Arc Provided by Prime Books
Released on October 4th
This is a collection of stories that feature women as the main characters
Not one of them tries to pass them as perfect, and most of the times, in their imperfections you'll find their strongest asset.
Vengeance links them throughout time and ages, despite (most of the times) not sharing a particular DNA. The language is raw and up in your face. No pretty words here to lighten up the dark in which they take place.
Infidelity, lust, perversion, greed, abuse: you'll find all of them in this collection.
A feast of sorrows this is... and what a dark feast.
This is not my first incursion into the author's writing, although unfortunately I still haven't read "Sourdough" or "Bitterwood Bible" for which I am extremely sorry.
1) Sourdough, a tale of love of vengeance. 4 Stars
"My memory is true."
A young baker, Emmeline, falls in love with a groom to be.
Imagine if you could bake your own revenge... and make it as bitter as you'd wish.
2) Dresses, Three 2.5 Stars
“Butterfly wings,” says Aurora. “A dress of butterfly wings, Cerridwen?”
Really strong beginning, but I felt as if it needed something more.
It is a tale of wishes and its consequences.
3) The Bluebeard's Daughter 5 Stars
“My father likes being married and, despite everything, he’s apparently
catnip for women, whether for his fortune, castle, or the great virile
bushy beard, who can say."
With traces of what I've come to associate with Snow White elements, this was unexpectedly dark.
Strong character with a strong mind. Loved it.
Rosaline is well her father's daughter ;)
That ending is a GEM.
4)The Jacaranda Wife - 4 Stars
"Sometimes, not very often, but sometimes when the winds blow right, the summer heat is kind, and the rain trickles down just-so, a woman is born of a jacaranda tree."
Men: always wanting what they can't have. -_-
Beautiful imagery in a tale as old as time: some things cannot be stopped. Or changed.
5)Light as Mist, Heavy as Hope - 3.5 Stars
A retelling of Rumpelstiltzkin.
When Alice's disgusting father announces to all the world to hear, that her daughter can spin straw into gold, the girl has to come out with a way to save her neck
6)The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter -3.5 Stars
In a world where the dead need more than a simple coffin to be put to sleep (and stay there), Hepsibah Ballantyne, is the only coffin-maker in town. That makes her extremely valuable.
Interesting story with a lesbian character, although there could have been more information about those mirrors...
7)By the Weeping Gate - 4 Stars
"She is no longer a girl who can live in the shadows, and she feels this loss."
When beauty is a curse, it will be up to the most plain of all sisters to save them...
Here is a story that I would love to know how it ends...
8) St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls - 2 Stars
Here's a short that I've already read thanks to Tor. It started out great, but then I couldn't help feeling as if the character had changed... and not for the best.
9)By My Voice I Shall Be Known - 4 Stars
If I still had a voice, I would cry out."
Dark. Dark. So dark. And so compelling.
Unfortunately, once again, I wanted more. This ending, as others, felt rushed.
10) Sister, Sister - 3.5 Stars
And here it is, a short that would benefited from me having read Sourdough and Bitterworld Bible: or at least that is what I felt.
What after an hea comes betrayal? What then will happen to "our" princes and "princesses"?
11) The Badger Wife - 3 Stars
12) The Tallow- Wife - 4.5 Stars ( novella)
Loved this one. Can't wait to read more about Cordelia.
13) What Shines Brightest Burns Most Fiercely - 4 Stars
A follow up of the sorts of the previous novella, but with different protagonists.
14) Bearskin - 4 Stars
Also takes place in same universe of the "The Tallow Wife".
This one follows Cordelia's younger son path.
The "Tallow Wife" novella and "What Shines Brightest Burns most fiercely" are both originals to this collection.
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