Review: Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede
For those who enjoy fairy tales, this is a delightful little collection of magic, unicorns, talking cats, princesses, and wizards. I found this author referenced on line and decided to try her out. The short stories are well written and enjoyable. They are less Grimm fairy tale and more Puss in Boots style. They are definitely no Disney tales and for that, I'm thankful.
In this collection, there are 11 stories each with a satisfying conclusion. Many a times I read a sci-fi or fantasy collection and I'm left frustrated because the story is only half written. This one each tale is a complete story from beginning to end. What I like about these tales is that pokes a little fun at the fairy tales of old. For example, the The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn takes a different and fun perspective of a unicorn. The unicorn follows the stereotype of wanting a virgin. Except in this story, the princess is un-amused and decides not to follow the expected pattern.
Each of the stories are in this manner. Some of the stories take place in some long long ago time. Others, like The Lorelei take place in what could be considered current era with high school trips overseas and buses with engine problems. Not all the stories have a positive ending. The one that is sad and reminds me the older fairy tales, is Cruel Sisters. This is a cautionary tale and a fitting ending. I think my favourite one in this collection was The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd. This was a fun read and a lovely turn of events. One that is poignant and makes me question if the character actually learned anything was Roses by Moonlight. It seems the main character came to an epiphany only to revert back to their old ways once they returned home. Disappointing.
All in all, this is a good collection recommended for young adults and adults alike.