Mirrors & Thorns Anthology (1of6 ARC Review)

Bittersweet pain conceals a deeper beauty.

Mirrors & Thorns

I received Mirrors & Thorns through Our Write Side in exchange for an honest review.

A fun collection of fairy tale inspired stories, sampling a wide variety of topics. Stories range from youthful tales of children and magical creatures, ancient powers best left undisturbed, and desperate characters driven to the brink by cruel tormenters. The variety of styles adopted by the authors adds an additional freshness to each story. Some truly emulate the classic fairy tales passed down through oral tradition, while others engage their otherworldly topics with a more modern and everyday approach. Frequently audiences may find themselves frustrated that the stories are not longer. Some leave questions unanswered, while others simply have a momentum to them, one that continues even after the final page.Β A fun collection of fairy tale inspired stories, sampling a wide variety of topics.

Stories range from youthful tales of children and magical creatures, ancient powers best left undisturbed, and desperate characters driven to the brink by cruel tormentors. The variety of styles adopted by the authors adds an additional freshness to each story. Some truly emulate the classic fairy tales passed down through oral tradition, while others engage their otherworldly topics with a more modern and everyday approach. Frequently audiences may find themselves frustrated that the stories are not longer. Some leave questions unanswered, while others simply have a momentum to them, one that continues even after the final page.

+Strong Variety, United by a Consistent Fairy Tale Style
+Strong Descriptions
+Strong Narrative Voices
*Often Grim/Harsh Tone
*Frequently Familiar Plot Patterns

3.5/5

1. Young Blood by Kerry Black

To escape his younger sister, Jacob would pay any price.

Opening with the aftermath establishes the bare bones of the resolution; leaving audiences with many questions, while the story hurries back to the beginning, a boy playing in the woods. Crisp scenes usher audiences through the essentials, while the resolution hangs overhead, waiting to pounce.

+Strong Opening & Ending
+Good Pacing
*Familiar feel
*Very Brief

3.5/5

2. Nova and Ember by Sarah Nour

On the eve of winter, families gather for the fall festival. It’s a time of celebration, until an old ritual marks two young children for death. Desperate to escape their fate, the children head out in search of the mythical black sow.

Emulating the style of a fairy tale, the story adopts a sense of childlike innocence and simplicity. The characters are familiar, and the story is easy to follow. Background information is doled out gradually, creating a nice, even flow to the narrative. Once in a while the story flirts with fear, but always within that safety which often defines childhood. Anyone who stops to think about it will see where things are going, but strong details and a dab of humor make it easy to let go, and enjoy the adventure.

+Good, strong details. Nice word usage.
+Good sense of rhythm, back and forth between tense and mellow
+Mystery and questions pull audiences right along.
*It is a young story.
*Familiar characters

4/5

Next Time…
Mirrors & Thorns 2of6

13 thoughts on “Mirrors & Thorns Anthology (1of6 ARC Review)

  1. This sounds very cool: the thing that drew me in right away was the ” ancient powers best left undisturbed” bit. Those are the type of stories that people can wake me up for at night. This sounds great: definitely adding it to my to read list! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  2. Two of my favourite things.. Fairy Tales, and Anthologies! I like to describe an Anthology as “Speed Dating Authors” you can get a quick feel about an author and their writing to choose whether to look into them and see more of their work!

    • Agreed. I know not all writers like to write short stories, but I always remember one panelist who said “If you can’t write a good story in 5,000 words, what makes you think you can do it in 100,000?”
      To me the most telling aspect is the ending. “How do you bring it to a close?”

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