By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Wicked this way comes. -Second witch Macbeth, Act 4 , scene 1
This anthology is made up of 14 stories by 14 authors, some new to me, some not. They are all a version of a fairy tale, but definitely not the ones that you know. They aren’t friendly. They aren’t happy. If there is whistling and singing going on in these stories, be sure that it’s not the good guy doing it. I will say that most of the stories have an ending that could be considered happy, for a given definition of happy, and for some particular people, but I’m not really sure that I would call them HEAs.
Usually, when I get an anthology that’s more than 8 or so stories, I only mention my faves, just because it can get long, and ain’t no one got time to read a super long review, let alone write one. However, I feel the urge to give you my reactions on all of them. I don’t think it will add too many words to do that.
Missy Ann-Forbidden Queen
New to me author. Wow. I honestly didn’t expect the direction the story went. I mean, I figured for a twist, but this was a whole Mobius strip of a twist.
B. Celeste-Within These Shadows
Another new to me author. This was… disturbing in really disturbing ways. Good ways, but yeah. I would love to find out more of this world. I love the protagonist and the way that their POV was done.
Elizabeth Cash-Bittersweet Beauty
This is a prequel or intro or something like that. There is going to be more to this story, which makes me happy, because I need more of Beck, Bishop, and Jax.
A. A. Davies-Dama de Diablo
New author to me. Appropriate title. ‘Nuff said.
Anna Edwards-The Toy
Damn you, Anna. Just damn you. I really think that I want to hate you, but I’m pretty sure that I can’t because it was too good! That end, though.
Emery Leeann-Bite Me: The Cursed Evil Queen
Another new to me author. With some of the stories, it was easy to tell what the story was. It wasn’t in this one. When I found out who the person was before they are the person that they are now? Blew me away.
K. S. Marshall-The Deadly Hunt
Lots of new to me authors in this one. I honestly thought that this was going to go another way. It’s still living in my head and I’m trying to figure out some of it in my head.
Claire Marta-The Wish
I wish that Claire would write faster. I’m not sure who I trust in this story, but I can’t wait to find out what’s going on.
C.L. Matthews-The Underneath
This might be the least dark story in the entire anthology. I loved it.
TL Mayhew-Wicked Lady T
I think that I may have read some of Mayhew’s other stuff, but the consequence of reading so many books is that I sometimes forget who and what I’ve read. This might be the second least dark story. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
Michelle Pace-Nights on the Round Table
I love the Arthurian tales. I can tell you most of them backwards and forwards and I know all about the various knights. This is not the Arthurian tale that you expect.
Michelle Brown-Unfortunate Souls
I was lucky enough to be one of the people who got an ARC of Michelle’s first book, and I’ve enjoyed watching her grow. Her short stories are wicked AF, and this one is no different. Amazing spin on her tale.
I had a Disney song running through my head the entire time I read this, which is kinda weird, considering the tone of the story, but what can I say? I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with the rest of the story.
I love the whole Sleeping Beauty/Maleficient theme in general, and the take on the story in this one is fabulous.
I can normally pick which ones are my favorite, but I think that with each of these stories I found a new favorite. They are all twisted and dark and disturbing and wonderful and all the things that I happen to like when I’m reading. The anthology is really short for an anthology. Some of the stories are really short, and they are all pretty quick to read. That’s one of my favorite things about anthologies, the fact that many of the stories are pretty quick to read and that I can pick them up and put them down without losing the thread.