Monday, November 17, 2014

Review : Wishes and Sorrows

Wishes and Sorrows is a collection of fantasy short stories by Cindy Lynn Speer. Like Black Swan, White Raven, many of the stories are retellings of fairy tales, although some are original. Many of the stories in Wishes are dark and complicated, revealing the downside of magical gifts.

On the whole, I enjoyed most of these stories, though I felt it would have been nice to mix up the tone of the stories a bit--most are quite dark, and a few light-hearted stories would have been a welcome change of pace. Still, many of the stories were delightfully creepy. I particularly enjoyed "The Train," which is a haunting and creepy retelling of Frankenstein. The "doctor" of that story is one of the creepiest villains I've read in quite a while, especially considering the suggestion that the main character had escaped him before. Likewise, "Every Word I Speak" perfectly captured the downside of a fairy's ill-planned gift. Its harrowing premise is that the "gift" makes it impossible to tell who really cares for the main character, and who just wants riches.

Another excellent story, "But Can You Let Him Go?" travels through multiple versions of the Cinderella story, told from the point of view of Cinderella's fairy godmother. The fairy is trying to atone for her part in keeping Cinderella and her prince apart, but each story ends in tragedy until she can figure out how to set all of them free.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy short stories or fairy tale retellings. Some of the stories, like "The Train," are excellent science fiction as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment