Stylistically rooted in fairy tale and mythology, imperceptible landscapes are explored in these opulent stories from a beloved fantasy icon. There are princesses dancing with dead suitors, a knight in love with an official of exotic lineage, and fortune’s fool stealing into the present instead of the future. In one mesmerizing tale, a time-traveling angel is forbidden to intervene in Cotton Mather’s religious ravings, while another narrative finds a wizard seduced in his youth by the Faerie Queen and returning the treasure that is rightfully hers. Bewitching, bittersweet, and deeply intoxicating, this collection draws elements from the fables of history and re-creates them in startlingly magical ways. -Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads
I'm always up for a good short story collection, and since McKillip stories are often standouts in anthologies and I have enjoyed several of her novels, I figured this would be a safe bet. I was pleasantly unsurprised when this proved to be true. I'd read several stories in previous books, but some were new to me, including my now favorite McKillip tale: "Kelpie." I loved the group of (fictional but still recognizable) pre-Raphaelite artists in that one, particularly the sweet and especially well-developed romantic leads (although I also really enjoyed the Dante Rossetti stand-in). I also loved re-reading "Jack O'Lantern," "The Fortune Teller," and some others.
This collection works equally well as a great introduction to a pillar of modern fantasy writing, or a chance to discover missed stories from a favorite author, and both ways you can enjoy the gorgeous cover art.