I’m generally not a great lover of fantasy. I find it difficult to get through a long high fantasy novel or series and as a genre it doesn’t have the same pull for me as others do. That being said I do absolutely adore short stories so this collection caught my eye as a sort of gateway drug in to longer fantasy stories. It’s actually the second ARC I’ve finished for ARC August and the first I’m reviewing and I raced through it!
The thing I loved most about this collection is the range of cultural inspiration behind the stories. It wasn’t just your bog-standard Tudors-with-dragons English affair; there were stories drawing inspiration from myths originating everywhere from Ireland to Pakistan. Some of them were stories I recognised (I’m fairly sure that I’ve read the Dictionary of British Folklore referenced in Selkie Stories are for Losers and I’ve certainly been told the tale of the woman with a ribbon around her neck) and for me had a sort of nostalgic feel because they were the kinds of fantasy short stories I read as a child.
There’s no collective theme to these stories other than they’re all beautifully crafted and chosen to represent the best of the genre. And they may have convinced this fantasy-avoider to try out more of the genre!