My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a smart, stylish collection of witch stories all based around the starting point of a tall black pointy witch hat. The hat may be real, metaphorical, allusive, and the witch – well, might be anything.
I really enjoyed this. It’s a collection of some stunning names and I was excited to see Peter S. Beagle and Frances Hardinge in the mix alongside Holly Black. Garth Nix and Neil Gaiman.
The joy of a short story collection is that you can flip back and forth in it and wholly skip stories that aren’t working for you. Following the sensitive and astute introduction by editor Strahan, we slip straight into a stunning opener by Diana Peterfreund and this was probably one of my favourite stories in the entire collection. All of these stories are written with vivid skill but something about Peterfreund’s really hit home.
I also had a lot of love for Hardinge’s contribution. She’s an author I need to read more of and on the basis of this, will definitely be doing so.
There were stories in this that didn’t quite work for me but there were so many that did. This is a really clever, unusual, and occasionally very dark collection of stories that reward the reader hugely.