Award winning author Patricia A McKillip has brought us a collection of her short stories, conveniently packaged all together, instead of having to hunt through and collect numerous anthologies in search of her treasures. The treasures in this collection range from retellings of old classics, as in the case of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses” to reimagining’s as in the case of “Undine” and “Kelpie” all the way to straight fiction, as demonstrated in “Xmas Cruise”.
Included in this collection are:
1. Wonders of the Invisible World
What happens when science meets superstition?
2. Out of the Woods
Be careful of what can come out of your familiar woods unexpectedly
3. The Kelpie
A re-imagining of a lesser known fairy (not one of the nice ones!)
4. Hunters Moon
Definitely not your typical werewolf/shapechanger story
5. Oak Hill
A girl runs away to find magic
6. The Fortune –Teller
A tale about unexpected consequences
A scarily dark tale of redemption
8. Knight of the Well
A tale of water magic and true love
9. Naming Day
Family ties, frustrations and rewards
Righting a wrong
11. The Twelve Dancing Princesses
A darker retelling of this classic story
The other side of the mermaid’s tale
13. Xmas Cruise
An unexpected straight fiction piece
14. A gift to be Simple
A very interesting story about faith
15. The Old Woman and the Storm
Appreciation for all that life has to offer, not just the good
16. The Doorkeeper of Khaat
A science fiction tale of finding oneself
On a final note, this collection is definitely worth the time to read and should bring you great pleasure. In this we get to see how far a talented story teller can stretch herself and I, personally, was impressed with the results. This book also includes a wonderful introduction by Charles de Lint, a current master of the urban fantasy and an answer to the most common question authors get asked “What inspires you to write?” You will probably find the answer quite interesting.
Stylistically rooted in fairy tale and mythology, imperceptible landscapes are explored in these opulent stories from a beloved fantasy icon. There are princesses dancing with dead suitors, a knight in love with an official of exotic lineage, and fortune’s fool stealing into the present instead of the future. In one mesmerizing tale, a time-traveling angel is forbidden to intervene in Cotton Mather’s religious ravings, while another narrative finds a wizard seduced in his youth by the Faerie Queen and returning the treasure that is rightfully hers. Bewitching, bittersweet, and deeply intoxicating, this collection draws elements from the fables of history and re-creates them in startlingly magical ways.