I saw this anthology on Netgalley and hello…dragons…so I was all in! The release date on this book is July 7th 2020. As I read this book, I thought a lot about what I like and don’t like about short stories. This book contained a few that I didn’t care for and several that I loved. All were well written of course, but some stood out above the others. So I analyzed them and came up with 5 things I believe make a good short story. I’m sure these are not all the qualities of a good story though. You might like short stories for another reason. If so, let me know!
Fairytale has such a childish connotation, but bear with me on this. You don’t have to be an author of children’s books to get something from this post. I find that the best way to get better at something is to learn from the masters. I would love to sit down with any of these authors and learn all their secrets, but I doubt they would agree to meet with me. Even if they did, they cannot impart their years of toil upon me in a quick interview. That is best done by study.
This book is told in 3rd person omniscient, distant. The effect is that it sounds like someone telling a fairy tale. The prose is filled with delightful adjectives. Stephen King would absolutely hate this story for that reason I think. It made the story feel full of childish wonder. The Bear and the Nightingale By Katherine Arden Narrated by Kathleen Gati At the heart of this story is a battle of belief. Christianity versus the old gods like the domovoi who lives in the oven and protects the house. The vazila who is the spirit of the horses. The Winter King. Death. A creature in the water. An old Oak Tree in the forest. Vasalisa (Vasya) is the main character. She is born to a mother who has the sight and knows that Vasya will be special. She is a wild uncontrollable child who thrives in nature and will not be tamed.
The Land of Stories The Wishing Spell is a fun romp through a fairy tale land.