Friday, November 18, 2016
Fantastic Creatures: An Anthology by Fellowship of Fantasy
There are 21 stories in this anthology, and on the whole, they are really well-written. Generally, I preferred the stories set in a more traditional setting instead of modern day earth, but that's more because of personal preference than story quality. A few that I particularly liked were:
Snapdragon by Lea Doue: It's the princess and the frog, only that the princess is the cursed daughter of a witch (with thorns growing out of her) and the frog is a tiny dragon. I loved it.
Seekers by Intisar Khanani: I am biased because I loved Intisar's stories. This intriguing tale in selkies was short but bittersweet. I would not like to be the father in the tale, but I'm glad things worked out for Maggie.
Skin by Morgan Smith: Resembling a traditional fairytale in tone and plot, this story has an interesting female protagonist (Katya) who ends up gambling with a monstrous prince. And to think it started with a demand for a bride.
Destiny's Flight by Frank Luke: Fantastic Christian fantasy with knights and griffins! If this was a full-length series, I'll buy the book immediately (but it doesn't seem like that). I also liked that the romance was unconventional and that even though the two characters who obviously liked each other didn't end up together, we were left with the promise that they would be happy.
This is turning out to be a too-short review of every other story so I'll stop after Talori and the Shark by Jessica L. Elliot. It reminds me of that myth about Cupid where he got married but his wife wasn't allowed to see his face, only this takes place underwater and with mermaids! Intrigued, right?
ETA: I've been told that this issue has been corrected, but since it's a whole paragraph of the review, I'm just leaving it here. The only story that made me stop and go "oh no" in dismay was The Kappa by Leila Rose Foreman. It's not a bad story, but every time Hanako calls her mother "mama-san", I just wince. And nope, there's no indication that her mother actually is a mama-san. Considering how basic knowledge of this word is (Wikipedia has a page on this - in English!), the mistake shouldn't have been made. I don't know if the author will see this review but hopefully, it gets corrected soon.
Overall, this is a strong and diverse collection of fantasy short stories. There's enough variety in setting and tone and plot that there should be something for everyone.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.