Myths Untold: Faery
An anthology of four tales sharing four authors' unique twits on these well known characters. If you haven't had a chance to read my interview with the authors, don't miss out on checking that out too!
Legends of elves have been told for many years, but not stories like these! Today I'm reviewing 4 anthology stories featuring elves by Gus Li, Brandon Witt, Skye Hegyes, and J. Scott Coatsworth. Now, I've been a Tolkien fan since I first read the Lord of the Rings anthology as a young girl, I'm also a fan of Eragon, Fablehaven, Shannara, Merry Gentry... so my tastes span a wide range of mythos. Etheral beings, warriors, magicians, and pervy, pervy kinksters all mesh into one fabulous genre in the fantasy realm that gets five stars out of five stars from me... or maybe even more if I could figure out how to add extras to all the review sites!
Would that I could pick a favorite out of these stories in the anthology. They span a mix of contemporary fantasy, futuristic fantasy, pure fantasy, and fairy tale. I loved that each of these authors created faeries that fit their story structure. In The Pwcca and the Persian Boy by Gus Li I had a sense of ominous dread when Lieu showed up. It blended well with the stark realities of Glyn's life on the street and the mystery of his past. I was a tad surprised with this contemporary feel, but I enjoyed it just as much as I did reading The Union of Sun and Moon, another story featuring elves in a more fantasy setting.
Brandon Witt's The Other Side of the Chrysalis was aptly named. This story features a theme that we often see with faeries--their beauty. It delves into the way beauty affects those who have it, those are want it, and those who are told they're not worthy of it. The sheer monstrosity of those who were supposed to be pure because they were beautiful only made Quay's quiet suffering to remain loyal to his perfect brother more poignant. The pain and love intertwined in this story was stark yet elegantly written.
Tyler in Sky Hegyes' Changeling couldn't feel more different. A lad of the land, growing up on a farm with his mother and looked at askance by the pious villagers, I loved the classic fairytale feeling to this story and its characters. There was an innocence to it that amused me at first. Beyond the traditional theme of tall, lithe long-haired beauties with pointed ears, there were a multitude of faery creatures in this story that made the mushroom wing come alive with whimsy... but nowhere is perfect for those who don't quite fit in, especially someone like a changeling.
I have to say the dystopian setting as well as the gritty otherness interested me far more than the faery element in J. Scott Coatsworth's Through the Veil. I adore stories where the world we know it is changed, and the struggle to survive is reduced to far more basic elements than what has become the norm. High tech? Nope, that's for the rich once again. That setting is contrasted sharply by the world Scott's faery character, Tris, but both are not strangers to loss and struggle. When Tris and Colton bring those two worlds together as adventure grips them from the first moment they meet.
Could I tell you a lot more about these stories? Well sure, but where would the fun be in that for other readers? The writing is uniformly well done, every story is unique and intriguing in its own way. No matter what flavor of faery you usually prefer, you'll fall in love with every incarnation in this anthology.
Wylde City Press
Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril. In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him. Welcome to Faery.
Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth, Sky Hegyes, Brandon Witt, August Li