and the Pea has always been one of those stories that is kind of iconic for me. I’m not sure why, since I don’t often enjoy stories about princessy princesses. But, this version of it using tricksters and the desert is far more to my taste. Actually, I was incredibly disappointed when it was over.
Growing up, I always wanted to be part of the circus. There was something that just seemed so romantic and worldly about being a part of such a family that I couldn’t help but imagine how fun and adventurous my story would be. As an adult, I kind of realise that it’s probably not that romantic and perfect. And I kind of like the upbringing and life that I’ve had, but this short story still manages to encompass some of that fun and intrigue that drew me in as a young child.
This didn’t end the way I was hoping for / expecting. Which is probably not a bad thing. After all, I love a good story that surprises. Especially one that was as fun and descriptive as this one. We’ve all met that someone that we completely hate, that just strikes us as not good. The grandmother in this went that extra step further and seemed just downright evil, but Bright Phoenix’s responses and thoughts on the old hag were still completely recognisable.
I know next to nothing about Jewish beliefs and practices. And by next to nothing, I mean nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. And that’s probably not going to change. But this short story made me seriously consider changing my outlook for about twenty minutes. It managed to bring to life an aspect of a belief system that (I’m assuming) is a slightly off kilter and different one to what is normally displayed on TV.