Hi and welcome to the third edition of #BiteSizeSaturday goes anthology! A year ago I would have told you I never read short stories, but this year I discovered a few great collections, most recently the ones I want to talk about today.
First up: Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women by Sharon Blackie.
This is a gorgeous little collection of beautiful and oftentimes enchanting stories that I thoroughly enjoyed. The word “shapeshifting” in the title might give you the idea that these stories are fantasy, but they are not. They are folktales, stories rooted in folklore, myth and fairy tales and with a distinct gothic feel. I didn’t adore all the short stories in this collection, I hardly ever do, but the overall quality is undeniably high.
With Wolfskin, we start out great, it’s one of my favourite stories in this collection, holding an implicit warning that one might be able to steal a woman’s wolf skin, but not her wolf spirit.
Foxfire is equally brilliant, a haunting tale that made my breath catch in my throat. I have a few more favourites that I will happily revisit (among them The Last Man Standing, based on the old folk tales of fairy wives, and The Madness of Mis, based on the medieval story The Romance of Mis and Dubh Ruis)
Notes at the back explain the origin of the stories, and the ways in which they might differ from the original legend.
If you’re at all into folklore, this is one you should add to your TBR!
Many thanks to Amanda @ Bookish Chat and Rachel @ Book Reviews and Tours by Rachel Read It for making me aware of this beautiful little book and convincing me with their reviews (click the links) that I needed it in my life and on my shelves, ’cause I really did!
The second bite today is Killer Women Crime Club Anthology #1.
Killer Women is a group of London-based crime writers and this is their first anthology. I’ve read and reviewed the second one (ICYMI), which I’d snapped up for 99p and loved so much that I got myself the first one too. I have to admit I loved the second collection a bit more, but this is still a great anthology that I’d happily recommend to crime short story lovers.
My favourites are The Rat Trap by Jane Casey and Witch by D.E. Meredith. The former has a very gothic feel, it builds up nicely to a gasp-inducing finale. The latter is a fictionalised account of a real-life incident in Nigeria in 2016, it has nothing to do with witchcraft, it’s about a boy cast from his home because his family believe he is a witch. A sad tale, especially when you realise that shit like that actually happens. Other authors are Louise Voss (Stop the Pigeon is riveting!), Sarah Hilary, Erin Kelly and quite a few other killer women.
Thanks for stopping by and having a bite with me this Saturday! Have you read these or would you want to? Or do you have a favourite short story collection you think I should check out, let me know below!